Most people in Houston, Texas have heard the term “white collar crime”. However, you might not be aware of all the different acts which can be considered crimes. White collar crimes are non-violent criminal acts which usually involve deception or theft for financial gain. They often take place in a business or corporate setting, but they can also occur away from the workplace.
Well-known white collar crimes include embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, Ponzi schemes, and tax crimes. However, there are some deceptive acts which might not be immediately recognized as crimes. For example, you may describe a product or service you’re selling in a way that’s not completely truthful. That being said, there are some white collar crimes which are more common than others.
Types of White Collar Crimes which Houston Criminal Attorneys See
When many people think of white collar crime, what they’re thinking about is corporate fraud. This refers to misrepresenting a business’ financial information or finding ways to make it look more profitable than it is. Corporate fraud often attracts the attention of the FBI but it is just one type of white collar crime. Here’s a look at some of the other forms.
This covers a wide range of criminal acts. Healthcare fraud can be committed by people who work in the healthcare system and others who manipulate the system. For example, a patient may pretend to be someone else in order to use their insurance coverage. Or, a doctor may bill an insurance company for a medical procedure they didn’t deliver.
This refers to purposely and illegally avoiding the payment of a tax obligation. This can be done by both businesses and individuals. Tax evasion can include illegally transfering property and falsifying financial information. It goes beyond not filing a tax return or failing to pay the amount owed.
This includes deliberately filing false forms and hiding assets so you don’t have to give them up. Bankruptcy fraud also covers bribing court-appointed trustees and filing in multiple states whether the information is real or false.
If you sought to hide money which you got through illegal means, you can be charged with money laundering. Secret bank accounts may come to mind. However, money laundering is often more complicated. It may involve buying or selling assets to make it seem like the money was acquired legitimately.
Computer and Internet Fraud
This type of cybercrime can take several different forms. One example is hacking which refers to gaining remote access to a secure network. Another common act is intercepting electronic transmissions which are not meant for you such as passwords and credit card information. Identity theft is a form of computer and internet fraud.
This occurs when someone secretly and illegally takes money from a business or another organization. The person is usually an employee or someone else who is trusted with the entity’s financial information. The act doesn’t have to involve a large sum of money to be considered a crime.
How Criminal Defense Attorneys in Houston Can Help
As with any other type of crime, there are several defenses to the various white collar crimes. Your attorney will take all the facts of your case into consideration before deciding on the appropriate response. The most common defense is that the accused lacked the intent to commit the crime.
However, if a government agent persuaded you to commit the crime, your criminal defense lawyer may use entrapment as a defense. Other possible defenses are duress, incapacity, and insanity. However, you will need to think carefully about what you say. An insanity defense can have negative effects on other aspects of your life. If you are found guilty or you admit to the crime, your attorney may be able to negotiate a lighter sentence.
Contact a Houston Criminal Lawyer at Eddington & Worley Today!
White collar crimes are serious. Many are investigated federally by agencies like the IRS and FBI and they are prosecuted in federal court. These crimes are often felonies. If you’ve been accused of a white collar crime, you need to hire an attorney. If a court convicts you, you could spend time in prison and have to pay significant fines. You may also have to pay restitution to the victims and forfeit your assets.
Beyond these criminal penalties, conviction ruins your reputation. It can also destroy your career since your criminal record will follow you for the rest of your life. If you want to prove your innocence and return your life to normalcy, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Call us at Eddington & Worley today to schedule a consultation and discuss how we can help you get the best outcome possible.