White collar crimes are crimes that are committed, usually in a scam or business setting to defraud people or government agencies and to take money from people without their knowledge. A white collar crime can be anything from a Ponzi scheme to a major tax-evasion or embezzlement crime. Millions of dollars are lost to people and agencies every year, and these crimes are taken very seriously.
Among the most common white collar crimes are the following:
- Credit card fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Health care fraud
- Bank fraud
- Insider trading
- Money laundering
- government, welfare, mail, and tax fraud
- Phone or telemarketing fraud
- Fraud using computers or the internet
- Theft of intellectual property
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Environmental law violations
While white collar crimes are non-violent, they are devastating. These criminals take the finances and financial status of others to profit. Millions of dollars are lost annually, and in many cases, honest tax paying citizens, and insurance holders are left to pay more to make up for the crimes.
When welfare fraud takes place, resources intended for the nation’s poor are stolen. That leaves less for people who need those services. The need for assistance rises, and as a nation, we step up to help those who we had already set money aside for them. However, there is still a shortage. So why a family struggles to have food on the table with less food assistance, a criminal is selling food assistance coupons to buy drugs, or alcohol or luxury items. We all pay.
With modern technology, it is difficult to catch these criminals. Often, they hit and run. They take the money of the victim and then erase the trail and move on to the next victim. The Federal Government does not look kindly on this.
Massive resources are poured into the detection and prosecution of these crimes. The penalties are harsh, and they are swift. They include jail time and fines and in the case of large amounts of money that jail time can be decades in Federal Prison and thousands of dollars.
Some white collar crimes are small, and some are first-degree felonies. No matter how big the criminal group is that is operating the schemes, there is a giant on the battlefield waiting for him. The white collar criminal may find himself toe to toe with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, The United States Secret Service, U.S. Customs, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Any one of these giants would be hard to fight. In white collar crimes, the criminal may have to face more than one.
If you have been accused of a white collar crime, you know the magnitude of the crime. Make no mistake about it; even a minor white collar crime has long-lasting consequences. You need a white collar crime attorney. You do not know where the chips will fall, but one thing you do know is you cannot fight these giants without an experienced white collar crime lawyer.