White Collar Crime in Hawaii
Fraud and tax evasion
White collar crimes tend to be committed by business professionals and others considered to be working in white collar professions, often in an office.
Types of white collar crimes
The types are varied, but some of the most common white collar crimes are as follows:
- 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: Computer fraud involves such activities as hacking or initiating email worms or computer viruses. Internet fraud includes spoofing or phishing scams.
- Tax evasion: Not to be confused with tax avoidance, which is legal, tax evasion is the use of illegal methods to avoid paying taxes, and can involve failure to file required tax documents, and many methods of falsely reporting income and expenses.
Sentencing for white collar crimes in Hawaii
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 that may be served for such crimes as armed robbery. In fact, 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.
Honolulu criminal defense for white collar crimes
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. Certainly many accused of tax evasion can find a valid defense in a misunderstanding of the complex federal or local tax laws.
When seeking legal support, it is important to realize 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.
As a former prosecutor, Myles S. Breiner is the defense attorney with a unique perspective on defending against white collar criminal charges. Contact him to arrange for a consultation on your case.