White Collar Crime Charges Demand and Early and Vigorous Defense
White collar crime refers to a full range of criminal offenses committed mainly by business professionals. Their common element is the diversion of money from its rightful owners by nonviolent means, such as fraud, embezzlement and insider trading. White collar schemes usually involve abusing a position of trust or misleading shareholders and other investors about the true financial condition of a corporation or other business entity.
Prosecution of corporate fraud is one of the FBI’s highest priorities due not only to the vast amounts of wealth appropriated but also to the deleterious effect it has on investor trust. Fraud in the securities market can upset a large segment of the economy, as evidenced by the Enron scandal in the early 2000s. Executives grossly misrepresented corporate earnings to deceive investors, including employees who were encouraged to invest their retirement savings in Enron stock. Top executives sold their own shares just before the company filed for bankruptcy. Total losses to shareholders topped $74 billion.
Ponzi schemes are a form of corporate fraud that involves paying existing investors with funds collected from new investors. The fraudulent act gained notoriety in 2009 with the infamous Bernie Madoff scandal. Bernie Madoff defrauded thousands of investors out of tens of billions of dollars over the course of 17 years. Madoff would deposit client funds into a single bank account that he used to pay existing clients who wanted to cash out. He later pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts, was sentenced to 150 years in prison and was ordered to forfeit $170 million in assets.
White collar crime prosecutions usually begin with an intensive investigation. Therefore, if you or your business is being investigated by a government agency, it is important to begin working with a white collar criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Potential defenses include lack of intent, entrapment and lack of proof.
If you’re under investigation for a white collar offense, The Giatras Law Firm in Charleston, West Virginia can help you with your criminal case. Call us at 888-819-1281 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.