A typical business involves many complex operations, and white collar crimes often mirror the patterns of business operations. Once state or federal agencies set their focus on suspects in a white collar scheme, the investigations can easily take a year or more as they peel away each layer of the operation to uncover every illegal aspect. By the time they file indictments, alleged offenders must mount multiple defenses. Because of the detailed investigation and the complexity of the charges, anyone indicted for a white collar crime needs tenacious legal representation dedicated to unraveling the maze of charges.
Pyramid (Ponzi) schemes provide an excellent example of the complexity of white collar criminal charges. They typically involve an individual or organization that offers greater-than-normal returns for investors who generally believe they are investing in a real financial product. While investors become encouraged by impressive early returns, eventually everyone loses. According to the Journal of Financial Planning, the complexity of these schemes lends itself to multiple charges, which can include many of the following:
- Securities fraud
- Money laundering
- Mail fraud
- Wire fraud
- Tax crimes
In a Ponzi scheme, a defendant can face the wrath of at least two powerful federal agencies - the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Since these and other agencies enlist the help of a small army of experienced investigators and other resources, the most effective defense requires a defendant to dig even deeper into the evidence to expose flaws that can help weaken the case.
Of course, not all white collar crimes are as complex as a Ponzi scheme. Some people may be misidentified as participants in fraudulent activities, while others may have only ancillary involvement. However, anyone facing charges needs to seek help from a criminal defense attorney with extensive skills and resources within this complex area of the law.