When people think of white collar crime, they often think of high-profile criminals who have been involved in major crimes. However, white collar crime can happen anywhere, and almost anyone can be a victim. White collar crime is common, and with the growth of the Internet, more people have become victims to financial fraud.
White collar crimes, often called financial crimes, cover a wide range of offenses, most of which deal with money and property. These crimes typically involve illegally obtaining money or assets through fraud. These offenses could include small theft crimes or major fraud offenses.
What these white collar crimes have in common is that they all include some type of deceit or breach of trust. This means money or property was taken illegally. White collar crimes almost always are non-violent. However, the penalties and punishments can be as severe, and the crimes should be taken seriously.
South Florida White Collar Crime Attorney
If you are accused of any type of white collar crime in state or federal court, contact Shlomi Presser, the experienced economic crime defense attorney. These types of criminal charges involve the complex interactions of laws, regulations, technology and practical knowledge. You cannot trust your defense to just any lawyer.
Shlomi Presser has the sophisticated knowledge and extensive experience to fully protect your rights at every stage of your criminal case. We understand the complexity of white collar crime, and we are prepared to help you fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Shlomi Presser represents clients in South Florida. Call (954) 764-1080 to schedule a free consultation.
Overview of Financial Crimes
- Common Economic Crimes
- Other Examples of Financial Crimes
- Penalties for White Collar Offenses in Florida
- Federal White Collar Crimes
- Additional Resources
Common Economic Crimes
White collar crime encompasses all nonviolent, illegal activities involving deceit, manipulation, breach of trust or concealment, according to the Department of Justice. Common examples of white collar crimes include those committed through the means of commerce, such as conspiracy and various types of fraud. White collar crimes can involve a wide variety of theft and fraud offenses. Examples of those offenses include:
Tax evasion: Tax evasion is defined as a variety of acts to deliberately avoid paying taxes to local, state or federal government. Tax evasion could be prosecuted in state or federal court. This is a felony and could carry up prison time.
Tax fraud: Tax fraud is defined as the knowingly and willful attempt to defeat or circumvent the tax law in order to illegally reduce one’s tax liability. Tax fraud crimes can include falsifying books or records, sales tax fraud, illegal source violations, and hiding or transferring assets.
Money laundering: Money laundering involves the accusations of engaging in financial transactions to conceal the source of money. Concealing the source of the money could be done for various reasons, including illegal or illegitimate business activities.
Mortgage fraud: Mortgage fraud includes fraudulent foreclosure prevention and loan modification scams. It also could include allegations against a borrower as an active participant in the scheme to commit fraud to purchase a home.
Securities fraud: This primarily consists of deceptive practices in the stock and commodity markets, including SEC investigations. Securities fraud also could consist of Ponzi schemes, Pyramid Schemes and outright theft from investors of securities or investment funds.
Health care fraud: This term covers a variety of fraud, including doctors illegally offering payments for patient referrals and patients filing false medical insurance claims. Health care fraud also could include doctors taking liens to provide care for patients. These charges often could lead to investigations of health care professionals.
Other Examples of Financial Crimes
- Embezzlement, or the theft of funds or property entrusted to the accused.
- Financial crimes, which could include a wide range of crimes involving obtaining money or property through deception.
- Corporate crimes, which can include crimes committed by a corporation.
- Computer crimes, which are defined as criminal acts committed online.
- International crimes, or crimes that cross international borders.
- Medicare fraud, which can mean falsely billing the federal program.
Penalties for White Collar Offenses in Florida
The penalties for white collar crimes vary based on the offense. A person may receive greater punishments depending on the type of offense they committed, whether the accused has a criminal history, if the offense was committed against an elderly person, the number of people affected by the offense and the value stolen or used during the commission of the criminal act, according to the Florida Penal Code.
Penalties for a white collar crime could include:
- A conviction for a Class C misdemeanor white collar crime can result in a fine up to $500.
- A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor white collar crime can result in a jail sentence up to 180 days, a fine up to $2,000 or both.
- A conviction for a Class A misdemeanor white collar crime can result in a jail sentence up to one year, a fine up to $4,000 or both.
- A conviction for a state jail felony white collar crime can result in a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years, a fine up to $10,000 or both.
- A conviction for a felony of the third degree white collar crime can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 10 years, a fine up to $10,000 or both.
- A conviction for a felony of the second degree white collar crime can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years, a fine up to $10,000 or both.
- A conviction for a felony of the first degree white collar crime can result in a prison sentence ranging from five to 99 years or life imprisonment, a fine up to $10,000 or both.
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Federal White Collar Crimes
Most federal white collar crimes are serious felonies with the potential for prison time as set out in the federal sentencing guidelines. Federal investigations often last for more than a year while the federal agents build the case. For people charged with these serious economic crimes, they often know about the pending investigation.
Federal agents will attempt to turn the different players against each other rewarding those who cooperate early. In many of these cases, plea agreements are reached before any arrest is made. In other cases, the person is best served by fighting the charges aggressively in court. For all of these reasons, it is important to retain an experienced attorney as early in the process as possible. Never speak to an investigator without first obtaining legal representation.