Often, people are involved in an illicit activity but had no intention of taking part in an unlawful action involving money in high-end business transactions. These are victims of white-collar crimes who are ignorant, they are manipulated by other business members to take part in a grand scheme to obtain financial gain. The crime is committed under another person’s name to keep investigators away from the real culprit.
A criminal defense lawyer will protect an individual from being indicted for violations which they had no knowledge.
White-collar Crime Defined
White-collar crime involves any offense committed through deceit driven by financial gain often committed by business and government professionals. The most common type of criminal activities committed includes any form of fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, money laundering, and election law violations.
Criminal actions are characterized by trickery, concealment or infringement of trust and victims are not subject to the application of physical exertion or violence. Today’s criminals are more sophisticated, they will scam their way into the financial accounts and the results are devastating. An organization can be ruined, a family’s savings can be wiped out, or cost investors to lose large chunks of money.
Here are some examples of offenses considered being a white-collar crime.
Embezzlement is the improper use of funds or property by someone who lawfully controls the assets for personal gains, without the owner knowing it. Embezzlement comes in many flavors it can be an employee siphoning money from the company to his personal account, or cashing other’s check for personal use, or non-payment of borrowed money from organizations, or registering additional work hours in an employee’s time card.
Money laundering is the process where large amounts of dirty money produced from a criminal activity are made to appear to have been derived from a legitimate source such as drug and arms trafficking, terrorism, fraud, bribery, gambling, prostitution, and corruption.
Tax evasion involves an individual or a corporation who misrepresent their income to avoid paying the right taxes. Misrepresentation of income comes in many forms that include understating income, exaggerated deductions, or stashing money in offshore accounts.
Corporate fraud engages accounting schemes to intentionally mislead investors, examiners, and analysts about the true state of financial condition of an organization. Through monetary manipulation of financial data, the valuation measurement of a company misleads the reader making it look like it’s performing well when actually it’s not.
White-collar Prosecutions for April 2019
Culled from the records of the Justice Department the government prosecuted 472 white-collar crimes, this is down by 0.2 percent from March 2019. Compared to 2018 the filings were down 9.3 percent, and down by 31.6 percent from the 2014 level.
Fraud-other has the largest number of prosecutions at 65 percent, fraud-tax with 21 percent, and other cases account for 14 percent.
What to Do if You Get Accused?
In case you are the subject of a white-collar crime investigation, you should collaborate and respond honestly and intelligently to inquiries by the authorities. Cooperate with investigators but be careful not to implicate yourself. Statements made by you can be used as exhibits in a lawsuit and can be used against you.
Charges vary depending on the state and government laws that were violated. The best way to answer inquests is by hiring the services of a criminal defense lawyer for legal advice in dealing with investigators. During the process of probing they may uncover private information that only your attorney can protect you and your assets in question.
He will conduct a thorough investigation to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the case and to exhaust all possible avenues to acquit the defendant. A lawyer has the right to appraise the prosecution’s case before submission to the jury. This will allow him to find loopholes against the litigant to make the case weak.
Your attorney will be by your side to explain any developments and to keep the defendant informed about the case.
Given that the defendant was found guilty, he will try to convince the judge to reduce the sentence or to discuss options for detention.