White Collar and Federal Crimes
In most cases, when you are arrested, your New Orleans criminal defense lawyer will explain that you have been accused of breaking a state law. States have the authority to maintain law and order within their borders and therefore, most wrongful activities are made illegal and punished under state penal codes.
In certain instances, however, federal law may dictate that your activities or behavior is illegal. Federal crimes typically are serious crimes that carry strict penalties including incarceration in a federal penitentiary. Federal crimes include crimes that occur across state lines, certain sex and drug crimes and a variety of other criminal acts. White collar crimes also can be considered federal crimes.
What are White Collar Crimes?
Generally, white collar crimes are wrongful acts committed by business professionals who abuse their positions to break the law. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s website sums up white collar crimes as: “Lying, cheating, and stealing. That's white-collar crime in a nutshell.”
Examples of white collar crimes include:
- Insider trading
- Money laundering
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Corporate fraud
- Health care fraud
- Investment fraud (including securities and commodities fraud and hedge fund fraud)
- Mortgage fraud
- Insurance fraud (including making false insurance claims and staged auto accidents)
- Adoption scams
- Identity theft
- Timeshare fraud
Other types of behavior may also be considered white collar crimes. These crimes usually are non-violent crimes and involve depriving victims of their money or unlawfully enriching the wrongdoer. Although the crimes are non-violent, they can be serious and have real consequences. Perhaps the most famous white-collar crime case in recent years was that of Bernie Madoff, who ran a Ponzi scheme that caused countless people to lose their life savings and resulted in a 150-year jail sentence for Madoff.
A New Orleans Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help Defend Accusations of White Collar Crime
While the Madoff case is an extreme example, white collar crimes are taken very seriously by law enforcement and justice officials. If you are accused of committing a white collar crime and found guilty, you could go to jail for a long time. You also may face large fines, payback of money illegally gained, loss of a professional license and public embarrassment. In many cases, even being accused of a white collar crime is enough to ruin your reputation and effectively end your career.
Because of the serious consequences of a white collar crime conviction, you need an attorney who understands the federal law system and the complexities associated with white collar criminal defense. At J.C. Lawrence and Associates, our experienced New Orleans criminal defense lawyers have successfully represented many individuals accused of white collar crimes. Let us put our experience to work for you in negotiating a plea deal or raising all possible defenses to help you avoid conviction.
Contact us today to learn more about how our New Orleans criminal defense lawyers can help defend you against white collar crime charges or provide assistance when you learn that you are under investigation by the federal government.