Being charged with a white-collar fraud crime in Phoenix can be very upsetting and embarrassing for you, as well as your family and friends. The social stigma of white-collar fraud, along with the harsh penalties levied by state and federal courts should you be convicted, can seriously affect your life in both present and future terms. Therefore, if you find yourself arrested and charged with any kind of white-collar fraud crime in Phoenix, you should immediately seek out a competent, aggressive defense attorney to fight for your rights.
What Does “White Collar Crime” Mean?
The term “White Collar Crime” refers to non-violent crimes someone is financially motivated to commit. Traditionally, business people or government officials committed white-collar fraud. However, with the rise of Internet commerce and technology, the demographic of white-collar fraud crime defendants has broadened considerably. Some of the more common white-collar fraud crimes include:
- Ponzi Schemes
- Insider Trading
- Tax Evasion
- Money Laundering
- Insider Trading
- Copyright Infringement
For more information about fraud crimes such as these, please visit our Fraud Schemes and Artifices page...
What Does a White Collar Crime Investigation Entail?
If you are investigated for a white-collar fraud crime, you will be facing a much different process than you would for a violent crime like drug trafficking or murder.
- White collar crimes usually involves a tremendous amount of paperwork, computer data and transactions that can include financial institutions, foreign or domestic business holdings, and other security based institutions
Because of this, you should expect several federal agencies to become involved with the Phoenix agencies that are investigating you already. These agencies include:
- The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- The United States Secret Service (USSS)
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
These federal agencies will work with state agencies to determine the extent and severity of any fraud crimes committed, and then will decide whether to charge you on a state or federal level.
Penalties for White Collar Crimes
It is not uncommon for state or federal prosecutors to charge you with crimes approaching the high-end of the penalty spectrum. This is sometimes done to help facilitate a plea bargain to lesser charges.
- It is important to understand that no matter what you may end up plea-bargaining down to (if that occurs), you can still face incredibly hefty fines and lengthy prison time in a state or federal penitentiary
The penalties for white-collar fraud crimes differ depending on the crime you are charged with, as well as any aggravating circumstances. However, financial gain comes into play when prosecutors decide what charges you will face. Although A.R.S. § 13-2310 makes fraud a class 2 felony, the amount of the white-collar fraud crime can determine what charges you actually face:
- Less than $1,000 in fraud may be treated as a class 1 misdemeanor
- Between $1000 and $1999 may be treated as a class 6 felony
- Between $2000 and $2999 may be treated as a class 5 felony
- Between $3000 and $3999 may be treated as a class 4 felony
- Between $4000 and $24,999 may be treated as a class 3 felony
- $25,000 or more may be treated as a class 2 felony
If you are found guilty, you can be sentenced and fined according to the guidelines for each felony class.
Trust Phoenix Criminal Attorney With Your White Collar Fraud Crime Defense
The best way to avoid a white-collar fraud crime charge is to make sure you are complying with state and federal laws and regulations at all times. However, if you find yourself facing white-collar fraud crime charges in Phoenix, it is essential to consult a defense attorney with extensive knowledge of fraud crimes, and proven experience defending white-collar crimes of all severities.
We can help defend you against white-collar fraud crime charges by undertaking the exhaustive process of document reviews, witness interviews, and victim statements to help craft a solid defense, while making sure your constitutional rights are being duly served. We will not stop fighting for your rights, by making sure that every possible legal option and defense strategy is available to you. If you are facing any kind of white-collar fraud crime charge in Phoenix, contact us today for a private, no obligation consultation at 602-551-8092.