“White collar crime” is a term that came into use in the first part of the twentieth century to describe any illegal activity that was committed by a person of “high status in the course of his occupation.” The term was meant to create a distinction between crimes of violence and nonviolent crimes being committed for personal commercial gain. White collar crime is broadly described as “lying, cheating and stealing” by the FBI, and more specifically as “deceit, deception, concealment, manipulation, breach of trust, subterfuge or illegal circumvention” by the Department of Justice.
White collar crime charges are brought by the federal government, and these charges are generally brought after the authorities have invested months and sometimes years into investigating and preparing their cases. The white collar criminal defense attorneys at Bochetto & Lentz have defended businesses and individuals in a variety of white collar crimes, and have successfully resolved many of them without litigation and before prosecution is necessary. White collar crimes include:
- Bank Fraud
Bank fraud is intentionally defrauding or attempting to defraud a financial institution or pretending to be a bank or financial institution. It can include everything from stolen checks and check kiting to fraudulent mortgage applications and wire transfer fraud.
- Securities Law Violations
Securities laws exist for the protection of investors. They ensure that they are getting accurate information about the value of the securities that they are considering purchasing, and violations of those laws involve providing incorrect information to investors with the intent of defrauding them. Other violations include stock manipulation, misstatements on financial reports and outright theft.
Embezzlement is a kind of financial fraud that involves withholding money from its intended purpose and using it for another. It is usually premeditated and systematic, with assets being taken in increments small enough that the theft will not be detected.
- Advance Fee Schemes
Advance fee schemes are frauds perpetrated by convincing a victim that they have won a prize or are due some kind of monetary benefit but need to advance a fee in order to receive it. They have become increasingly common with use of the Internet to advance the schemes.
- Environmental Crime
An environmental crime is the knowing or willful violation of federal environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act or Clean Air Act. Examples include illegal dumping of hazardous waste, the illegal discharge of pollutants into U.S. waters, the inappropriate removal or disposal of asbestos.
The RICO Act (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) was originally written as a way to rein in the mafia’s criminal activities, but Congress expanded the law to include any organization guilty of such crimes as tax evasion, mail fraud, and more.
The FBI pursues white collar criminal cases aggressively, and the attorneys of Bochetto & Lentz understand the importance of putting up an equally aggressive defense. If you are under investigation or have been accused of a white collar crime, our experience can help. Our goal to get your case dismissed quickly or to win your case at trial.