Our top-rated criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Scott D. Henry successfully represent clients fighting complex cases involving white-collar offenses. Courts harshly punish defendants who are convicted of these offenses, so it is essential to have an experienced Newport Beach white-collar crime lawyer who can aggressively and effectively defend you.

What is Considered White-Collar Crime?

White-collar crime is nonviolent offense that is committed for financial gain. It is characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust. The primary motivation for committing these offenses is to:

  • gain money
  • avoid losing money, property, or services
  • to gain an advantage either personally or professionally

Depending on the type of white-collar crime you are facing, one of our dedicated local attorneys could help you determine the best course of legal action.

Corporate Fraud

Also known as business fraud, corporate fraud occurs when companies engage in illegal or dishonest activities. These activities give an advantage to the perpetrator. A few examples of corporate fraud include falsifying financial reports, avoiding taxes, and stealing assets. One of the most well-known cases of corporate fraud is the Enron scandal in 2001.


This type of fraud involves the theft or misappropriation of funds that have been placed in one’s trust, or that belongs to a person’s employer. In other words, the embezzler has the right to hold the assets, but the assets are not used for their intended purpose. Embezzlement results in a gain for the perpetrator.

Ponzi Schemes

Older investors create a profit by acquiring new investors who have been promised a large profit with little risk. They use new investors’ money to pay the earlier investors. The main goal of companies engaging in a Ponzi scheme is to attract new clients to invest. Ponzi schemes are similar to pyramid schemes.


This occurs when the perpetrator obtains something of value, usually money, by using force, threats, or blackmail. Receiving money or property by using threats of bodily harm, threats to release damaging information, and threats to get a victim in trouble with the law are a few examples of extortion.

Bankruptcy Fraud

This is an unlawful act relating to bankruptcy filings. An example of bankruptcy fraud is providing false information when filing for bankruptcy. Another example is filing for bankruptcy to deceive creditors. The four most common types of bankruptcy fraud are the concealment of assets, multiple-filing schemes, bust-out schemes, and petition mills.

Additional White-Collar Crimes

  • Computer access and fraud: Penal Code 502
  • Credit card fraud: Penal Code 484i
  • Extortion: Penal Code 550 or 518
  • False financial statement: Penal Code 532a
  • Forgery: Penal Code 484i
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Worker’s Compensation fraud
  • Insurance fraud: Penal Code 550
  • Income tax fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Perjury: Penal Code 118
  • Possession of fraudulent access cards
  • Welfare fraud: Welfare and Institutions Code 10890 (c)(2)

Financial Penalties for White-Collar Crimes

Three types of financial penalties are typically used for white-collar crime convictions. These include:

  • Fines – The amount of the fines depend on the details of the case
  • Restitution – This is dependent upon the financial loss of the alleged victim
  • Forfeiture – This ensures any financial gains from the crime are taken from the perpetrator

The amount and severity of the penalties vary greatly and ultimately depend on the specifics of the case. These convictions may result in significant fines and prison time. When the case involves a substantial financial loss, a defendant convicted of the crime receive a similar punishment to those convicted of violent crimes, such as murder or rape. A Newport Beach lawyer could help someone charged with a white-collar crime build a defense that mitigates the potential penalties.

Prosecution at the Federal and State Levels

White-collar crimes can be prosecuted at both the federal and state levels. Often, these offenses are complex and require a substantial amount of resources. Many states do not have the necessary resources, therefore in these situations, the case is prosecuted at the federal level. Additionally, if the case involves a large financial loss, federal law may have been broken. In that case, the federal court would prosecute. Lastly, some offenses are traditionally prosecuted in federal court. A few examples are bank fraud, securities fraud, federal tax fraud, and the bribery of federal officials.

What to Do if You are Being Investigated for a White-Collar Crime

Many individuals who are charged with a white-collar crime are unfamiliar with the criminal justice system and have never been investigated before. Being charged can have devastating effects on a defendant’s personal and professional reputation. It is a stressful situation, but some steps can be taken to work toward a positive resolution.

The most important step is to hire an attorney who is skilled in representing white-collar crime cases. It is also important to immediately secure all assets that are not related to the alleged offense. Lastly, it is essential not to speak to anyone about the facts or circumstances of the case.

Speak with a Newport Beach White-Collar Crime Attorney

If you have been arrested for a financial crime, you should seek a skilled attorney who has proven success in defending this type of case. Our top-rated Newport Beach white-collar crime lawyers have tried numerous cases. Their reputation and relationships with law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges can significantly help in successfully fighting your case.

The legal strategy needed in these cases is much more complicated than most others. Having our attorneys who have the resources, experience, and extensive knowledge of how this type of crime is investigated and prosecuted in court is crucial. Please call our office today for a free case assessment.

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