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White-Collar Crime: What You Need to Know

White-Collar Crime: What You Need to Know

The History of White-Collar Crimes

When we think of criminals, we often picture individuals far removed from financial stability. However, numerous financial crimes are committed by business professionals across the nation. In 1939, the FBI coined the term “white-collar crime” to describe these types of offenses. But what are the most common types of white-collar crimes, and how can you defend yourself against such charges?

What’s White-Collar Crime?

White-collar crimes are non-violent crimes committed primarily for financial gain by business professionals or government workers. Although the perpetrators often occupy well-paying positions, they commit these acts to obtain more wealth or secure an undue advantage through fraudulent means.

Historically, society assumed these types of crimes were less serious due to the absence of violence and the misconception that they lacked real victims. However, modern courts recognize the significant impact of financial fraud, treating these crimes with the seriousness they deserve.

Most Common White-Collar Crimes

White-collar crimes encompass a range of offenses, all motivated by financial gain. Some of the most common types include:

  • Corporate Fraud: Involves deceptive practices to secure an unfair or unlawful financial gain, including falsifying financial statements.
  • Healthcare Fraud: Includes billing for services not rendered, upcoding, and filing duplicate claims.
  • Money Laundering: The process of making large amounts of money generated by a criminal activity appears to have come from a legitimate source.
  • Embezzlement: The theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one’s trust or belonging to one’s employer.
  • Tax Evasion: The illegal act of not paying taxes owed.
  • Insurance Fraud: Includes filing false claims or inflating damage assessments.
  • Extortion: Obtaining money or property through coercion.
  • Ponzi Schemes: Investment frauds that pay returns to earlier investors using the capital of newer investors rather than profit.

Other offenses such as insider trading, securities fraud, and computer fraud also fall under this category. These crimes are regulated by both state and federal laws, and depending on the scale of the offense, federal agencies like the FBI might get involved in investigations.

Defending Against White-Collar Crime Accusations

If you’ve been accused of committing a white-collar crime, it is crucial to take the allegations seriously. These crimes are often classified as felonies, carrying severe penalties including substantial fines and imprisonment. Here are key strategies used to defend against white-collar crime accusations:

  • Lack of Intent: This defense argues that the accused did not knowingly commit a crime. To secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the act was done willfully and intentionally.
  • Entrapment: This defense claims that law enforcement agents induced the accused to commit the crime, which they otherwise would not have done.
  • Insufficient Evidence: Demonstrating that the evidence presented by the prosecution is not strong enough to support a conviction.
  • Duress: Arguing that the accused was forced to commit the crime under threat of harm.

Steps to Take if Accused of a White-Collar Crime

  • Remain Calm and Seek Legal Counsel Immediately: It is essential to stay composed and not panic. Contact a qualified criminal defense attorney who specializes in white-collar crime without delay.
  • Gather and Preserve Evidence: Collect any documents, emails, or other evidence that might support your defense. Ensure that no evidence is destroyed, as this could be construed as obstruction of justice.
  • Do Not Discuss Your Case Publicly: Avoid talking about your case with anyone other than your attorney. Public statements can be used against you in court.
  • Cooperate with Your Attorney: Work closely with your attorney to build a strong defense. Provide them with all the information they need and follow their advice carefully.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer at Zegas Law About Your White-Collar Charges in New Jersey

Were you arrested or charged with white collar crimes in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Zegas Law have successfully represented clients charged with white collar crimes in Newark, Summit and throughout New Jersey. We understand the complexities of these cases and are committed to providing the vigorous defense you need.

Don’t leave your future to chance. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards safeguarding your future.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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