White collar crimes encompass various nonviolent crimes that are committed by elected and unelected public officials and business professionals to achieve personal financial gain. White collar crimes range from bank fraud and insider trading to money laundering and economic espionage. White collar crimes are often challenging to prosecute because the perpetrators are sophisticated and may have made a number of complex transactions in an effort to mask their illegal activity.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reveals that white collar crime costs the United States more than $300 billion each year. If you have been accused of white collar crime, it is essential to retain a criminal defense attorney in defending white collar crime prosecutions.
Common White Collar Crimes
White collar crimes include:
- Bank, credit card, bankruptcy and mail fraud
- Economic espionage
- Customs crimes
- Insider trading
- Trade secret theft
- Phone and telemarketing fraud
- Criminal conspiracy
- Antitrust crimes
- Environmental crimes
- Financial, government and health care fraud
- Government fraud
- Computer and internet fraud
- Health care and insurance fraud
- Money laundering
- Public corruption
- Securities fraud
- Tax fraud
- Wire fraud
Penalties for white collar crimes are generally brought against individuals, but corporations can also be charged for this type of criminal activity. White collar crimes can be prosecuted at the state level, the federal level, or both. Penalties range from fines and forfeitures to restitution and imprisonment. If the defendant accepts responsibility for the crime and helps authorities with the investigation, the sanctions can be decreased.
Difficult to Prosecute
The highly complex nature and extensive documentation required to prove the case make a white collar conviction very labor intensive and time consuming. The prosecution often must prove the case with circumstantial evidence that demonstrates the defendant’s intent to commit the crime. The investigation therefore takes a long time and often involves a Grand Jury.
If you or a loved one has been accused of white collar crime, search our experienced attorneys for help.