When a person hears the word “crime,” images of bank robberies or people being mugged in dark alleys easily come to mind. But violent crime isn’t the only form of crime. Crimes committed by business and government professionals with the intention of gaining a financial advantage, property, or services, without using violent means, is known as white-collar crime. These wrongdoings often feature some form of concealment, deceit, or violation of trust to exploit a current system in place for one’s personal gain. Unfortunately, these crimes are not without victims, as fraudulent activity can often cause great harm to one’s financial situation. Businesses could lose extremely large amounts of money or individuals could suffer the loss of their entire livelihoods.
There are various types of white-collar crime that involve thorough investigations to discover what has happened in these often complicated and sophisticated offenses. Our legal team here at Lowthorp Richards will look into every detail to investigate the evidence against you while making sure you are provided with best possible results in your case.
Common Forms of White-Collar Crime
There are many types of white-collar crimes, but the following are the most common:
- Corporate fraud causes significant losses to investors and could do extreme damage to the national economy, not to mention greatly rattle investor confidence. This type of crime deals with accounting schemes, self-dealing, and obstruction of justice. Most commonly, this includes manipulation of financial data designed to develop deceitful performance indicators for auditors, investors, and analysts.
- Insider trading is another common form of white-collar crime. This can refer to any type of trading of a company’s stock based on nonpublic information about the company. This is unfair to the investors who do not have access to this inside information and allows the perpetrator to make large profits, much larger than a typical investor could make. This can happen when federal employees use their positions to make stock trades.
- Money launderingis the process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. This white-collar offense allows criminals to mask their accumulated wealth to avoid possible taxes, prosecution , or a possible funding of their future criminal activity. This is essentially the practice of turning “dirty” money into “clean” money. This activity undermines the integrity and stability of the financial institutions currently in place, while also deterring individuals from foreign investment and international capital flows.
- Broker embezzlement is when unauthorized actions lead to brokers directly stealing from their clients. Because these brokers likely have access to the personal information of their clients, this data is, unfortunately, abused at times. Brokers take advantage of their position by forging client documents, doctoring account statements, or taking part in other illegal trading activities at the expense of their client. A classic example of broker embezzlement is when a bank teller pockets deposits from the customer. This type of white-collar crime can be dangerous and much closer to us than we might think.
Legal Penalties for White-Collar Crime
The punishments for white-collar crime include:
- Mandatory restitution
- Jail time
- Supervised release
- Forfeiture of funds, property, or assets
- Prosecution fees
- House arrest
Longer prison sentences and hefty fines will be suggested by prosecutors when a victim suffered substantial financial harm. However, if the defendant takes responsibility for their wrongdoing and helps the authorities in their investigation, sanctions can be lightened and punishments will be reduced.
Fighting the Charges
Here at Lowthorp Richards, we’ll make sure to give you access to all the resources you need to defend yourself against claims of white-collar crime. It is important to know the most effective defenses:
- Entrapment: This is when an individual is forced to commit a crime, or pushed to do something under duress. This is a common occurrence in white-collar crimes, as business professionals often pressure others to bend the rules for their own personal benefit.
- Lack of intent: Sometimes white-collar crimes are committed entirely by mistake. This takes place during claims of tax crimes, when sometimes an individual was not made aware of proper protocol or procedures. Proving that there was no intention to grab a profit gives you a solid case against these crimes.
- Insanity: Mental disabilities can often lead to these white-collar crimes, as some laws can be very difficult to follow without the mental capacity to understand them. Referring back to the previous defense, a clear lack of intent can be proven alongside the insanity defense.
As aggressive and experienced attorneys, Lowthorp Richards can provide expert witnesses to challenge a prosecutor’s case, file Motions to Suppress, contest illegal searches and seizures, negotiate alternatives to jail and obtain reduced sentence modifications. What sets us apart from other criminal defense attorneys is our record of successes, dedication to clients and distinguished reputation for aggressively resolving our clients’ legal problems with affordable fee pricing options.
Just because you were arrested does not mean you are guilty. Lowthorp Richards will give your case the personalized time and effort required to get the best overall outcome. Call immediately to obtain a case review.