Scranton White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyer
Although the FBI classifies white collar crimes as “lying, cheating, and stealing,” there is no one exact definition. More commonly, white collar crimes are considered to be crimes that involve deceit rather than violence or force. Most white collar crimes occur within businesses or corporations.
Due to the fact that white collar crimes are typically non-violent, many believe that they are not serious crimes, and that they do not result in harsh penalties. This is not true, however. White collar crimes still involve victims. As such, the prosecution will work aggressively to get a conviction and sentence of hefty fines and possibly, even jail time.
It is for this reason that anyone charged with a white collar crime enlist the help of a Scranton white collar crime attorney.
Fraud is the foundation of white collar crimes. Fraud can include bank fraud, securities fraud, corporate fraud, and health care fraud. Filing tax refunds in another person’s name is a common type of white collar crime that can also be classified as fraud.
Wire fraud is another type of white collar crime. Wire fraud occurs when a person has used a form of electronic communication to intentionally take someone else’s money or property. This can include a phone, fax machine, radio, and even television.
It is important to understand that each electronic communication can result in a separate charge of wire fraud. For example, if someone called 20 phone numbers trying to solicit money for an illegitimate charity, that could result in 20 different wire fraud charges.
Like wire fraud, Internet fraud is the crime of using the Internet to take something of value from another person or organization. This can include computer hacking to steal money from banks, or to steal identifying information such as passwords and credit card numbers. It can also include phishing schemes used to trick people into providing credit card numbers on fake websites.
Mail fraud is very similar to wire fraud, with the exception that instead of electronic communications, mail is used. This does not just include mail sent by the U.S. Postal Service, but also private couriers such as UPS and FedEx.
Credit card fraud is a type of white collar crime that involves the theft of money using a credit card. This can include using a credit card that is counterfeit or altered, a card that the accused was not authorized to use, or using a credit card that has been cancelled or revoked.
Embezzlement is another type of financial theft. In embezzlement cases, it must be proven that an individual stole money or property that was entrusted to them and used it for their own personal gain.
In most embezzlement cases, the accused is considered a fiduciary and as such, has a fiduciary duty to the person or organization they stole money from. A fiduciary is a person entrusted with someone else’s money or property. They are required by law to handle those assets and only use them for the interest of the person or company that entrusted them with it.
Identity Theft and False Identification
Identity theft is a type of white collar crime that involves stealing another individual’s personal information with the intent to steal from them. Most often in identity theft cases, it is money that is stolen. Personal information includes a person’s social security number, name, bank information, or anything else that gives them access to a person’s funds.
False identification sounds similar to identity theft, but it is not. Instead, this white collar crime involves a person providing local law enforcement or other authorities with an identity that is not their own. For example, giving police officers a different name after being pulled over or during an arrest would be considered false identification.
Money laundering is another type of white collar crime. While this is one crime that does not involve stealing money, it does include attempting to hide money that has been gained through criminal activities. Although money laundering most often includes currency, it can also involve trying to hide property gained through, or to be used for, criminal activity.
Penalties for White Collar Crimes
The penalties for committing a white collar crime can vary greatly in Pennsylvania. These crimes will carry either charges of a misdemeanor or a felony. The prosecution will determine what to charge an individual with depending on the nature and the severity of the crime.
It is important for anyone charged with a white collar crime to understand that even penalties for a misdemeanor can be severe. For example, a second-degree misdemeanor for credit card fraud can still carry penalties of up to two years in prison and fines up to $5,000.
A Scranton White Collar Crime Lawyer Is Here to Help
The penalties for white collar crimes can be avoided with the help of a white collar crime attorney in Scranton. If you have been charged with one of these crimes, contact Ernest D. Preate, Jr., Esquire at 570-558-5970. We’ll discuss the facts of your case with you in a free and confidential consultation. We may be able to have your charges reduced so you face less severe consequences, or have them dropped altogether so you can get back to living your life.
Don’t try to fight these charges on your own. Although many believe white collar crimes are not serious, in the eyes of the law they are viewed very differently. Call us today, and get the help you need.