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White Collar Crimes: A Primer

Written by Moses & Rooth on September 11, 2015

White-collar crimes are financially-motivated crimes that can occur in almost any professional setting. Most commonly, white collar criminals will launder money, usurp corporate funds, commingle accounts, evade taxes, or commit other actions of fraud and indiscretion. The greatest misconception about white collar criminals is that they include only wealthy persons—while in fact, anybody can be involved in a white-collar crime and anybody can be a victim.

White Collar Crimes

Variations of theft, bribery, fraud, and embezzlement are the most commonly publicized white collar crimes in today’s society. However, unlawfully usurping government benefits is also considered a white collar crime—whether it be collecting unemployment, disability, or another form of public assistance. These crimes victimize not just an individual person, but the nation as a whole by taking advantage of benefits paid for by citizen’s taxes.

Despite the fact that anyone can be a white collar criminal, politicians, society’s elite, businesspeople, and financial employees are disproportionately involved in these types of actions. Most of these criminal schemes are complex, involve many people, and a complex organizational scheme. As such, white collar crimes can be very difficult for prosecutors to pursue. It can be difficult to gather sufficient evidence with so many players involved, especially since most of the evidence will be contained electronically via computer and finance systems that would require search warrants for federal investigators to analyze.

White Collar Criminal Punishments

White collar crimes tend to have very severe punishments because they are often federal crimes. The media constantly criticizes the seemingly lenient sentencing practices of white collar criminals, providing an opportunity to politicians to point to inadequacies in sentencing. Since white collar crimes are frequently associated with those of a higher socioeconomic status (which, as we know now, is not necessarily correct), there is a belief that the rich are “getting off”—that is, having their cases dismissed or their sentences not very severe.

Regardless of the truth or falsity of these claims, the punishments associated with white collar crimes can devastate a person’s professional reputation, monetary resources, and personal and emotional life. This is true even of a mere accusation. Crimes involving dishonesty are especially frowned upon in professional circles and accusations, especially those that lead to a conviction, can ruin a professional’s life. Any accusation should be taken extremely seriously and legal counsel should be obtained, regardless of your guilt or innocence.

Orlando, Florida White Collar Criminal Defense Attorneys

White collar criminals get a particularly bad reputation in our society. At Moses & Rooth, we understand that people make mistakes. We also understand that people may be falsely accused and become involved in things they did not intend. Regardless of the level of your involvement, if you have been accused of a white collar crime at either the state or federal level, you do have legal options. If you were falsely accused, you have a right to be compensated for damage to your reputation. If you were accused for something you actually did, you have the right to defend yourself in a court of law. Our knowledgeable white collar criminal defense attorneys have seen this area of the law from both sides and know how to accomplish a favorable result for our clients. The first step is contacting us; we will guide you though and ensure that you understand your rights every step of the way. Contact our Orlando office to start building your defense and increase your chances of a positive outcome today.

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