White collar crimes are difficult to defend. They are different than other crimes. They are usually paper intensive, meaning that the evidence the prosecution says points to guilt are contained in documents. It takes a keen eye with attention to detail to comb through pages and pages of receipts, emails, contracts, spreadsheets, and bank records to figure out what the evidence says.
Virginia Beach white collar criminal defense attorney Patricia Hardt has the patience, attention to detail, and the drive to represent her clients aggressively and passionately to dig through those records and find potentially find a winning defense to your white collar crime.
What Is White Collar Crime?
White collar crime, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), refers to any number of offenses involving fraud in businesses or the government. The crimes are white collar because, in the parlance, the accused does not get dirty while committing the criminal act. In other words, there is no violence or threat of violence in white collar crime. Rather, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, violation of trust or abuse of power characterizes white collar crime.
White collar crime costs governments and businesses billions annually. Embezzlement by a trusted employee can ruin a family business, or a business owner can defraud investors by making false claims and stealing their money. White collar criminals can launder “dirty” money through a legitimate business, or they can take bribes as a governmental employee or elected official.
Who Prosecutes White Collar Crime?
The FBI, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other agencies investigate white collar crime on a larger scale. Their investigations involve organized crime, international companies, or crimes involving huge sums of money. Crimes investigated by federal agencies, who can work cooperatively with the local and state police, are typically prosecuted in the United States District Court.
On a smaller scale, white collar crime can be investigated by local and state law enforcement in Virginia and may be prosecuted in state courts. For example, Virginia law prohibits money laundering. A person convicted of money laundering in Virginia faces up to 40 years in prison. Alternatively, a person may be guilty of money laundering by taking cash obtained by commission of a felony, and in return provides a negotiable instrument, such as a bank check. That crime is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by incarceration in jail for no longer than twelve months.
Other Forms Of White Collar Crimes
Embezzlement is another common white collar crime. Embezzlement is a larceny by someone who holds a position of trust in a particular business. For example, the bookkeeper of a small business who skims some money “off the top” can be prosecuted as a white collar criminal. Additionally, two or more people who conspire to injure a person’s reputation in business may be prosecuted and be found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Aggressive White Collar Defense
If you or a loved one has been charged with a white collar crime in Virginia Beach, call Attorney Patricia Hardt today. She has the skill, knowledge, and tenacity to protect your rights against the might of the government. Call Attorney Hardt today at 757-962-5588 to schedule a case review.