The most common white collar crimes typically involve some type of fraud or theft. Punishment can vary greatly from simply an order of restitution to mandatory state prison sentences, with enhancements for high-value losses. There are many different types of “white collar crimes” and the punishment is often dependent upon such factors as: sophistication, an abuse of trust, vulnerability of the victim, duration of the activity, actual dollars lost, and participation with law enforcement once the theft is discovered. If you are suspected of a theft or fraud offense, you need aggressive help immediately. I've often been able to prevent a prosecution when hired in time, by negotiating a pay-back or working to make amends for the losses.
Most common white collar crimes: fraud
- Embezzlement: Accountants, book keepers employees Misappropriating funds, diverting paychecks, and manipulating books
- Computer fraud – Stealing information, bank or credit card information from a computer
- Bankruptcy fraud – Concealing assets, misleading creditors or illegally pressuring debtors
- Healthcare fraud – Accepting billing for services not performed, performed by a less qualified person or unnecessary equipment
- Credit Card Fraud – Using someone's credit card information for an unauthorized purchase
- Insurance Fraud – Falsifying claims
- Mail Fraud – Using US mail to commit a crime
- Counterfeiting – Printing fake money or making counterfeit designer apparel or accessories
Punishments for white collar crimes
People that commit white collar crimes aren't always hardened criminals. Many times they have no criminal record prior to their conviction. So how are punishments determined for these crimes and how fair are they?
Most white collar crime punishments come with a monetary fine, prison time or both depending on the severity of the crime. Courts use sentencing guidelines in order to fairly sentence everyone but prison time sentences can still be too harsh. The guidelines consider are the crime the defendant is convicted for and whether they have a prior criminal record.
Defendants with no prior criminal record may get off with probation, a suspended or short jail sentence. Restitution, or paying back the alleged victim, is always a paramount consideration for a sentencing court, and often an agreement for full restitution can result in a reduction of charges or even a dismissal of the case, but it must be handled properly.
A person suspected of embezzlement, theft or fraud should never attempt to negotiate with the other party or law enforcement, that action can have disastrous affects. A professional with decades of experience can avoid the pitfalls and incrimination while facilitating resolutions resulting in a lack of prosecution.
The long-term effect of a white collar crime conviction can be devastating to a professional career. If in a regulated industry such as real estate, mortgage, securities or insurance, licenses can be lost and futures destroyed if not handled properly.
If you would like to speak to a lawyer about white collar crime defense, contact Bailey Criminal Defense here.
photo by Lotus Head on Wikimedia Commons