Fraud surrounded by handcuffs
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Criminal activity covers a range of actions beyond the common conception of violent actions. White-collar crimes are one such example of nonviolent crimes, centering on deceitful tactics carried out by individuals or businesses with the intent of obtaining money or avoiding monetary losses.

It is a common misconception that white-collar crimes aren’t punished in the same way as physically harmful crimes. However, convictions in such cases can still lead to penalties ranging from fines and restitution to imprisonment. Although those convicted of white-collar crimes may not require the same level of prison security as violent criminals, jail time is still a very real possibility in general.

Therefore, if you’ve been charged with a white-collar crime, you must understand the potential consequences of a conviction and take the charges seriously. You also need an experienced lawyer familiar with these kinds of cases to help you develop an effective legal strategy.

Types of White-Collar Crimes

There are dozens of different white-collar crimes, all of which revolve around schemes designed to get or keep money. 

Embezzlement, for instance, involves the unlawful transfer of funds, while money laundering involves finding ways to make illegal earnings appear legal. Tax evasion is about hiding income so as not to pay taxes on it, and insider trading involves sharing information that is inaccessible to the public to benefit from stock trades at the expense of others.

On top of these, many different types of fraud qualify as white-collar crimes, such as forgery, identity theft, counterfeiting, falsifying financial information, bank or securities fraud, and corporate espionage. The latter involves infiltrating an organization to steal proprietary information that is advantageous to competitors.

On a larger scale, white-collar crimes may be linked to organized crime, such as racketeering and corruption, in some cases. Nevertheless, no matter the type and scale of white-collar crimes, the consequences of conviction can be severe.

Legal Consequences of White-Collar Crimes

The legal consequences of a conviction in any criminal case can be significant. That said, the severity of those outcomes will depend on the type and severity of the crime alongside any past criminal history, among other factors.

Take, for example, financier Bernie Madoff, who stood at the center of the biggest Ponzi scheme in recent history. His actions resulted in a conviction valued at $85 billion in losses (cash and paper) for investors. He was then personally sentenced to 150 years in prison and restitution payments totaling $170 billion.

While most white-collar crimes don’t rise to such an extreme level, it’s still crucial to understand that a conviction will earn you more than a slap on the wrist. Penalties often include fines and restitution to victims, which could entail forfeiture of your personal property. You could also be sentenced to community service, probation, and prison time.

At the same time, don’t forget that there are consequences beyond the legal ones. Many people convicted of white-collar crimes will find it difficult to obtain employment in their former industry and many other professions.

Defense Strategies

There are many potential defense strategies to consider in white-collar cases, the best of which will depend on the type and scope of the charges. In some cases, you might claim intoxication, temporary insanity, or that you acted under duress. Perhaps your alleged crime is already outside the statute of limitations.

You may be able to argue that you were illegally searched (which could invalidate key evidence) or that you were tricked into committing a crime through entrapment. Lack of intent could also come into play if the prosecution can’t prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that your actions were intentional or voluntary.

Ultimately, a qualified attorney can help you find the best defense strategy for your case.

Don’t Go It Alone

White-collar criminal cases are no joke, and you must take the charges seriously. Failure to do so could result in serious consequences that follow you for life. 

With that in mind, if you’re facing charges for white-collar crimes in Spartanburg, SC, the capable criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Mo Abusaft can help. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation.