There are numerous criminal offenses that can result in severe penalties and life-changing effects. Among them are white-collar crimes. While white collar crimes are non-violent as they usually involve financial violations, they are considered serious offenses. These crimes almost always carry lengthy jail sentences and hefty fines which can have severe consequences for both your personal and professional life.
If you’ve been charged with a white-collar crime, it is important to consult an experienced Asheville white collar crime defense attorney to protect your rights. The team at Doug Edwards Law has years of experience in the field and will do everything possible to achieve a desirable outcome.
Learn more about your rights and legal options by calling an Asheville criminal defense lawyer at (828) 702-8743 today!
In the state of North Carolina, a white collar crime is any non-violent done for illegal financial gain. White collar crimes are usually performed by business owners, employees, government entities, and other people who have direct access to or control of financial accounts. Before a party can be charged with a white collar crime, a comprehensive investigation to gather the required evidence is mandatory.
White collar crimes come in an array of forms, some carrying heavier penalties than others. The common types include:
As most people are aware, money laundering is an act where an individual or entity acquires funds through illegal acts and works to hide the origin of the money via financial transactions. This is a serious offense in North Carolina and depending on those involved, the conviction may include decades in prison.
Also referred to as identity fraud, identity theft is a crime where a person uses another person’s identity, personal information, and documents without their consent. An example is when one uses another party’s information to secure a law.
However, if the individual uses the person’s identity in a lawful manner or for legit commercial reasons like use in advertisement, they may be exempt from conviction.
Also called theft by conversion, embezzlement is the act of an individual converting another individual or entity’s property to themselves, often through the violation of their fiduciary responsibility to the other party. A good example is when an employee responsible for handling a business account takes some amount for their own interests.
The penalties for theft by conversion vary depending on the value of the stolen assets. Courts in North Carolina handle this kind of crime either as a misdemeanor or a felony, with the latter carrying more stringent penalties.
This is also known as insider trading. The law prohibits people from having an unfair advantage to make money by selling securities and investments. For instance, a company owner is not allowed to trade their stocks based on information they know about important events inside the entity. Securities fraud is not only illegal in North Carolina, but there are strict federal laws against it.
Basically, this involves avoiding paying tax or giving out the wrong information for tax purposes. It applies when an individual or company participates in underpayment or nonpayment of taxes.
Since white collar crimes are classified under criminal charges, it is the role of the state/federal government to prove you’re guilty. They are required to present adequate evidence to convince the jury or judge that you are responsible for the crime.
It can be easy to prove the occurrence of a white collar crime through internal memos, financial transactions, and other documents. However, proving a certain individual was responsible is no walk in the park. Given most white collar crimes involve big companies with numerous individuals, it can be hard to pinpoint the party responsible.
The following factors are considered when proving white collar crimes.
The prosecutor needs to show that the defendant knowingly schemed, intended to scheme, or participated in a plan to defraud or get assets via false pretenses, promises, representations, or fraudulent means.
The prosecutor also needs to show that statements presented or omitted as part of the scheme or plan were material. This means they had the capability to influence the party to part with the money or assets.
There should be evidence showing that the evidence participated in fraudulent actions to make a white collar crime.
White collar crimes tend to be motivated by the desire for financial gain. However, with the consequences made as clear as day, why do people still put their life, jobs, reputation, and future at risk? Here is some insight.
Unfortunately, most people think that white-collar crimes are victimless, which could not be further from the truth. For instance, an inside trader doesn’t think about who is being cheated on the other end of the spectrum.
Likewise, salespeople bribing customers feel they’re performing their job by securing a deal while not doing harm to anybody. Most people who commit accounting fraud begin with the ‘’it’s a one-time thing’’ justification, which after a successful crime is rarely the case.
Stealing from the government or large companies seems attractive as there’s a lot of money and there is no perceived guilt of hurting any party. Pharmacists, doctors, and even patients, for instance, sometimes collaborate to defraud the system. Examples include over-utilization of services, billing for non-rendered services, overprescription of addictive drugs, kickbacks, etc.
This especially occurs when workers in finance are compensated and gain rewards for short-term profits. More often than not, they break the law with the aim to make the most of their performance-based payment. In some cases, they do not know the severity of the crime and end up being charged with a white collar offense.
This entails failing to acknowledge unethical behavior with the aim of avoiding self-harm as a result. For instance, retained and paid accounting companies with oversight duties of client organization financial statements have the incentive to ignore accounting transgression.
This is a mentality that ends up encouraging misbehavior in an entity and downplays the harsh repercussions. However, the law states otherwise.
The right white collar crime defense lawyer will be well-versed with criminal law and procedures. This means they will be able to help in the following ways:
White collar crimes come with almost certain damage to your reputation or that of your business. When you have been charged with a white collar crime, note that the government has been conducting an investigation for a while and the case might be serious.
You will want to protect your rights from the beginning by hiring a reputable Asheville white collar crime defense attorney from Doug Edwards Law. Our team will do what the law allows to ensure your interests are also protected.
These are some of the most complex cases, especially when more than one party is involved and so, you’ll want the best legal representation.
Before the authorities arrest anyone suspected of a white-collar crime, they often arrive at the suspect’s place of work with a warrant to conduct a search. At this stage, you should know that you’re under investigation. From here, it is in your best interest to reach out to a white-collar defense attorney.
With years of experience in this field, the team at Doug Edwards Law is suited to handle your case. We are passionate about effectively helping our clients and working aggressively for the best results. White collar crimes come with severe penalties and so, you’ll want the best legal counsel as soon as possible.
Call our Asheville law office at (828) 702-8743 today for a free initial consultation!