When people think of serious crimes, they usually envision violent acts. However, white collar crimes are also very serious acts that have lasting effects.
For this reason, the courts take white collar charges very seriously, and those facing such charges face heavy repercussions. There are a few key elements of the charges to be aware of.
There are several types of acts that fall under the white collar crime umbrella. A few of the most common types of white collar crimes include:
- Money laundering
- Identity theft
- Corporate fraud
- Mortgage fraud
In general, acts that involve using dishonest tactics such as deceit or violation of trust to obtain the funds of other people usually fall under the white collar crime classification.
A simple white collar crime case, such as one involving embezzlement sometimes begins following an audit. The victim then files a complaint with a law enforcement agency. Other white collar crimes can be highly complex, multi-layered fraud cases requiring intense investigations. In these, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the IRS, SEC, a U.S. attorney, or a state law enforcement agency, coordinate their investigations to uncover the evidence needed to bring an indictment.
Claimants are able to file civil cases seeking compensation for the funds and assets that were allegedly stolen by the accused party. The government may also file a civil case, as well as an asset forfeiture case, where they seek to seize all items that the alleged offender may have stolen.
Penalties in some white collar crime cases can be extremely harsh, harsher even than those for some heinous violent crimes. This is especially so for offenses that are large in scope or have a wide impact.
These are just a few elements to be aware of in regard to white collar crime charges. A person who faces charges should speak with an attorney experienced in high-level white collar crime cases. The stakes can be very high, so if you are under investigation or are at risk, get legal help as soon as possible.