White Collar Crimes
White-collar crimes like money laundering, misappropriation, false statements and embezzlement almost always result in federal charges if the crime involves a federal agency, crosses state lines or international borders, or affects the banking system in any way. Individuals convicted of white-collar crimes at the federal level may be exposed to devastating penalties, possibly including exorbitant fines, restitution and a lengthy federal prison sentence.
Knowing this, it imperative that you seek legal representation immediately if you are under investigation by federal authorities or facing charges for money laundering or another serious white-collar crime. You can bet that the federal government will use every tool in its arsenal to bring charges and get a conviction in your case, and you need a defense attorney in your corner who will work just as hard to help you avoid a conviction and severe criminal penalties.
At Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers, our defense lawyers have years of experience representing clients in white-collar investigations and prosecutions, and we are prepared to stand up to the federal government and fight for your rights. Contact our firm today to schedule a free initial consultation with our defense team.
Federal White-Collar Crime Charges
The term “white-collar” crime is used to describe any criminal offense that is nonviolent in nature and largely motivated by financial gain. White-collar crimes like money laundering and mortgage fraud are characterized by deceit, concealment or some violation of trust, and while these charges can be brought against virtually anyone, white-collar cases typically involve professionals or government employees with access to money, assets or sensitive data belonging to someone else. The following are some examples of federal offenses that fall under the umbrella of federal white-collar crime.
“Making false statements” is the name given to the federal law that prohibits knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statements, or concealing information, in “any matter within the jurisdiction” of the federal government. Making false statements is known as a federal process crime, or an offense against the judicial process. False statement charges typically arise in cases where a materially false statement is made to a federal agent in connection with a federal matter (i.e. lying during an FBI interview or misrepresenting income to the IRS).
The term internet crime is used in a broad sense to describe any criminal offense committed through the use of the internet or any crime in which a person uses a computer to gain access to data in a system without permission to access that data, otherwise known as hacking. Internet crime offenses can include everything from identity theft, computer fraud, internet extortion and investment fraud to sex crimes like distribution of child pornography and sexual exploitation of children, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Embezzlement is a type of white-collar crime that occurs any time a person entrusted with the care or control of another person’s money or assets takes or uses the money or assets for his own personal gain. Embezzlement at the state level usually occurs in a business setting, when an employee in a position of trust steals from his employer or company. However, embezzlement can be charged as a federal crime if the money or property that was embezzled belongs to the federal government or any agency of the United States, or if the person accused of committing embezzlement is a government employee or an officer or employee of an FDIC-insured bank.
Embezzlement is closely connected to the crime of misappropriation, which occurs when a person knowingly and intentionally misuses funds, assets or personal property belonging to another person. Depending on the specific facts of the case, a person can face charges in federal court for misappropriating, funds, assets or trade secrets.
One of the most high-profile white-collar crimes prosecuted at the federal level in the United States is money laundering. The term money laundering describes the process of taking “dirty” money derived from criminal activity and passing it through a series of commercial transactions or banking transfers in order to disguise its source. The purpose of money laundering is to make the criminally derived proceeds appear “clean,” as though they came from a legitimate source, thereby allowing individuals to hide and accumulate wealth, evade taxes and fund further criminal activity. Often, money laundering is charged in combination with other financially motivated crimes, like mail fraud, wire fraud or racketeering (RICO).
Another common type of white-collar fraud prosecuted at the federal level is bankruptcy fraud, or any attempt to defraud the bankruptcy system using lies, misrepresentations or deception. Bankruptcy fraud charges can be filed against any person who conceals assets in order to avoid having to forfeit them during the bankruptcy process, intentionally files false or incomplete bankruptcy forms, files bankruptcy multiple times in different jurisdictions, or bribes a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee, among other unlawful bankruptcy-related activities.
Mortgage fraud is a federal offense characterized by some type of material misrepresentation, misstatement or omission in relation to a mortgage loan. This type of crime can take on many different forms. For instance, a borrower who misrepresents or falsifies income and assets on a loan application in order to fraudulently obtain a mortgage can be charged with federal mortgage fraud, as can any appraiser who deliberately undervalues a property to ensure that a fellow investor is able to purchase the asset.
Federal Prosecution of White-Collar Crime
The federal government views white-collar crimes as a threat to the economy and therefore prioritizes the detection, investigation and prosecution of financially motivated offenses like money laundering, misappropriation, bankruptcy fraud and embezzlement. These types of crimes also carry harsh penalties upon conviction – for bankruptcy fraud, you could be imprisoned in federal prison for up to five years, and for money laundering, you could be imprisoned for up to 20 years. Unfortunately, there is no parole in the federal system, which means convicted offenders have fewer opportunities for early release.
Given the government’s strict approach to white-collar crime and the life-altering penalties you could face upon conviction, we always advise white-collar suspects to avoid speaking to federal agents without an attorney present, even if they are innocent of the crime in question. If you choose to cooperate with a federal investigation without first consulting a white-collar crimes attorney, you could end up inadvertently admitting guilt or implicating yourself in a criminal matter, which is exactly what the investigators are hoping you will do. When you retain the services of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, your attorney will ensure that your rights are protected at every stage and prevent you from making grievous mistakes that can damage your case.
Defending Against White-Collar Crime Charges
White-collar crimes may seem less serious than violent crimes, sex crimes and drug offenses – after all, they are accomplished through nonviolent means – but the fact is that federal authorities take white-collar crime extremely seriously and prosecutors typically seek significant prison time for defendants in white-collar cases.
If you find yourself facing criminal charges for a white-collar crime like fraud, money laundering or false statements, you need a defense attorney on your side who will fight aggressively to defend your rights and best interests. When choosing a criminal defense attorney to represent you in your white-collar crime case, you want an attorney with specific and substantial experience handling cases like yours.
When you hire our defense team at Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers, we will investigate the circumstances of your white-collar case and assert the strongest possible defense based on your specific situation. Our lawyers understand the unique demands of white-collar criminal cases and know how much is at stake when federal authorities are involved. Remember that it is never too late to retain legal counsel for a criminal matter.
If you are currently under investigation by the federal government for a white-collar crime, we will work hard to bring the investigation to a close without criminal charges. If charges have already been filed, we will do everything in our power to minimize your criminal liability. Bear in mind that you, as a criminal suspect or criminal defendant, have important legal rights and asserting these rights from the start can have a significant impact on your case.
Consult Our Defense Attorneys at Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
Money laundering, false statements, identity theft and other white-collar crimes are aggressively investigated by the FBI and other federal, state and local agencies, and if you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with a white-collar crime, there is no time to waste. The federal government will use every resource at its disposal to convict you of the crime and you need the expertise of a criminal defense lawyer with a proven history of success defending clients against federal white-collar crime charges.
White-collar cases tend to be complex and challenging and they often involve several different allegations, which is why you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer who is qualified to represent you against any number of federal white-collar charges. Contact Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers as soon as possible to speak to our white-collar crime defense lawyers about your case.