White collar crimes are non-violent crimes that are committed in a business, corporate, or financial setting in an attempt to obtain a financial gain. They encompass a broad range of crimes, such as embezzlement, money laundering, and forgery. If you have been charged with one of these offenses, you may face large fines, loss of property, and a lengthy prison sentence. In addition, your professional reputation can be irreparably damaged and you may lose your job. Our experienced white collar crime lawyers understand the long-term ramifications of these crimes and are here to help you build the strongest defense possible so that the charges against you are dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.
Are You Being Charged With One of These White Collar Crimes?
The offenses that fall under white collar crimes often involve complex facts and legal issues and can be based on thousands of pages of complicated financial documents. While some crimes are misdemeanors, many are much more serious felonies. Here are some common crimes that our white collar crime lawyers can assist you with:
- Conspiracy. When two or more people agree to commit a crime or a lawful act in an unlawful manner, they can be charged with conspiracy as well as the underlying offense. Conspiracy to commit a felony, terrorism, larceny, or fraud are just a few of the many conspiracy offenses. The penalties can vary widely depending on the specific crime and can range from one year in jail and a fine for a misdemeanor offense to life in prison.
- Embezzlement. Embezzlement is a misdemeanor if the amount taken was less than $200 and a felony if the value of what was embezzled was worth more than $200. This crime is the fraudulent removal of money or property from the rightful owner for financial gain by a person entrusted with the money or property due to his job. If convicted of a felony, the punishment can be up to 20 years in prison, a $2,500 fine, and restitution.
- Money laundering. Money laundering involves the use of funds obtained through illegal means for lawful enterprises. Drug dealing, business fraud, mortgage fraud, and health care fraud are some of the fraudulent actions associated with money laundering. A felony conviction may result in a sentence of up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
- Forgery. Under Virginia law, forgery is defined as creating a false document or altering a real document with the purpose of committing fraud. It can be charged as a Class 4 or 5 felony that carries a sentence of one to ten years in prison and a fine not to exceed $100,000.
- Identity theft. A person can be charged with identity theft if he obtains identifying information of another individual without his consent in order to gain access to his financial documents, to qualify for a loan, to take money or goods from him, or obtain identification documents in the person’s name. If convicted of a Class 5 felony charge, the penalty can be the same as for forgery.
- Credit card theft. It is illegal in Virginia to use another’s credit card without his permission or to engage in credit card fraud, such as using a credit card that has been revoked or expired. If the amount stolen is less than $200 in a six-month period, the offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor, but amounts over $200 would result in a Class 6 felony charge.
- Tax evasion. Tax fraud is the intentional failure to pay taxes that are owed by taking actions such as misstating income, concealing assets, and failing to file tax returns. It can be charged as a federal or state crime. Penalties if convicted of a state law violation can include a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500.
- Bank fraud. There are many state and federal offenses that are considered bank fraud crimes. They involve the use of illegal actions to obtain money, property, or other assets from a bank or financial institution. Writing a bad check, money laundering, and real estate fraud are a few examples of these crimes. The penalties will vary depending on the crime but can include up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to one million dollars.
- Computer fraud. Computer fraud is a crime that falls under the Virginia Computer Crime Act and involves using a computer to steal or obtain property or money by false pretenses. Like many white collar crimes, it is a Class 5 felony if the value of what is stolen is more than $200.
- Insurance fraud. Insurance fraud entails filing a fraudulent insurance claim to illegally obtain insurance benefits and can be charged as a Virginia or federal offense. There is a wide range of penalties, and more serious federal offenses can result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years and fines.
- Mail and wire fraud. Mail and wire fraud are federal offenses that involve using the U.S. postal service, another interstate mail carrier, or electronic communications to steal a person’s money or property. If convicted, the punishment may include up to 20 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
- Forfeiture of money, property, and assets. If a person is convicted of a Virginia or federal white collar crime, the Commonwealth or federal government may have the right to seize his money, real estate, and other assets under criminal and civil forfeiture laws.
Contact Our Fairfax Office Today for Help With Your White Collar Crimes Charge
Are you under investigation for a white collar crime? A conviction will wreak havoc on both your personal and professional life, so don’t wait until you are arrested to seek the assistance of an experienced white collar crimes lawyer. We have decades of experience handling these and other criminal cases, and we are here to provide you with a thorough and aggressive defense to the charges you face. To find out how we can assist you and to take advantage of our free initial consultation, start an online chat or call our Fairfax criminal defense law firm today.