What are White Collar Crimes?


1/28/2019

State and federal investigators, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), take white collar crimes extremely seriously. If the criminal allegations involve individuals in multiple states or if the criminal enterprise is large scale, federal investigators may be involved. Normally, for a white collar crime to be prosecuted in federal courts, there must be a federal issue or law involved.

If you have been suspected of or charged with participating in a state or federal white collar crime, the potential penalties upon conviction can be significant. Moreover, the personal consequences of a conviction can ruin your life and destroy your career. The skilled white collar crime defense lawyers at Wimmer Criminal Defense Law can investigate your charge and help you prepare a defense that offers you the best chances of success at trial.

Defining White Collar Crimes

White collar crimes are financially motivated crimes that are accomplished without the use or threat of violence. Because these crimes are often (but not always) committed by professionals who work in an office setting, they are called “white collar” crimes.

White collar crimes, just like assaults and murders, have victims. Consequently, federal and state prosecutors are not shy about bringing white collar crime suspects to justice – all to the fullest extent of the law. White collar crimes have the potential to deplete an individual or a family’s savings, wipe out a secure retirement, financially destroy an entire company, and cost investors millions of dollars.

Given the advanced technologies that are currently in place, state and federal agencies are becoming more adept at investigating white collar crimes and bringing offenders to justice. If you have been accused of a white collar crime, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can safeguard your legal rights while a criminal investigation is pending and can explain all of your legal options in clear and easy-to-understand terms.

Types of White Collar Crimes

In many states, local federal agencies investigate white collar crimes. On the other hand, federal agencies, including the FBI, investigate white collar crimes that extend beyond state lines. White collar crimes that are frequently prosecuted in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania typically include the following:

  • Embezzlement – typically where a company gives the accused limited control over certain money, property, or assets, and the accused subsequently steals or misuses those assets
  • Professional malpractice – typically where an attorney, accountant, or physician commits billing fraud (e.g., overcharging or “upcoding”) or other types of financial malpractice
  • Fraud – including credit card, insurance, securities, mail, accounting, or government fraud activities
    Forgery – where the accused forges a document, signature (i.e., by signing someone else’s name without that person’s consent), or piece of art (i.e., by copying or signing without permission)
  • Identity theft – where the accused takes on another person’s identity for purposes of financial gain (such as by opening credit cards or bank accounts in the alleged victim’s name)
  • Internet crimes – where the accused engages in drug trafficking, credit card fraud, or unlawful distribution of underage child pornography

Convictions for white collar crimes at both the state and federal levels can be high. A conviction, for example, can result in high monetary fines and up to decades in jail. The accused could also be sentenced to pay restitution to the alleged victim of the white collar crime. Moreover, a white collar crime conviction can result in your personal and professional reputation being ruined, and it can be nearly impossible to rebuild that reputation.

The skilled Philadelphia white collar crime defense lawyers at Wimmer Criminal Defense Law can review your charge and the potential penalties with you. If you are ultimately convicted, our lawyers will do everything possible to get you a penalty reduction.

Defenses to State and Federal White Collar Crimes

If you have been charged with a white collar crime, the state or federal prosecutor handling your case must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Essentially, the prosecutor must show that you committed the underlying “bad act” and that you did so with the required criminal intent. If either of these is lacking, the white collar crime defense lawyers at Wimmer Criminal Defense Law may be able to argue for a dismissal of your criminal charge. Some other solid defenses to white collar crimes include the following:

  • Entrapment – where a government actor, such as a police officer or criminal investigator, unduly coerces the accused into committing the unlawful act – and where the accused would not have committed the action but for the undue coercion
  • Insanity – where, because of the accused’s mental state at the time the alleged crime was committed, the accused was unable to fully appreciate the quality or nature of the wrongful act or acts committed
  • Duress – where someone else threatens the accused with death or serious bodily harm if he or she does not commit the white collar crime – and where the threat of harm is immediate and offers the accused no way out
  • Incapacity – where the accused lacks the present ability (physical or mental) to commit the alleged criminal offense
  • Intoxication – where the accused’s level of intoxication precludes him or her from appreciating what he or she is doing and/or the seriousness of the alleged act

The skilled white collar crime defense lawyers at Wimmer Criminal Defense Law have a good track record of presenting successful defenses on behalf of criminal defendants. Our knowledgeable legal team can develop a good legal defense on your behalf, based upon the circumstances and facts involved with your criminal charge.

Call a Philadelphia White Collar Crime Defense Lawyer Today

White collar crimes at both the state and federal levels are no joking matter. If you are the subject of a white collar crime charge or investigation, the legal team at Wimmer Criminal Defense Law is ready to speak with you today.

To schedule your free consultation and case evaluation with a knowledgeable Philadelphia white collar crime defense lawyer, please call us today at 215-712-1212, or contact us online.