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White collar crimes tend to be committed by business professionals and by individuals who work in an office setting.
The types of white collar crimes are varied, but some of the most common are:
- Money laundering: This crime is essentially the act of moving money through multiple dummy accounts in an effort to hide the criminal origin of the funds. This crime is often committed to hide the source of money gained by drug trafficking or prostitution.
- Fraudulent securities handling: This type of criminal charge involves deceptive practices dealing with stocks and other investments. Many of these cases were recently in the news, including insider trading, stock manipulation, and Ponzi schemes.
- Improper use of records: Records-related crimes can be levied against someone who has access to personal or financial records, such as employees with access to the confidential data of customers. When those individuals use the information for fraudulent purposes, such as identity theft, they can be charged with criminal activity.
- Computer/Internet fraud: This can include hacking, initiating email worms or computer viruses, spoofing and phishing.
- Tax evasion: Not to be confused with tax avoidance, which is legal, tax evasion is the use of illegal methods to avoid paying taxes. It can involve failure to file required tax documents and falsely reporting income and expenses.
White Collar Crimes Carry Harsh Sentences
White collar crimes can be prosecuted at the federal or local levels, and they carry harsh sentences. In some cases, a prison sentence for a white collar crime can exceed the length of time served for such crimes as armed robbery. Hawaii courts use the Apprendi-Blakely rule, which essentially states that sentences can extend beyond normal guidelines when the defendant is determined to be a multiple offender who is likely to remain a danger to society upon release from prison.
What If You Misunderstood Tax Laws?
Naturally, not everyone charged with a white collar crime is guilty, and others may have committed an offense due to a misunderstanding of the law and without criminal intent. This is especially true with complex federal and local tax laws.
When seeking legal support, it is important to know that prosecution for white collar crimes can come from any jurisdiction, from federal to local. It is important to retain a criminal defense attorney with experience defending cases at any jurisdictional level.
Contact Us Today
As a former prosecutor, Myles S. Breiner is a defense attorney with a unique perspective on defending against white collar criminal charges. Call the Law Offices of Myles S. Breiner at 808-526-3426 or contact us online to arrange for a consultation.