Federal White Collar Crimes
Federal white-collar offenses encompass various forms of fraud. If computers or phones are used to defraud individuals, businesses or the government you can be charged with wire fraud and face up to 20 years in federal prison. Mail fraud likewise has a 20 year penalty range. The use of the postal system to perpetuate a fraud scheme can result in a mail fraud charge. Defrauding a bank or financial institution can result in a bank fraud charge with a penalty up to 30 years in prison. Using proceeds to further a fraud scheme or the attempt to disguise ill gotten gains can result in a money laundering charge. Money laundering also has a 30 year prison range. The actual punishment range for a specific case would be determined under the federal sentencing guidelines. Such factors as the dollar amount of loss to the fraud, whether actual or intended, the person’s role in the fraud, whether mass marketing or sophisticated means were used, including others, would all be issues considered by the sentencing judge in determining the appropriate punishment. White collar investigations are usually complex and extensive. Punishments can not only result in lengthy prison sentences but also include forfeiture of assets and restitution.
If you anticipate being charged with a federal white-collar crime it would be in your best interest to hire an experienced federal white-collar crime lawyer early to protect your rights. Do not wait to be charged! Valuable time could be lost. Many times in federal fraud investigations, the investigators will reach out to an individual requesting documents to be provided either voluntarily or by subpoena. Thus giving you a heads up. The government may request an interview with an individual under investigation for an explanation. Do not think you can just talk your way out of it on your own. The FBI would not be knocking on your door if they had not done substantial background work already. Hiring a lawyer early in the process, would enable the early preparation of a defense, allow the lawyer to independently investigate the government’s claims and give the attorney the opportunity to meet with the government prior to any grand jury proceedings with the aim of minimizing the claims if not outright dissuading the government from pursuing charges.
If you are still indicted after retaining counsel, your surrender can be arranged so you can turn yourself in to the authorities, rather than being arrested in front of your family or at the workplace. If the government wants you detained while the case is pending in court, a hearing can be held before a magistrate to secure your release. At a detention hearing, the government must reveal details of it’s case in order to hold an individual while the case is pending in court. The defense can counter the government’s effort to detain with their own witnesses.
I will advise you of what I think are your best options after thoroughly reviewing and discussing the case with you. If there is a plausible defense and the case should be tried, so be it, that’s what I do.