The term “white-collar crime” refers to offenses that are committed for financial gain by using non-violent means. Anyone can commit a crime of this nature, but they are typically committed by professionals who have access to significant amounts of money or assets. In the past, white-collar crimes were not taken as seriously. However, recently, there has seen a dramatic increase in these cases, making white-collar crime a top priority for prosecutors.

If you are facing these types of charges, we urge you to speak with one of our leading Westminster white-collar crime lawyers at The Law Office of Scott D. Henry. Our skilled attorneys have over 40 years of experience defending those facing white-collar charges. We have a thorough understanding of how these cases are investigated and could build an effective defense strategy specific to your situation.

Types of White-Collar Crimes

Fraud offenses fall under the term “white-collar crimes.” They are serious in nature due to the high level of financial loss to the victims of these crimes. Commonly charged white-collar crimes include extortion, Ponzi schemes, bank fraud, credit card fraud, wage theft, money laundering, counterfeiting, and bribery.

Ponzi Schemes

A Ponzi scheme is an investment scam that pays existing investors with funds collected from new investors. In these cases, the perpetrator may claim they will invest the alleged victim’s money at a high return with minimal risk. In actuality, the perpetrators never invest the money. They use the funds to pay the earlier investors or keep it for themselves. A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud known as embezzlement. If the amount of financial loss is less than $950, it is charged as a misdemeanor and carries penalties of up to one year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. If the loss is over $950, it is charged as a felony and carries penalties of either 16 months, two years or three years in county jail, and fines of up to $10,000.

Defenses for White-Collar Crimes in Westminster

Penalties for a white-collar crime are severe. Fortunately, several defenses can be effective in fighting fraud charges. They include a lack of intent, insufficient evidence, mistaken identity, false accusation, intoxication, mental incapacitation, and entrapment. An effective defense strategy is case-specific. Our skilled attorneys in Westminster could perform a detailed investigation into the alleged incident to determine what defense strategy would be most effective in a particular white-collar crime case. 

What are the Penalties for a White-Collar Crime Conviction?

In California, the penalties for these crimes are harsh and include considerable financial penalties. These financial penalties include steep fines, forfeiture of the money or property involved in the crime, and restitution to the alleged victim(s.) These financial penalties typically involve a substantial amount of money and can have a devastating financial impact on the individual for years to come.

In addition to financial penalties, convictions typically carry significant jail time. The length of the jail sentence depends on the severity of the offense but is usually no less than one year in jail. An experienced attorney in Westminster could help someone who has been charged with a white-collar crime minimize the potential penalties they may receive. 

Contact a Westminster White-Collar Crime Attorney

If you have been charged with fraudulent financial activity, it is essential to consult with one of our leading Westminster white-collar crime lawyers. We know what it takes to receive a positive outcome in these situations. Our years of experience in defending white-collar cases gives us the knowledge and skill needed to effectively build a defense. Our team could negotiate skillfully on your behalf. We are aggressive in our approach and prepare every case as if it were going to trial. Call our office today for a free case analysis, where our seasoned attorneys could discuss your case, explain your options, and determine what your next steps should be.

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