White Collar Crimes
White collar crime is a term that was coined in 1939, according to the FBI. It now refers to all types of fraud and other violations of trust that do not depend on the threat of violence. These are crimes perpetrated to secure a financial advantage or to avoid losing property, money, or services. The scams perpetrated by white collar criminals are harshly punished in Florida. If you are being investigated for a white collar crime, you should consult an experienced Clearwater white collar crime lawyer right away. At Hanlon Law, we fight vigorously for the rights of the accused. Examples of White Collar Crimes in Florida
What a prosecutor must prove to establish a white collar crime depends on the particular charge. For example, embezzlement is a white collar crime, and it is generally charged under Florida's theft statute as either petit theft or grand theft, depending on the value of what has been taken. Under Florida Statutes section 812.014, the prosecutor needs to show that you (1) knowingly obtained, used, or tried to use or obtain (2) someone else's property, (3) intending to either temporarily or permanently (4) deprive the other person of the right to the property or a benefit of the property or to appropriate the property to your use or the use of someone else not entitled to use the property.
Under Florida Statute § 775.0844(3), the White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act, a white collar crime is a felony that (1) involves the commission of deceit or fraud, (2) involves conspiring to deceive or defraud another person, or (3) involves conspiring to deprive someone else of their property, intending to defraud them or conspiring to defraud them. There are also other specified offenses involving computers or the Internet, the Money Transmitters' Code, robbery, fraudulent practices, abuse of elderly or disabled people's trust, forgery, issuing worthless checks, public officers’ and employees’ offenses, bribery, racketeering offenses, and financial transactions offenses. A white collar crime attorney in Clearwater will be familiar with the full range of crimes that is covered.
The White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act provides especially harsh penalties when certain classes of victims, either the elderly or the disabled, are deceived or cheated. The Florida Legislature created the White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act to address the frequency with which victims, particularly elderly victims, are cheated and deceived by criminals who commit non-violent frauds and other related crimes.
Under this law, you can be found to have perpetrated an aggravated white collar crime if you commit at least two white collar crimes that have the same victims, results, intent, accomplices, or ways of perpetration. The law is geared toward punishing crimes that are not perpetrated in isolation and to increase the sanctions imposed for them. It may apply to you if you are caught engaging in a pattern of perpetrating felonies that involve deceit and fraud, but a Clearwater white collar crime attorney can advise you on the charges that you may face in your specific situation.
If you are charged with an aggravated white collar crime in which the prosecutor believes that you (1) victimized 10 or more elderly people, (2) victimized 20 or more people, or (3) victimized the state, and you also try to get at least $50,000 or do get at least $50,000, you will be charged with a first-degree felony. By "victim," the statute means a person who is legally and directly injured because the crime was committed. It can include anybody who is directly injured by your actions while committing the aggravated white collar crime. The court is supposed to hold a hearing to figure out who the victims are and will order you to pay restitution based on your capacity to pay it. A Clearwater criminal defense lawyer can represent you at this hearing.
Sentencing will be based on the sentencing for an offense of severity level 9 in Florida. On top of any other sentence that the law authorizes, you may be ordered to pay a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the pecuniary loss of gain, whichever is more. If you are convicted of an aggravated white collar crime, you will also be responsible for court costs, and you will be required to pay restitution to each of your crime's victims, irrespective of whether the victim gets identified in the indictment or information.Hire an Experienced White Collar Crime Lawyer in the Clearwater Area
People convicted of white collar crimes, such as mail or wire fraud, can face harsh consequences, particularly when certain kinds of victims are involved. Our founder, Will Hanlon, is dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused. He has represented clients charged with serious crimes since 1994 and is well-versed in all criminal defense strategies. You can call Hanlon Law at 727-897-5413 or complete our online form.