White-collar crimes refer to the types of offenses that are usually motivated by financial gain. They’re typically committed by high-ranking professionals such as managers, executives, or politicians working in large corporations, and involve large sums of money.
Arizona takes white-collar crimes seriously, since they can be costly not just to the business or corporation, but also to the national economy. The courts tend to impose heavy penalties on those who are convicted of certain types of white-collar crimes.
If you’re faced with this type of charge, it’s crucial that you get an experienced white-collar crime lawyer on your side.
Goldman Law can help you build the best possible defense strategy against the allegations being brought against you.
Categories of White-Collar Crime
White-collar crimes fall under two categories:
- Occupational Crimes: Occupational white-collar crimes are designed to game the system. They’re quite similar to organized crime as they involve people who work together in using fraud or deceit to further their personal gain. An example of an occupational white-collar crime includes manufacturing or modifying records to secure money that would have otherwise gone to the corporation or company.
- Corporate Crimes: Corporate crimes involve crimes that are perpetrated by the company itself, instead of its employees. These crimes are committed to reap undue advantages for the company. Some examples of corporate white-collar crimes are false advertising, environmental pollution, the production of dangerous products, and patent violations. Corporate white-collar crimes are heavily penalized in the state because of the extent of their impact.
Types of White-Collar Crimes
Below are some of the most common white-collar crimes:
- Embezzlement refers to the misappropriation of money or assets that were legally entrusted to someone else. The perpetrator should have the intention of perpetually depriving the legal owner of the asset in question.
- Securities Fraud happens when a financial advisor trades securities or stocks to deceive investors or make a personal gain. Inside trading is a common example of this type of white-collar crime.
- Cybercrimes encompass a broad range of activities. Some of the most common ones involve larceny, hacking, releasing malware or a virus, changing or damaging essential data or programs, stealing information, and many others. These activities use the internet to deceive victims or carry out scams.
- Forgery involves producing a replica of something valuable like works of art or money—in the latter, it is referred to as counterfeiting. It can also involve affixing someone else’s signature to a document like a contract, a check, a loan agreement, or a credit card application.
- Identity Theft comes in numerous forms. It involves knowingly taking, manufacturing, purchasing, or using another person’s identifying information to cause harm or implement an illegal purpose. Some examples of this are credit card fraud, employer-related fraud, or insurance fraud.
Investigating White-Collar Crimes
A person who suspects another person’s involvement in a white-collar crime can report to the relevant government agency, which may be any one of the following:
- Securities and Exchange Commission
- Internal Revenue Service
- Department of Justice
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
These agencies will then perform their own investigation and decide whether they need to involve the police. Because most white-collar crimes involve monetary gain, they’ll work with bank investigators, financial authorities and regulators, and forensic accountants to track transactions and discover more evidence.
If you’re being investigated by these agencies or the police for a white-collar crime, contact a white-collar crime lawyer as soon as possible to create a strategic and effective defense for the allegations against you.
Prosecuting White-Collar Crimes
Prosecutors are in charge of reviewing any allegations of white-collar crimes. They’ll also decide which charges to file. Often, the accused will be facing crimes at the higher end of the spectrum. This is a typical tactic to pressure the accused into working towards a plea deal in order to avoid the heavier penalties.
Although white-collar crimes are typically non-violent in nature, the penalties are steep. A lot of them are categorized as felonies, and many involve years of jail time and hefty fines. Because of the high stakes involved, hiring a white-collar crime lawyer is crucial in creating a strong defense.
Defenses to White-Collar Crimes
A white-collar crime lawyer will guide you through the legal process and design a strong defense strategy for your case. Here are some of the defenses that they may use:
- Incapacity means that a person doesn’t possess the right mental capacity to commit the crime being charged against them.
- Lack of intent means that the accused had no intention to commit the crime or were not aware that what they had done constituted a crime.
- Intoxication can reduce the sentence. This is because being under the influence of drugs or alcohol means that the accused wasn’t in full control of their behavior.
- Entrapment or duress means that someone else forced the accused to commit the crime by threatening, blackmailing, intimidating, or entrapping.
- Insufficient evidence can absolve the defendant from liability. This just means that the prosecution was unable to present sufficient evidence to reasonably establish their guilt.
Contact a Qualified Phoenix Defense Lawyer to Protect Your Freedom & Future
A white-collar crime conviction can adversely impact your life for a long time to come. To protect your interests and overcome the charges against you, you need to have an experienced and qualified lawyer by your side.
Your choice in representation can mean the difference between incarceration and freedom.
Howard Dworman is a Phoenix white-collar crime lawyer who is devoted to providing the best possible defense representation for his clients.
Contact us today at (602) 698-5520. We will work closely with you to safeguard your freedom.