White Collar Crimes

If you’ve been charged with a white collar crime, it can be extremely frightening and stressful. White collar crimes are treated very seriously by law enforcement, which means that your finances and even freedom are on the line.

White collar crimes are generally considered felonies, and the consequences of a conviction are significant. Depending on the charges, penalties can include loss of professional licenses, thousands of dollars in fines, and from six months to many years of incarceration. After time has been served and the fines have been paid, the ramifications of a felony can remain: a felony conviction can make it difficult to find new employment and even housing. Because of the seriousness of these types of charges, having an experienced attorney on your side is critical.

At Horwitz & Horwitz, LLC, we have the experience and knowledge to help you. Before opening his practice as a criminal defense attorney, Jon Horwitz worked as a prosecutor in Montgomery County, where he tried many cases involving white collar crimes. His experience in this area gives him unique insight into how the prosecution handles a white collar crime case, which can benefit you.

Our firm has successfully handled a variety of complex cases involving white collar crimes, including:

  • Mail and wire fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • RICO
  • Securities fraud
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Internet fraud

White collar crime is generally considered to be any non-violent act which involves some sort of deception. Usually, the crime is committed by a business person or public official, and the evidence in such crimes usually involves a paper trail which investigators use to prosecute the accused. The same kinds of crime which were committed by a corporation or other legal entity also falls within the white- collar crime definition. Although white-collar crimes are committed by people from all walks of life and status, the term “white collar crime” is still used to distinguish such non-violent crimes from more common “street” crimes.

White-Collar Crime Facts

According to Trac Reports, white-collar criminal prosecutions were at their lowest level in 2018 over the past two decades. The Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service and the Postal Service are the agencies with the largest number of white-collar referrals. As of the end of 2018, fraud by wire, radio or television was the top white-collar crime charged, followed by mail fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit or defraud and health care fraud.  The Southern District of New York (Manhattan) had the highest number of white-collar criminal prosecutions, followed by the Southern District of Florida (Miami) and the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis).

Various Types of White-Collar Crime

Embezzlement is by far the most common form of white-collar crime, usually involving the theft of money or other property by a person who has been entrusted with it. Embezzlement is also known as larceny, meaning someone else’s property was taken without payment. Extortion is more commonly known as blackmail and involves threatening someone to reveal embarrassing or damaging facts about that person to their family or the public unless they pay not to have the threat carried out. Extortion can also include other threats such as physical harm or damage to another’s property.

Fraud charges often pertain to health care fraud or tax fraud and involve dishonesty which is calculated to gain an advantage. Fraud is most common in buying or selling property such as real estate as well as intangible property such as stock and bonds. Other forms of white-collar crime which are not as prevalent are price fixing, racketeering, computer fraud, perjury, securities fraud and environmental law violations.

Forgery is another type of white-collar crime. Under Ohio Revised Code §2913.31, a person could be charged with forgery if he or she:

  • Forges an ID card;
  • Sells a forged ID card;
  • Forges any type of writing in an attempt to make it appear genuine, or
  • Forges another person’s writing without his or her authority.

Forgery can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor or a second, third, fourth or fifth-degree felony, depending on the circumstances surrounding the charges.

Identity theft or identity fraud is a more and more common white-collar criminal offense. Using, obtaining or possessing another person’s personally identifying information without having received expressed consent from that person while having the intent to represent the identifying information as their own or pretend to be the person can result in identity theft or identity fraud charges. Identify fraud or theft can be charged as a first, second, third, fourth or fifth-degree felony, depending on the circumstances.

Medicaid fraud is also becoming more and more common. An individual can be charged with the offense of Medicaid fraud if he or she knowingly makes or causes to be made a false or misleading statement with a goal of receiving reimbursement or using the medical assistance program. Medicaid fraud can be charged as a third, fourth or fifth-degree felony.

How White-Collar Crimes are Prosecuted

Depending on whether a state or federal law has been broken, the crime may be prosecuted at the state or federal level. Those who are convicted of a white-collar crime will usually spend time in jail, be responsible for making restitution to the victims of the crime and will be hit with large fines. As our world becomes more and more high-tech white-collar crime is on the rise, most especially those crimes which involve the use of computers. The bottom line is that if you are convicted of a white-collar crime your life will change in ways you cannot imagine. Your entire future is at risk, and your honesty and integrity are being questioned. Such charges can damage your professional and personal reputation and can be very hard to recover from especially if you are convicted.

Getting the Help You Need

If you have been charged with a white-collar crime it is a sure bet that you feel you have been backed into a corner with no way out. What you need most right now is a highly experienced criminal defense attorney from Horwitz & Horwitz who will take on the government head-on with an early trial strategy. Your criminal defense attorney will focus on getting your criminal charges dismissed early on, and if that is not possible, he or she will turn their attention to winning your case at trial.  It is extremely important that you have the most knowledgeable attorney by your side—one who fully understands the challenges of white-collar crime cases.  You will find such an attorney at Horwitz & Horwitz Law. We will ensure your legal rights—as well as your future—are protected if you have been charged with a white-collar crime.

Never talk to officials or answer any of their questions regarding a potential investigation until you have discussed the matter thoroughly with your Horwitz & Horwitz white-collar crime attorney. Time is of the essence right now and you must not delay getting legal representation the moment you have been charged with a white-collar crime or even if you suspect you may be.

If you are facing white collar crime charges, contact us today. We will take your case from start to finish, investigating the charges, exploring your options, and crafting the best possible defense for you. We give straightforward advice and make sure that you are involved and informed throughout your case. When you work with our firm, you will be working directly with Jon Horwitz. Together, we can move toward the best possible solution.