White Collar Crime
White collar crimes refer to criminal activities involving any form of fraud or theft committed in a professional or business setting for the purpose of securing financial gain at the expense of an individual or entity. Such crimes are typically perpetrated through complicated financial schemes, deceitful accounting practices, violation of trust, or soliciting information to obtain money, property, benefits, or other forms of financial advantages. White collar crimes are often nonviolent and financially motivated, compared to blue collar crimes, or street crimes, that are committed against people with intention to produce bodily harm, such as assault, domestic violence, and sex crimes.
Many people perceive white collar crimes as less damaging and mistakenly assume that they are taken less seriously by the courts and subject to lesser criminal penalties. However, charges of white collar crimes are serious and can even reach the federal level, with penalties ranging from fines and professional license suspension to probation and imprisonment. Even after fulfilling the terms of these punishments, a conviction can have long-lasting consequences on your career and other aspects of your life.
If you were informed that charges are being filed against you, or you are concerned about the possibility of such charges, learn more about white collar crimes by reviewing the information below, then contact Exum Law Offices to discuss your case. Our criminal defense firm has over 25 years of experience helping clients navigate even the most serious white collar charges and achieve the best outcome in their case.
Common White Collar Crimes
While white collar crimes encompass a wide variety of criminal offenses, some of the most common charges are fraud, forgery and identity theft.
Multiple laws exist concerning fraud, but generally, violation of criminal fraud is defined as committing an act that allows you to obtain an unfair or undeserved benefit and/or causes some type of harm or loss to another. Fraudulent acts are motivated by the desire for financial gain or in an attempt to avoid culpability for a crime. Prosecutors will charge these offenses based on the type of fraud committed, the amount of money involved, and the victim of the crime, then make a sentencing determination based on your criminal record and the specific details of the crime. Common forms of fraud include:
- Bank, financial or corporate fraud
- Check, credit card or securities fraud
- Health care or automobile insurance fraud
- Welfare, unemployment insurance or workers’ compensation fraud
- Real estate and mortgage fraud
- Tax fraud
- Mail, telemarketing, mass marketing or Internet fraud
- Securities and commodities fraud, such as insider trading
- Forgery and identity theft
Forgery refers to signing a document with the name of a real or fictitious person with fraudulent intent, including altering, falsifying, or counterfeiting another person’s handwriting. Many forged documents involve identification, meaning these offenses are not only in violation of fraud laws but also forgery and identity theft laws. Criminal penalties for committing forgery depend on criminal history, the value of the fraud, and the victims. Common forgery charges include:
- Forging, counterfeiting, or possessing a fraudulent public seal for a government agency, corporation, or other public organization
- Forging, counterfeiting, or possessing a fraudulent state driver’s license or identification card
- Identity theft
● Identity Theft
Identity theft is a specific form of forgery that involves the unauthorized use of someone’s personal identifying information, such as names, addresses, bank account numbers, and Social Security numbers, in order to pose as them and obtain financial benefits. The most common forms of identity theft involve:
- Applying for loans
- Opening credit card or bank accounts
- Making fraudulent purchases, including real estate, businesses, or other expensive assets
- Using medical information to obtain medical treatment or receive disability, Social Security, or workers’ compensation benefits
- Committing crimes and using someone else’s identity to avoid criminal penalties
Investigations Into White Collar Crimes
Manslaughter should also be mentioned, as it is often considered a lesser form of murder. There are two types of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter occurs when someone is committing a felony offense, and a fatal accident occurs without the intent to kill. Involuntary manslaughter usually happens as a result of negligence or recklessness that led to the death of another person. There’s also vehicular homicide/manslaughter, which is often part of involuntary manslaughter that happens due to negligence – such as driving while intoxicated.
What Is Attempted Murder?
White collar crimes can be charged as misdemeanor or felony offenses, and the extent of the penalties depends on the specific circumstances of the crime. Typically, they are considered federal crimes and receive investigation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other federal agencies related to the crime, such as the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. To convict you of a white collar crime, the prosecution must provide definitive evidence that you intentionally and deliberately committed the crime or accepted financial benefits from a person, company, or institution with the intention of never repaying them.
Criminal investigations into these crimes involve a wide variety of complicated legal issues, meaning these cases tend to be complex and require comprehensive legal knowledge and extensive resources. White collar crime cases can take months or years to reach a resolution, and in many situations, you do not even learn that you are under investigation for an offense until charges are formally filed. If you even suspect you are the target of a criminal investigation, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately and never speak with law enforcement agencies without first consulting your attorney.
Consequences Of A White Collar Crime Conviction
Potential consequences of a white collar crime conviction include the following:
- Criminal penalties – Criminal penalties vary depending on the severity of the crime and the defendant’s criminal history, but typically a conviction means you are required to pay fines, forfeit any profits made from the offense, make restitution to victims, perform community service, complete probation, and/or serve time in jail. A criminal defense attorney can negotiate plea deals to reduce these penalties in exchange for lesser charges or assisting with an ongoing investigation.
- Civil liabilities – Victims of the crime can file civil claims against the defendant to recover financial losses they sustained due to the crime. State or federal government agencies can file these claims, as well, and pursue restitution, disgorgement (forfeit of profits), or seizures of any assets purchased with the profits gained from the crime.
- Employment consequences – A criminal conviction for a white collar crime can prohibit you from earning a professional license or cause your license to be revoked, preventing you from working in your current industry. When you attempt to find a new job, your record will demonstrate a history of deceitful behavior, making potential employers unlikely to employ you.
Fight Criminal Charges With A Strong Defense
If you are facing charges of white collar crime, contact Exum Law Offices today. Criminal defense attorney and firm founder Darryl Exum has practiced law in Riverside for nearly three decades, representing hundreds of clients in their fight against some of the most serious federal charges. Highly regarded as one of the best attorneys in the Inland Empire, Mr. Exum offers dedicated services and trial-tested experience to determine the optimal solution to your case. He works closely with clients throughout the entire process to protect their rights, prepare a formidable defense and relentlessly pursue the best results.
The moment you learn that the prosecution has filed charges against you, you must take a proactive, strategic approach to protect your freedom and your future. The only way to fight against these charges is by hiring an experienced attorney with the knowledge, skills and resources to create a strong defense. Contact Exum Law Offices today at 951-934-0227 to schedule a consultation with our team.