White collar crimes are theft crimes that are committed in a business or corporate setting. White collar crimes may be investigated by both state and federal groups such as the FBI, IRS, and CIA. Anyone who works for a business may be prosecuted for these crimes; however, they are most often prosecuted against executives, board members, and top company officers. There are many different crimes that are considered white collar crimes including:
- Insider Trading / Securities Fraud
- Pyramid Schemes
- Money Laundering
Many white collar crimes entail large amounts of money. When large sums of money are involved it is more likely that the crimes will be investigated by federal rather than state agencies. Investigations can be lengthy and may be disruptive for your ongoing business. The penalties for conviction of white collar crimes vary greatly but depend on the amount of money that is involved and the type of crime committed. Many white collar crimes that are prosecuted are newsworthy and gain media attention.
The penalties for conviction of white collar crimes can vary greatly depending on the seriousness of the crime, the amount of money involved, and the criminal record of the individual. California uses a “Three Strike” law. Those who are convicted a second or third time will receive double the penalty of the first-time offender. Most convictions of white collar crimes will involve:
- Jail Time
- Community Service
- Probation or Parole
If you have been charged with a white collar crime or you anticipate a possible charge, consult with an attorney immediately. The sooner the attorney becomes involved the better your defense case will be. Your attorney will work to vigorously defend your case to try to lower charges, reduce or eliminate bail, and reduce the sentence if convicted.