New York White Collar Criminal Charges Attorney/
Seasoned Defense Attorneys
White collar crimes encompass a variety of offenses that typically do not involve force or the threat of force. The common, simple explanation of the difference between white collar crimes and “blue collar crimes” (such as robbery, theft and carjacking) is that blue collar criminals use a gun, while white collar criminals use a pen or computer. White collar crimes are mostly committed by professionals such as business people, doctors, lawyers, bankers and the occasional politician. But not all white collar crimes are committed by professionals, everyday people commit them too.
The past decade or so, national, state and local government investigations of white collar crimes have increased. Law enforcement has expanded the number and scope of investigations. Hence, more people (including the innocent) find themselves being investigated and charged with white collar crimes. This is one reason why, if you even suspect you are the target of a white collar investigation, the best way to get out in front of it is to hire a seasoned criminal defense lawyer immediately to defend your interests during the investigation.
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Don’t make the mistake of waiting too long to contact a criminal defense lawyer! Time is of the essence, and your court date is fast approaching. If you’ve made a mistake and find yourself in trouble with the law, don’t give up.
Michael Litman, based in White Plains, NY, has over a decade of experience and knowledge about how to best defend individuals charged with misdemeanors.
What Constitutes White Collar Crime?
Most white collar crimes involve some type of fraud which is used for unlawful financial gain. Types of fraud include concealment, deception and other violations of a legal trust. Common forms of white collar crime include:
- Identity theft – The fraudulent acquisition and use of a person’s private identifying information for financial gain. It can be the victim’s driver’s license, Social Security number or any other uniquely identifying information. Reselling this information to a third party can also be prosecuted as either a state or a federal white collar crime.
- Bank fraud – Constitutes the use of any illegal means to obtain money, assets, or other property owned or held by a financial institution, or to obtain money from depositors by fraudulently posing as a bank or financial institution.
- Bankruptcy fraud – May take several forms: A debtor conceals assets to avoid having to forfeit them, or intentionally files false or incomplete forms, or attempts to (or actually does) bribe a court-appointed trustee.
- Bribery – The act of taking or receiving something with the intention of influencing the recipient – perhaps a politician or some other government official – in some way favorable to the party providing the bribe.
- Computer crimes – A very broad category of offenses such as larceny or fraud, except that a computer or the Internet is used in the commission of the crime.
- Credit card fraud – A wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using or involving a payment card (credit card or debit card) as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction.
- Embezzlement – The act of withholding assets for the purpose of conversion (theft) of the assets, by one or more persons to whom the assets were entrusted.
- Government benefit fraud –Committed by a person who fraudulently receives money from the government which they are not actually entitled to. Crimes commonly associated with this offense include Medicare, Medicaid, government housing, SNAP, or any other government-funded assistance.
- Insider trading – Is the illegal practice of trading on the stock exchange to one’s own advantage by benefitting from access to confidential information.
- Insurance fraud – Occurs when someone knowingly lies to obtain a benefit or advantage to which they are not otherwise entitled, or knowingly denies a benefit that is rightfully due to another entitled person or party.
- Securities fraud – Also referred to as stock fraud and investment fraud, this is a deceptive practice in the stock or commodities markets that tempts investors to make purchase or sale decisions based on false information – frequently resulting in losses – in violation of securities laws. When committed by using a telephone or telegraph, the suspect may also face federal Wire Fraud [18 U.S. Code § 1343]
- Tax fraud – Is the willful attempt to evade tax law or defraud the IRS. Tax fraud occurs when a person or company “intentionally fails to file an income tax return or willfully fails to pay taxes rightfully due.”
White Collar Criminal Penalties
Many believe those convicted of white collar crimes get easy “Club Fed” sentences in penitentiaries that resemble resorts. But the truth is quite different. If convicted, a person could face the same criminal penalties as those convicted of more violent theft crimes such as robbery and burglary. This involves many years of hard time behind bars. Other penalties accompany a white collar conviction, such as:
- Monetary fines – which can be tens of thousands of dollars
- Restitution – paying back what is stolen to the victims
- Home detention or halfway house – after being released from prison
- Community service – which can be hundreds of hours.
Federal White Collar Charges
In addition to the above white collar crimes list, there are a couple of “enhancement” federal criminal charges which U.S. Attorneys use to “poach” on state white collar criminals and take over their prosecution. If the feds can make a case for Money Laundering [18 U.S.C. § 1956] or a RICO (Organized Crime [18 U.S. Code § 96]) case, they will add them to the original charges. And if convicted, the defendant will face federal sentencing guidelines, with long sentences that are nothing short of Draconian.
Need Help? Reach Out, We’re Here to Protect You
If you have been charged with a white collar crime, or are being investigated for one, you want deeply experienced defense counsel on your side. To discuss the specific facts of your case and learn your best options, contact the Law Office of Michael D. Litman online or call us at (917) 554-8231.