When the term “white collar crime” comes up, it usually brings up images of professionals involved in financial crimes such as money laundering or embezzlement. For the most part, this characterization is true. Most white collar crime does involve money, deceit, and fraud within a business setting or involving government employees. White collar crime sometimes involves a large multi-layered fraud scheme, such as a pyramid scheme. Based on the nature and scope of the crimes, white collar crime can be prosecuted under both state and federal law.
The term white collar is itself used to reference the professionals who are often prosecuted or convicted on a wide range of financial crimes. These professionals wear a white collar to work, and are usually members of the educated middle to upper class. The person does not make the crime however, and just because a professional is arrested on a drug possession charge, does not mean that drug possession is also a white collar crime.
Examples of white collar crimes include:
- Public corruption
- Embezzlement fraud
- Tax evasion
- Tax fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Health care fraud
- Securities and commodities violations
- Insider trading
- Government bid rigging or procurement fraud
- Internet crimes
- Intellectual property theft
These are crimes that the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) characterizes as white collar crimes. This list is not exhaustive, however, and there are many other crimes that fall into this category.
Consequences for While Collar Crime Conviction
Despite the common belief that people who face white collar charges may not be harshly prosecuted, white collar crimes are eligible for tough sentences under both the federal sentencing guidelines and Texas law. People convicted of white collar crimes can face many years in prison and monetary fines, or receive a combination of both prison time and fines. There is also no guarantee that a person convicted of a white collar crime will be sentenced to a minimum security prison. In addition, the government could try and recover the financial loss to the victims of the crime through asset forfeiture and disgorgement.
This means that the government will try and recover the profits from a business that benefited from the alleged crime, or take any assets that are attributed to the crime. Sometimes, asset forfeiture results in assets that have nothing to do with the charged crime being seized, as well. If the person who is convicted of a white collar crime has a professional license, he or she may lose this license after the conviction. Losing a professional license can mean that even after the person gets out of prison, he or she may have a hard time getting readjusted and making a living.
Federal Criminal Defense Attorney in Texas
If you are charged with a white collar crime or have received a letter from the FBI informing you that you are the target of an investigation, you need to contact a federal criminal defense attorney with experience handling white collar crimes. Carl Haggard has over 30 years of experience with a verified winning case record. Carl accepts cases in all Texas Federal Judicial Districts. You need your attorney with you before you speak to any state or federal law enforcement officers. Contact The Haggard Law Firm for a free confidential consultation regarding your case and we will go to work fighting for you!