White collar crimes are a complex set of criminal offenses. Unlike violent or sexual crimes, white collar crimes are normally crimes related to business transactions in regulated industries that are intentionally committed with the goal of financial gain. These crimes are typically executed by working professionals in business or government.
The federal government has increased its focus on white collar investigations in recent years. As the numbers of agents dedicated to investigating white collar offenses increases, so do the number of prosecutions.
White collar offenders may be prosecuted under both federal and state law, depending on the severity and complexity of their case. If a prosecution is being pursued under federal law, there are a variety of agencies (FBI, IRS, HHS, SEC, DOL, DOD) with a vast amount of resources at the government’s disposal.
Types of White Collar Crimes
“White collar crime” is an umbrella term for a variety of crimes:
- Money Laundering
- Identity Theft
- Tax Evasion
- Insider Trading
- Public Corruption
- Insurance Fraud
- Tax Fraud
- Federal Program Fraud
- Health Care Fraud (including Medicare and Medicaid Fraud)
- Bankruptcy Fraud
- Mail Fraud
- Wire Fraud
- Securities Fraud
- Mortgage Fraud
What To Do If You Are Under Investigation
If you are under investigation by the federal government for a white collar crime then you should act with precaution. There are a few things we’d like to point out in order to help you better handle the situation:
Avoid Talking To Others About Your Case
Doing so could jeopardize your defense in the case. The individual(s) you speak to may be asked to speak in court and/or be questioned by the federal government. Depending on the context of your conversation with them, you may also be charged with obstruction of justice.
Avoid Rash Decision Making
Under growing tension and stress you may inadvertently create complications for your defense. The most common of which stems from individuals panicking and altering or altogether removing evidence, both in the form of computer files and physical documents. Do not destroy or alter evidence, regardless of whether or not it works in your favor. It is a crime. When you are facing the federal government, you should remember the amount of resources and tools they have. They can and will figure out if you have modified any potential evidence and doing so is a major red flag that may result in you being prosecuted for obstruction of justice (among other potential charges).
It is also important to understand that you are not obligated to speak with federal agents and that if you are approached you should contact an attorney immediately. However, if you do speak with agents, do not to lie. Lying will only create future (and sometimes immediate) problems in your case.
Preparing A Defense
It’s worth noting that at times, individuals accused of a white collar crime are not aware of any wrongdoing—they may have not known that a certain act could be defined as criminal. Many times this can be attributed to working in a corporate structure under someone else whose intent may have been criminal, making that employee or individual an unknowing co-conspirator to a much larger scheme.
If you have been falsely accused of committing a white collar crime or are somehow involved in one, it’s important that you engage yourself with an experienced and dedicated attorney.
Our proactive approach to your defense starts with a detailed account of your investigation. For us to pursue the best plan based on your specific circumstances we need to understand the full scope of the case.
Whatever your role in the investigation, you need to know your options. Often, federal white collar criminal cases get intertwined with civil cases. You want an experienced attorney who understands both sides of this process to help you find the best available option.
The best thing to do before any action is to consult with a specialized attorney.
Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Under the scrutiny of white collar crime allegations both your career and reputation are at stake. White collar criminal defense requires specific experience and knowledge from your defense counsel. As a firm of former federal prosecutors, Elliott Sauter has the experience and insight required to handle white collar criminal defense cases. Your career and reputation are on the line and that means you need to take aggressive action.