The word “crime” is often associated with violent actions. However, this is not always the case, as there are many criminal activities that are not of violent nature. While this is true, they are still very serious crimes. This can include white-collar crimes, which are crimes that are committed by “a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.” For a long time, these crimes rarely had any consequences, as they were seen as victimless. This notion has changed over time and can now result in possible jail time and expensive fines. Those who are facing conviction for a white-collar crime should retain the services of an experienced Bergen County criminal defense lawyer at once.
What are some examples of white-collar crime?
White-collar crimes are committed by high-profile individuals. It is because of this that they are often seen by those in professions such as business, finance, or government. The most common white-collar crimes can include the following:
- Ponzi schemes: A form of fraud in which people pay into a nonexistent enterprise with the belief that it will succeed and they will receive quick returns on their investment.
- Extortion: When one party threatens another to give them money. The two most common types of extortion are blackmail and business extortion.
- Embezzlement: When an individual misappropriates assets that are entrusted to them.
- Corporate fraud: When information is falsified in order for a company to save or make money.
- Bankruptcy fraud: If an individual or business faces debts that they are unable to pay, they may file for bankruptcy. In the event that certain documents and information are hidden from the bankruptcy court, it is considered fraud.
When a person is charged with a white-collar crime, the case is generally heard in Federal Court. It is because of this that potential offenders can face federal sentencing guidelines if they are found guilty and convicted. Federal sentencing guidelines were established by the United States Sentencing Commission in order to correct inconsistencies between sentencing made by different judges. This ensures that a judge’s sentencing is systematic and alike for each offender. The guidelines determine the offender’s penalty based upon their criminal history and the nature of the white-collar crime they are found guilty of committing. There are 43 offense levels, 6 criminal history categories, and 4 sentencing zones that determine a punishment. If convicted, offenders may be sentenced to imprisonment, restitution, home detention, forfeitures, heavy fines, and more.
If you are currently being charged with a white-collar crime of any sort, please don’t hesitate to speak with the dedicated legal team right here at the Law Office of Boyd & Squitieri. We can help fight your charges, every step of the way.