An accusation of white-collar crime is serious business. Due to their usually non-violent nature, some people may not realize the gravity of white-collar charges.
Those who face such criminal charges may have to endure hefty penalties. To create a proper defense in such instances, it is important to understand a few key facts about these crimes.
White-collar crimes encompass a large number of activities. However, they usually have the same underlying action of a party utilizing fraudulent means to seize the funds of another party. Some of the most common white-collar crimes include:
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Tax fraud
- Investment fraud
While these crimes are most common, they do not comprise an exhaustive list. In fact, there are a number of other actions that in part or completely embody white-collar crime.
Accused parties may face civil or criminal charges in regards to white-collar crimes. The offended party may pursue civil charges that if won, would reward them profits from the crime. The government may also choose to pursue charges, usually with a crime committed on a grand scale, such as within a corporation, or if it impacts a large number of people. If the prosecutor successfully argues the case, the court may award the government asset forfeiture, or the ability to seize all assets that resulted from the criminal activity.
Specific sentencing guidelines exist that courts follow in determining the full penalty for white-collar crimes. Along with restitution, these judgments may include fines, jail time or a combination of the two. Because the crimes tend to be non-violent, most courts do not usually assert the greatest penalties. However, in certain cases where the offense creates a strong negative effect, the guilty party may face the maximum penalties.
Knowing these key aspects of white-collar crimes can prove beneficial for those facing such accusations. It may also be beneficial to review the applicable laws in full.