UNDERSTANDING WHITE COLLAR CRIME AND FRAUD CASES
White collar crimes are non-violent offenses that typically happen in a commercial, financial, or other business setting. They include criminal acts like embezzlement, identity theft, tax evasion, money laundering, and counterfeiting. Fraud, or the intentional use of deceit to gain an unfair advantage over another person or entity, is one of the most common types of white collar crime. Forgery, writing bad checks, using another person’s identity to obtain a credit card or mortgage, telemarketing schemes, and various internet crimes are all examples of fraud.
White-collar crime convictions often carry dire consequences for a defendant in Washington. Check fraud, in cases involving more than $750, and forgery are Class C felonies, for example. They are punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Embezzlement – or the misuse of money that you have been entrusted with handling by an employer or another party – is considered a form of theft. If the case involves more than $5,000, it is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and $20,000 in fines. This is not to mention the restitution and additional civil damages that may be awarded to the victim.
The United States Attorney’s Office coordinates the investigation and prosecution of fraud and other white-collar crimes in federal court. The federal government has jurisdiction over any criminal fraudulent schemes involving either use of the mail or transmission of communications over wires, which includes telephone and the internet. As such, federal prosecutors’ reach is quite broad. In addition to mail and wire fraud, some other common federal white-collar crimes are bank fraud, computer fraud, access device fraud (credit or debit card), money laundering, and tax fraud.
These cases often involve nuanced legal issues. It is important to understand that police and prosecutors bear the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. To prove check fraud, for instance, prosecutors need to show that the defendant wrote a bad check while actually knowing at the time that they did not have money in the bank to cover it. In embezzlement cases, they must prove that the defendant had access to the money but not a legal ownership interest in it. Just as importantly, prosecutors need to show that the defendant actually stole the money, instead of simply shifting it from one account to another. In other words, they must prove that you knowingly put the money in a place where it was not supposed to be.
CONSULT A WHITE COLLAR CRIME ATTORNEY IN SEATTLE OR THE SURROUNDING AREAS
At Black Law, we have over two decades of combined experience fighting for clients in white collar, fraud, and other cases. We regularly represent clients in both the investigative stages of these cases and at trial in state and federal courts throughout Washington. Our years of experience with these cases, as well as our thorough knowledge of the substantive and procedural law, and reputation with judges and prosecutors, all work to the substantial benefit of our clients.
Our Seattle white collar crime lawyers represent defendants in Tacoma, Everett, Kent, and Bellevue, as well as other areas of King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, and throughout Washington. We can arrange translation services for clients who speak Amharic, Arabic, French, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tigrinya, Somali, Vietnamese, and many other languages. Call (206) 623-1604 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with a state or federal crime attorney.