There are a diverse number of white-collar crimes involving defendants from various backgrounds. Those in positions of power in the corporate and business world are often accused of committing these crimes. If convicted of a white-collar crime, the impact can be severe. Fines, imprisonment, and house arrest are a few examples. The negative impact of being charged (or convicted) with a white-collar crime can damage or destroy relationships with family and friends, not to mention a person’s career aspirations or options.
At the Simmrin Law Group, we have a fleet of criminal defense attorneys knowledgeable in white-collar criminal defense strategy. They represent a diverse set of people charged with white-collar criminal allegations. For those finding themselves accused of white-collar crime, we can provide the help needed to reduce charges or secure acquittal.
What Is the Difference Between White-Collar and Blue-Collar Crime?
The critical difference between white-collar crime and blue-collar crime is access. Those working in white-collar jobs have access to different opportunities than those who do not. Those in white-collar positions can include business owners and managers, and their access is not always easy to see.
While white-collar crimes are nonviolent, prosecutors will not treat them any less seriously. Blue-collar crime is much easier to see. For example, a blue-collar worker employed at a grocery store stocking shelves has access and the opportunity to steal those items.
It can be caught on camera if they choose to commit this crime. There is no confusion about the crime or who is committing it. On the other hand, white-collar crimes are not as visible, making them harder to detect.
A skilled white-collar criminal defense attorney can be the deciding factor between being convicted of a white-collar crime and being acquitted. Their extensive knowledge of white-collar crimes and how prosecutors use those laws to achieve their desired results is essential for building a solid defense.
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What Are Examples of White-Collar Crime?
While numerous crimes can be labeled as white-collar, below are the five categories that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) focuses on.
White-collar criminal cases labeled corporate fraud involve accounting schemes, obstruction of justice, and self-dealing by corporate insiders. Accounting schemes involve falsifying information, fraudulent trades, and transactions that escape regulatory oversight. Self-dealing by corporate insiders includes insider trading, kickbacks, inappropriately using corporate property, and tax violations at an individual level.
Laundering money means making “dirty” money “clean” by funneling it through reputable sources. The three steps in the money laundering process include placement, layering, and integration. Placement is the money entering the financial system.
Layering creates a complicated money trail through numerous transactions to reduce detection. And integration is when the accused person receives the proceeds of the money from a seemingly legitimate source.
Since the FBI works with local, national, and international law enforcement agencies on money laundering cases, it is critically important that a qualified white-collar criminal attorney represents those accused of these crimes.
Securities and Commodities Fraud
Prosecutors look at complex investment vehicles with a high level of scrutiny. If they think a fraudulent investment scheme is at play, charges may be brought against an individual. Not only are these types of cases investigated by the FBI and the Department of Justice, but the Securities and Exchange Commission will also get involved.
Insider trading is a form of securities and commodities fraud, where someone with inside information about an organization or investment makes a financial trade based on that information and does so for personal profit. Another example of securities and commodities fraud is using false or misleading statements to entice investors to contribute (or continue to contribute) money toward an investment opportunity.
Mortgage and Financial Institution Fraud
The FBI defines this as targeting banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions and engaging them in fraudulent activity for profit or housing. Prosecutors may say that those accused of mortgage and financial institution fraud tried to influence a bank’s mortgage decision by providing false information or that they victimized a distressed homeowner for personal profit.
Intellectual Property Theft/Piracy
Intellectual property is a broad term that can include ideas, inventions, or other expressions of creativity. Being charged with stealing another person or company’s intellectual property can be deemed a white-collar crime. Regarding intellectual property theft/piracy, the FBI focuses on trade secrets and copyright infringement related to products that can affect the health and safety of individuals or communities.
What Are Possible Defense Strategies in White-Collar Crime Cases?
The Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine assumes that a high-ranking individual within a company is aware of any white-collar criminal activity. This is problematic for those defending themselves against white-collar criminal charges because prosecutors use this doctrine to secure a conviction.
Numerous cases established this doctrine, making it so prosecutors do not have to prove that a defendant knew about a white-collar crime because, according to the doctrine, it is something they should have known was happening.
A white-collar crime lawyer can help protect from the perils of the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine and explain potential criminal liability. They can also help identify defense strategies, including entrapment, challenging intent, and problems with evidence.
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How Can a White-Collar Crime Lawyer Help Me?
Being accused of a white-collar crime is not a joke or something that should be taken lightly. The charges are serious, and the penalties can be severe. Embezzlement, unemployment insurance fraud, health care fraud, mortgage fraud, auto insurance fraud, workers’ compensation fraud, and antitrust fraud are all white-collar crimes that a person can be accused of committing.
Moreover, Federal white-collar crimes, such as bank fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering, among others, can also be charged. At the Simmrin Law Group, every client matters, regardless of the specifics of their case. Everyone makes mistakes.
We want to help you move forward. We will structure the strongest defense possible, helping you navigate the complexities of white-collar crime. For a risk-free, confidential consultation on how we can help, use our online form to schedule an appointment today.Build a defense now with our DUI lawyers in Brea. Get started with a FREE consultation.