Overview of White Collar Crimes in Florida
You may have heard of white collar crime and understand that it is a serious crime in Florida. However, the term covers a wide range of offenses. These offenses are typically associated with individuals who wear dress shirts for work, i.e., corporate executives and politicians. The truth is that anyone can be arrested for white collar crimes, and you could face extremely harsh sentence for a conviction. If you have been charged or believe you are being investigated, it is critical to retain a knowledgeable Florida white collar crimes attorney right away. You may also benefit from reviewing a synopsis of these offenses.
Types of White Collar Crimes
There are many offenses in the category of white collar crimes in Florida, but they generally involve lying, cheating others, and stealing committed by business and government professionals. The underlying offenses are usually non-violent, though violence may be used to achieve the objectives of the foundational crime. Some examples include:
- Fraud and misrepresentation, including schemes involving insurance scams, check kiting, fraud against the government, identity theft, Ponzi/pyramid schemes, online offenses, and others;
- Embezzlement, which is the theft or conversion of funds by someone who was legally entrusted to care for them;
- Tax evasion and avoiding tax liabilities, at the federal, state, or local level;
- Concealing the unlawful origins of funds through businesses that make it look legitimate, otherwise known as money laundering;
- Forging documents;
- Counterfeiting money or documents;
- Bribery of public officials;
- Racketeering and conspiracies to engage in criminal activity; and,
- Many more.
Penalties for Conviction of White Collar Crimes
Though many assume that the criminal sanctions for white collar crimes include incarceration in so-called “country club” prisons, the penalties for a conviction can be severe. Factors that affect how the offense is charged include:
- The amount of money or other items of value that were stolen or misappropriated;
- The identity of the victim, since Florida law increases the punishment if the victim is elderly or disabled;
- The number of people involved in the crime, as the offense is more serious if there are 10, 20, or more perpetrators;
- Your criminal history; and,
- Other considerations depending on the circumstances.
The Florida White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act specifies the nature of the criminal punishment if you are convicted on the offenses mentioned above, and others designated by the statute. The most serious white collar crime could lead to First Degree Felony charges. If convicted, you could receive a sentence up to 30 years in prison. Plus, you could be ordered to pay restitution to the victims, paying them back for the misappropriated amount.
Reach Out to a Florida White Collar Crimes Defense Lawyer
If you have been or could be arrested for white collar crime charges, do not expect the country club treatment. You face considerable criminal sanctions, as well as the personal and professional consequences of a criminal conviction on your record. Solid legal representation is key, so please contact attorney Kevin J. Kulik to schedule a consultation today. We can review the charges or provide pre-arrest legal services to protect your rights.