A “white collar crime” in the context of federal offenses refers to non-violent financial or regulatory offense charged in a federal criminal court. Common crimes include health care fraud, embezzlement, extortion, mortgage fraud, money laundering, securities fraud, bribery, forgery, insurance fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, and others.
There type of federal offenses often involves a large financial loss and a conviction could result in a substantial amount of time in a federal prison. This means it's crucial to have a federal criminal defense lawyer with experience defending such crimes to have the best chance at a favorable outcome.
A major distinguishing feature of most federal white collar prosecutions is the sheer volume of discovery materials. These type of cases involve a continuous course of alleged unlawful conduct over many years.
In federal cases of alleged fraudulent conduct involving a business or government agency, the evidence in these cases will typically involve thousands of pages of documents.
Types of documents include insurance claims, bank statements, signed contracts – along with statements from witnesses, federal law enforcement reports, etc.
This means that document review and comprehension is crucial is a federal white collar case. In order to have any chance at a successful defense, a federal criminal lawyer has to have the ability to comprehend all these types of documents better than federal agents or prosecutors.
To give readers useful information about successfully defending clients against white collar fraud offenses, our federal criminal defense lawyers are providing an overview below.
Challenging Amount of Financial Loss
Most federal white collar crimes cases involve some type of claimed financial loss. Victims can be an individual, insurance carrier, or even a government agency.
In most cases, the total amount of claimed loss will determine how serious a case will be prosecuted and will also reflect in potential penalties a prosecutor will pursue.
Thus, making a challenge to the alleged claimed loss is crucial to the outcome of the case. It should be noted that just because a federal prosecutor makes claims there was a huge financial loss doesn't always mean they can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
This means it's important to establish the actual amount of loss in order for a federal criminal lawyer to effectively litigate the case. This is especially crucial in federal white collar offenses – where the total loss amount associated by acts of a defendant – have a substantial impact on the sentencing guidelines.
Challenging Criminal Intent
After reviewing relevant documents in the case, a defense lawyer must effectively communicate with their client to gain a complete understanding of all the details of the case. Federal white offenses are often connected to complex business organizations.
As in all federal criminal cases, a defendant's intent is a crucial element a prosecutor must be able to prove. In many cases, a prosecutor will attempt to prove intent using circumstantial evidence.
In white collar fraud cases, the federal prosecutor will attempt to show a defendant engaged in unlawful conduct through a complex paper trail of fraudulent documents connected to the defendant.
Our federal criminal defense lawyers may be able to make a reasonable argument their client simply made a mistake or were not aware the information they provided was inaccurate.
Our criminal attorneys might be able to take a position in the case where we acknowledge there were some inaccuracies in the documents prepared by our client – but they never had an intent to defraud – and therefore no crime was committed.
Maybe we could argue there was sloppy bookkeeping, or even cost-cutting procedures by a business owner that were misinterpreted a federal prosecutor to be an attempt to engage in fraudulent activity. We might be able to persuade a judge or jury that our client was simply careless or negligent, but had to criminal intent.
Breaking Down Complex Business Documents to Jury
In situations where the federal fraud case proceeds to a jury trial, a defendant will need an experienced federal criminal attorney who has the skills to effectively communicate their innocence to a jury.
In white collar offenses, this means the criminal lawyer must have the ability to break down complex business operations and documented evidence in a manner that clearly shows reasonable doubt a defendant is guilty of the charged offense.
For example, an effective communicator will be able to make ordinarily dry and boring topics, such as submitting insurance claims for reimbursement, easy and compelling to the jury and how they are connected to the larger theory of the criminal case.
In order to accomplish these crucial goals, a lawyer will need to thoroughly prepare as there are normally a massive amounts of documented evidence in all federal white collar cases.
Common Federal White Collar Crimes
18 U.S.C. § 1344 – Bank fraud
18 U.S.C. 1347 – Health Care Fraud
18 U.S.C. § 471 – Counterfeiting
18 U.S.C. § 873 – Extortion
18 U.S.C. § 471 – Forgery
15 U.S.C. § 78a – Insider Trading
26 U.S.C. § 7201 – Tax Evasion
18 U.S.C. § 1956 – Money Laundering
42 U.S.C. § 408 – Social Security Fraud
18 U.S.C. § 1341 – Mail Fraud
18 U.S.C. § 1343 – Wire Fraud
18 U.S.C. 371 – Conspiracy
42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b – Anti-Kickback Statute
18 U.S.C. § 287 – False Claims Act
18 U.S.C. 1348 – Securities Fraud
Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a family member is under a federal criminal investigation, or already indicted for any type of white collar offense such as a fraud related case, effective legal representation will be necessary to have the best chance at a favorable outcome.
Our top-rated federal criminal defense law has a record of success defending clients who have been accused of complex white collar fraud crimes in a federal court. We need to first review all the details of your case in order to determine an effective strategy. Call our law for a consultation with one of our experienced federal criminal lawyers.
Eisner Gorin LLP
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Los Angeles, CA 90067