Most people associate legal trouble with either civil issues or violent crime, but there is an often forgotten third option. White collar crime has a massive range of offenses that people often forget about because too many people, it seems like they are victimless crimes. Atlanta white collar crime lawyers know that these cases are often quite complex and the laws are often open to interpretation.
The word crime invokes this sense of danger and violence, but in white collar crime that isn’t the case. Most people who go to court for white collar crimes spent their time at work, enjoying the weekends with their families or otherwise leading reasonably normal lives. They never expect that they will need an Atlanta criminal defense lawyer.
That doesn’t mean that white-collar crime charges are without justification; the laws are in place to protect the general public and the nation as a whole. So when someone commits an act of insider trader or counterfeiting, it’s a big deal.
If you’re facing charges of antitrust violations, corporate fraud, counterfeiting, embezzlement or extortion, you need legal help. These charges carry hefty consequences. You could spend years or even the rest of your life behind bars. Call the white-collar crime lawyers at Howard & Arca for help with your case. You will receive a risk-free consultation and expert advice on your situation.
What is Corporate Fraud?
Most cases pursued by the FBI include some level of corporate fraud. This type of fraud can include everything from insider trading to schemes and falsifying financial information.
A company’s financial records must be kept entirely transparent because it’s so critical in showing that the company is legitimate. However, shady accounting, or in many cases, lazy accounting can land people in jail. Falsifying records is also a costly issue where the trial will generally include forensic accountants and expert witnesses.
Corporate fraud will often involve other regulating bodies such as the SEC, the Security and Exchange Commission. In recent years the CFPB, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has taken an active role in major corporate fraud cases.
Going up against regulating bodies and the FBI is intimidating at best. In these types of cases, you need a lawyer who is willing to stand up against well-respected figures within these organizations. They must be able to deliver a clear, concise, and compelling case for you.
You cannot face off with these guys alone, but most of the time, it will feel that way at first. A government agency will likely spend months silently building a case around you, while you carry on with your day to day activities. Get a lawyer as soon as you believe that there is a case in development.
What is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement is a term that has started to slow down in court appearances as it’s not so trendy now as it was twenty years ago. However, it’s still the same issue, and it still carries years of jail time in addition to hefty fees or fines.
When someone uses their position to mishandle money purposefully, that is embezzlement. The most common place depiction of embezzlement is an angry assistant see’s the chance to move money from the business’s account to their personal account, and they do it.
Another popular envisionment of embezzlement is a non-profit or political campaign silently paying for personal expenses that have nothing to do with the campaign or cause. Misusing money is a big deal, whether it’s from a business, or from donations.
If you’re up against embezzlement charges, you could be in a world of trouble. Often the wrong people are charged in these cases as the actual embezzler takes off at the first sign of trouble. Business owners often spend time in jail or pay the price for the missing embezzler.
Hire Atlanta white-collar crime lawyers to help you navigate these issues. They may bring in a new way of looking at things or resource forensic accountants to find out where your money did go.
What is a Ponzi Scheme?
A Ponzi scheme is inviting investors in, then to pay off those investors you have to invite new investors in, and the cycle continues, but eventually, the public catches on, and people stop investing so the wealth dries up quickly and tons of people receive nothing for their “investment”. Essentially, money is taken from new investors to pay the “returns” that older investors expect, with this cycle repeating as long as possible. With no profits actually being created, when new investors stop buying in, the whole system implodes, with people losing everything they put in.
In the 1920s the name Charles Ponzi lived for a short while at the top of the chain in American business. He claimed to make $250,000 a day, and do virtually nothing to earn it. To top it off, he offered investment insight for other people that offered unbelievably high rewards with minimal risk.
This sounds like an investor’s dream, but really, it was a nightmare. Being involved in any level of a Ponzi scheme comes with enormous consequences. Ponzi was a con artist, a good one and people still use his formula today.
The struggle is that you may have unknowingly participated, hosted events supporting the investment, or encouraged others to invest. You’ve had enough hardship and don’t deserve jail time or hefty monetary fines.
Get a white-collar crime lawyer involved to show that you acted as an honest investor, or attracted investors to succeed in something that genuinely didn’t work out well.
What is Extortion?
Who is on the other end of a blackmail threat? An extortionist. They are the people who issue blackmail ultimatums or force someone into giving something up, be it money, property, or service.
A primary example of extortion is the mafia business model where they intimidate business owners into paying for protection. If a business owner doesn’t pay, then they are often attacked, and their business takes on a substantial amount of damage.
If someone believes that you used extortionist behavior, you’ll have a hard time proving them wrong. The issue with this charge is that so much of it relies on feelings. You may have had an argument where someone felt intimidated, and that was not what you meant at all.
When facing these charges, you’ll need to enlist professional help. A white-collar lawyer can look at your case and start building your defense right away. They may enlist witnesses or research the background of the claim. It’s possible that the claim itself was utterly unjustified.
Turning claims of extortion around are only one defense. To learn more about your case, speak with the Atlanta white collar crime lawyers at Howard & Arca. They have years of experience and handle these issues regularly.
What is Bankruptcy Fraud?
Bankruptcy fraud is the act of a debtor intentionally hiding assets when filing for bankruptcy.
When someone is drowning in debt, bankruptcy may be their only option. The idea is that bankruptcy is a relief to those who need it most. If you were overwhelmed with debt and filed for bankruptcy, it can feel hopeless to face legal charges now.
So how does it happen, how does this debt just go away? It doesn’t. What happens is that you filed for bankruptcy and then a judge determined which assets would become liquid. After liquidating particular assets, your creditors received only a portion of the amount they were owed, or they discovered assets which you did not report in your bankruptcy filing.
These cases become very sticky when it comes down to knowing which assets to claim and which assets to declare as necessary for essential. It’s likely that there’s some mistake in the mix here, but you need a lawyer to sort it out for your sake. This situation is made worse if you are someone like a doctor or accountant. Not only would you risk large fines or jail time, but your professional license would be at risk. If this is your situation, contacting the best Atlanta professional license defense attorney will be imperative to saving your career.
A creditor can accuse a filer of bankruptcy fraud of some time after the bankruptcy occurs. Don’t be shocked if these charges come up long after you’ve begun to rebuild your life. That doesn’t change the fact that the bankruptcy happened.
Unfortunately, mistakes don’t resolve in paying the amount owed. Creditors believe that they were swindled in these cases and often demand legal recourse.
What is Money Laundering?
Money laundering is the act of taking the money that was made through illegal means and then processing it through a business in an effort to make it appear legitimate. The term comes from cash-only laundromats which were able to funnel thousands of dollars a day into their revenue stream and claim it as “clean” money.
Typically these businesses are cash-only or mostly cash businesses such as laundromats, old-school video rental stores, and salons. The idea is that cash is nearly impossible to track and once someone pays taxes on it, it’s hard to prove that the money was illegitimate.
Money laundering can land someone years in prison and often don’t come as standalone cases. Because money laundering relies on money obtained through illegal means, there are usually other criminal charges associated with this issue as well.
Find the resources you need to take on this charge with a white collar crime lawyer. At Howard and Arca, you can speak with our Atlanta white collar crime lawyers who understand the seriousness of your charges and that it may come with other obstacles as well.
You’ll want someone knowledgeable, experienced, and well-versed in white-collar crimes. Defense attorneys will often specialize in particular areas of the law so don’t take just anyone, find the right lawyer for your case.
Is a White Collar Crime a Federal or State Offense?
Depending on both the offense and the extent of damage, the white-collar crime could take place in either state or federal court.
The general guidance is that if a federal agency became involved, expect the charge to be a federal offense. But, if there was no involvement from a federal agency, it’s likely that your state or the state in which the damage was done, will take the case.
Crimes such as tax fraud are almost always federal offenses because they impacted a federal agency and had the potential to impact the nation. However, embezzlement within a small business may take place on a state level if it did not have a more significant impact.
Contact Our White Collar Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Whether you’re up against charge for money laundering, extortion, or any other type of white collar crime get proper legal help. Contact the law offices of Howard and Arca for guidance from an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.
During your free consultation, you can speak with one of our Atlanta white collar crime lawyers about the options you have available. They may also explain the chances of your case if it were to go to trial and what the best option for action would be for you in their view.
An attorney should also make you aware of what resources you have available to you when your work with them. For example, many offer assistance for crimes associated with your white collar charge or can help you retain a lawyer that fits that specialized area of the law.
When you’re ready to start fighting for your right to remain free, you’ll want to find the right attorney for your case. An experienced criminal defense attorney is your best chance to stay out of prison, and if possible, avoid additional fines.
During these cases, it’s common for lawyers to have to stand up against a regulating body such as the FBI, or SEC. For one person to take that on their own is overwhelming. Call us for legal guidance, and to get an expert defense lawyer to aggressively defend your case.