The term “white collar crime” evokes an image of a well-dressed businessman involved in espionage or insider trading. But in reality, white collar crimes can include everything from tax evasion to forgery. If you have been charged with any type of white collar crime, it is in your best interest to contact a defense attorney with extensive experience in this particular area of law.
At Davis & Cannon, LLP, our legal team has been providing comprehensive legal services to residents of Gillette, Cheyenne, Sheridan and all of Wyoming for more than 70 years. We have successfully defended countless clients against charges for white collar crimes.
What is a White Collar Crime?
Although this term applies to a wide variety of offenses, white collar crimes typically involve deceit-based activity that results in, or is motivated by, financial gain. The most common white collar crimes we defend include:
When an individual purposely deceives another for personal or financial gain, his/her actions may constitute fraud. This criminal offense comes in many forms, and can be a misdemeanor or a felony.
Forgery is one example of fraud. When someone alters the writing of another without that person’s consent, it is forgery. Signing an account holder’s name to an unsigned check and cashing it, without consent, is a very clear example of forgery in action. Depending on the type and severity of forgery committed, the offense could be a misdemeanor with up to six months in jail, or a felony offense punishable by hefty fines and up to 10 years imprisonment.
Other examples of fraud include writing false statements to obtain credit or property, money laundering, and sports bribery used to influence the outcome of an athletic event.
The crime of embezzlement typically occurs when an individual entrusted with the financial affairs of another mismanages or steals money or property for personal financial gain. The distinction between stealing money via embezzlement and stealing money through fraud or bank robbery, for example, is that the embezzler was granted legal access to the money or property in question.
Embezzlement frequently involves a family member who is caring for a relative, a corporate employee with access to company funds, and other professionals who deal with investor money. Basically, anyone in a position of trust who steals another’s money for their own financial gain is likely engaged in the crime of embezzlement.
Commonly referred to as blackmail, extortion is the act of obtaining property (usually money) by use of force, or by threatening someone. If an individual forces another to relinquish property against his will, he/she may be guilty of extortion. A conviction of extortion requires the use or threat of bodily injury, or the threat of serious public humiliation or ridicule.
The penalties for extortion are dependent on the type and severity of the offense and whether the individual has prior criminal history. In most cases, however, extortion is a felony offense punishable by between five and 25 years in prison.
“I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” If a person recites this oath in court and proceeds to willfully lie to the court, it is a felony offense called perjury. Penalties for perjury vary widely based on circumstances of the case and prior criminal history, but include hefty fines and up to five years in prison.
In 1970, Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in an effort to fight organized crime. Under RICO, individuals can be prosecuted for racketeering activities involved in a criminal enterprise. Prosecutable offenses include money laundering, illegal gambling, drug trafficking, embezzlement, counterfeiting, and more.
Why You Need a White Collar Crimes Defense Attorney
Because of the perceived “sophisticated nature” of white collar crimes, courts can be particularly harsh when it comes to sentencing. If you’ve been charged with embezzlement, forgery, money laundering, tax evasion, or perjury, you need an attorney experienced in these types of cases.
As with any type of crime, many defenses against white collar crime charges exist. The most common of these defenses is lack of intent. If, for example, you were mismanaging funds entrusted to you by another, but the mismanagement was accidental, an experienced attorney may be able to get the charges against you dropped. Entrapment, wherein you are persuaded by an undercover agent to engage in criminal activity that you wouldn’t have otherwise participated in, is another common defense against white collar crimes.
Contact Davis & Cannon, LLP Today
If you have been charged with a white collar crime, the skilled legal team at Davis & Cannon, LLP can help. We will analyze the details of your case to determine the most appropriate legal strategy for your unique situation, gathering necessary evidence and building a strong case in your favor. Do not go through this difficult time alone. We are here to help you protect your rights, and keep your record clean. Contact Davis & Cannon, LLP at _____ today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.