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We have included in the section a brief overview into what White Collar Crime is as well as what anyone facing a White Collar Investigation may confront. The information contained herein is not indented as legal advice, but is simply informational.
White Collar Crime is a term generally used to describe a number of non-violent crimes that are usually grouped together. These crimes typically have in common some form of theft and are normally financial crimes. They are usually complex and technical.
Anyone requiring a White Collar Crime defense will need a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who is also a skillful negotiator and tactician. Always be careful when choosing an attorney, but even more so with regards to this specialty. Not all criminal defense attorneys or criminal law firms can defend white collar criminal charges as these charges are usually very complex and frequently include multiple counts indictments.
If the charges faced are Federal charges, then you will need an attorney well versed in Federal court procedures and you will need a lawyer who can navigate the evidence against you and be able to exploit every aspect of the case that may favor you. Attorney Martin E. Regan, Jr. can provide you with the effective and strong legal defense needed to refute White Collar Crime charges.
If you or a loved one face an investigation or prosecution into White Collar Crimes call us.
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White Collar Crime
White collar crime is, to many, a very egregious event. Most people cannot understand how or why a well-educated, prosperous member of society engages in theft or wrongdoing. I do not know the answers to those questions either. But I do know that sometimes it happens: maybe due to a momentary lapse of moral fortitude, temptations or circumstances that might have pushed an individual to act in a way that he normally would not have. But I also know that sometimes the accusation is unfounded or simply not true.
In my 38 years of practice, I have made it my priority to protect and care for the freedom of my clients to the best of my ability. I have done so by always focusing on the client´s right to his day in court and by carefully challenging the government’s case against my client. The prosecution makes mistakes; innocent people are convicted daily and as I have said before, one wrongful conviction is devastating as well as catastrophic not only to the accused, but also to the family.
Let’s take one example of white-collar crime:
A physician who has been accused of Medicare or Medicaid fraud faces a tremendous challenge. The investigation against him and/or his practice will most probably be conducted by the FBI and/or State Agencies, both with tremendous resources at their disposal. To go up against such formidable opponents, the physician will have to have an experienced lawyer that can mount a proper defense. Such prosecution will require a defense attorney unafraid of a vigorous test of the government´s evidence.
Even when the accused is in fact willing to plead guilty because the evidence against him or her is substantial, a strong and experienced criminal defense attorney is well-positioned to negotiate the best plea deal possible. If you or a loved one is facing circumstances such as the ones I have addressed here, I advise you not to settle for a quick solution even when you think you are in real trouble. Seek counsel and get a good lawyer.
White collar crime, of course, is not limited to Medicare or Medicaid fraud. There are many other forms which are just as serious.
Forms of White Collar Crime
White collar crime refers to a nonviolent crime financially motivated, committed by a business, government employee, or professional.
White Collar Crime was first defined in 1939 by sociologist Edwin Sutherland as,
“a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.”
Typical white-collar crimes and a quick overview of each:
ü Medicare and Medicaid Fraud
ü Ponzi Schemes
ü Insider Trading
ü Cybercrime (Computer Crime)
ü Copyright Infringement
ü Money Laundering
ü Identity Theft
Fraud is defined as a deception deliberately practiced for the purpose of securing unfair or unlawful gain. For purposes of law, fraud is both a civil and criminal wrong.
Civil: A victim of fraud may sue the fraud perpetrator to recover monetary compensation for the criminal wrongdoing perpetrated against the victim.
Criminal: The fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities for defrauding people or organizations of money or valuables or benefits even if no one has been deprived of valuables.
Bribery is the act of giving money or gifts in order to alter the behavior of the recipient. Black´s Law Dictionary defines Bribery as the “offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of an item(s) of value for the purpose of influencing the actions of a government official during the course of their public or legal scope of work.”
A Bribe is an actual gift, or promise of a gift, offered to other(s) in order to influence the recipient’s conduct or to influence their official/ public capacity. The item, money, object of value, or mere promise of future remuneration may be for the purpose of influencing future action or votes.
Medicare and Medicaid Fraud:
Medicare and Medicaid Fraud is generally defined as the action(s) of person(s) or corporation(s) that seeks to collect public health reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid under false pretenses.
There are many different forms of Medicare and Medicaid fraud although all with the same goal, that is: to collect money from the Medicare of Medicaid program by illegal or fraudulent means.
Medicare and Medicaid fraud is usually:
- Billing for unnecessary procedures, or procedures that are not performed. Billing for unnecessary medical test(s) never performed. Billing for unnecessary equipment, or equipment that is billed as new equipment but is actually used equipment.
- Up-coding is a system by which bills are inflated by using a billing code that indicates the patient needs expensive procedure(s).
The Ponzi Scheme is named after Charles Ponzi, a man infamous for using the technique in 1920. Although he first started using the scheme with lesser schemes, he perfected the concept when he began to divert investors’ money to make payments to earlier investors and to himself.
A Ponzi Scheme is simply a fraudulent operation where high returns on investment are promised to investors of new capital when, in fact, the new capital is used to pay previous investors from actual profits earned. Operators of Ponzi schemes usually lure new investors by offering much higher returns than other, more conventional investments. These high yield investments are usually short-term returns that are either unusually high or extraordinarily consistent. In order to maintain these high returns, the operation requires an ever-increasing flow of money from new investors.
Insider trading is the act of trading a public company´s stock or securities, i.e., bonds or stock options by person(s) with access to information concerning the company traded, which is not available to the general public.
Certain categories of insiders may engage in trade as long as the trading does not rely on information regarding the company that is not in the public domain. In the United States, trading by corporate officers and key employees of the company, as well as directors and significant shareholders, has to be reported to the regulators within a few business days from the date the trade occurred.
Rules and regulations regarding insider trading are complex. The definition of insider trading may not only apply to the traders themselves, but also relatives, business associates and brokers.
Anyone with knowledge of non-public information who trades based on that knowledge may be guilty.
Embezzlement is a form of financial fraud. For example, a financial advisor could embezzle funds from investors, or a trusted employee could embezzle funds from their employer. Embezzlement may range from very small amounts, to vast fortunes, and may refer to simple monetary transactions or to large sophisticated schemes.
Embezzlement refers to falsification of records for the purpose of concealing financial transactions or activities. Embezzlement may take the form of secretive removal of relatively small amounts of money performed repeatedly, systematically, and methodically in order to conceal the scheme.
Embezzling should not be confused with Skimming. Skimming refers more to under-reporting income while pocketing the difference.
Embezzlement is a felony offense in the United States. It is a statutory offense; therefore, the definition of the specific crime may differ from statute to statute. Some elements of Embezzlement are:
- Fraudulent: The defendant knowingly and without claim of right or mistake converted the property for his or her own use.
- Conversion: Embezzlement is a crime against ownership. In other words, the Conversion element requires considerable interference with the true owner’s property rights.
- Property: Embezzlement statutes do not limit the crime to conversions of personal property.
- Of another: A person cannot embezzle his own property.
- Lawful possession: The critical element is that the defendant must have been in lawful possession of the property at the time of the fraudulent conversion and not mere custody of the property.
In the U. S., Larceny is considered a theft. Larceny is taking, removing or carrying away the property of others with the intention of depriving the other of their possessions or belongings. Theft also is a term that encompasses those acts that take away anything of value from their rightful owner without their consent and may also include the intent to permanently deprive someone of something which belongs to them.
Larceny is a term also used to describe fraudulent conduct, mis-representation, or practices.
Cybercrime or Computer Crime:
Cybercrime or Computer Crime refers to a crime that involves the use of a computer or a network.
These crimes have been defined as wrongdoing committed against individual(s) for the purpose of intentionally causing harm.
This type of crime may refer to:
ü Threats to a nation’s security
ü Financial Theft
ü Cyber Warfare
Copyright Infringement is a term which describes the unauthorized use of work or material protected by copyright law without permission of the author or the owner of the material.
Infringement refers to interference with the exclusive rights granted to the rightful owner of the protected work.
The term Copyright Infringement is often equated with piracy or theft and is often used to describe music downloaded without authorization.
Money Laundering is the procedure by which profits of criminal activity are converted into apparently legitimate money or other assets. Conversely, the term has also come to mean other things, including other forms of financial crime as well as other crimes against the financial system, such as tax evasion.
It is said that “money laundering” was a term derived from the American mafia´s practice of moving profits derived from illegal activities through coin laundry operations in order to legitimize money by laundering it. Today, the term “Money Laundering” is used widely. It is a very sophisticated and complex process that may include many unsuspecting national, as well as international, banking institutions.
Identity Theft is a term used to identify theft of another´s identity. In other words, a person pretends to be someone else by assuming that person´s identity by means of stolen or forged documents, or means including identifying documents (e.g., name, identification documents or numbers, credit card number and information), in order to commit fraud or any other gain.
This is a form of criminal activity that is often associated with attempts to obtain credit and other benefits in the victim´s name. An Identity Theft victim is likely to suffer adverse consequences if they are held accountable for the perpetrator´s actions.
Examples of Types of Identity Theft:
ü Criminal Identity Theft: Pretending to be someone else if apprehended.
ü Financial Identity Theft: Use of another´s identity in order to obtain credit or goods.
ü Identity Cloning: Assuming another´s identity to become them.
ü Medical Identity Theft: Using another’s identity to obtain medical care/drugs.
ü Child Identity Theft: Theft of a child´s social security number.
Forgery is a crime of deceit and deception.
Forgery is a White Collar Crime. At its most basic, it is a crime associated with the unauthorized copying or reproduction of another´s signature, altering existing documents, preparation of falsified or fraudulent documents, reproduction of works of art as well as manufacturing of counterfeit currency.
Usually, a person accused of Forgery will be charged with fraud.
Identity Theft and Forgery are often connected. Assuming another person´s identity may include preparation or purchase of another person´s documents, either for financial gain or for immigration purposes.
We Urge to Seek Legal Representation Immediately.
If you or a loved one has been involved in, or has cause to believe the authorities are investigating matters concerning any form of White Collar Crime, contact a local criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Make no mistake: White Collar Crime is an extremely serious charge with grave penalties and consequences. Seek legal counsel right away. A skillful attorney can help you navigate the criminal justice system and obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
We at the law firm of Regan Law, P.L.C., can offer you the guidance you need during these difficult times. Our team of experienced attorneys, under the leadership of Attorney Martin E. Regan, Jr. can help you now. Call us.