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Often those charged with white collar crimes are not stereotypical criminals. White collar crime is frequently defined as a range of nonviolent crimes usually committed in business situations for financial gain and can be a federal or Florida state offense.
Although most people do not think they will receive a harsh punishment for white collar crime, these crimes can incur both jail sentences and fines. Sometimes, those charged with white collar crimes have been caught up in elaborate schemes and are not the actual perpetrator of the crime.
Tallahassee White Collar Crime Attorney
If you have been charged with white collar crime, you will need to hire an experienced lawyer who can help you find an appropriate defense or reduce your charges. Contact the attorneys at the Pumphrey Law for assistance in preparing your defense against these charges. Call us today at (850) 681-7777.
White collar crimes include a number of different crimes. Often, victims of white collar crimes have been so minimally affected they don’t realize a crime has been committed against them.
The lawyers at Pumphrey Law work on many of the most common white collar offenses in Florida, such as Fraud. This offense is listed in Florida Statutes §§ 817.02–817.569 and is defined as intentionally misleading someone to part with something of value or surrender a legal right.
The firm also focuses on Forgery and Counterfeiting. Forgery laws can be found in Florida Statutes §§ 831.01–831.311, where the offense is defined as when an individual falsely makes, alters, forges or counterfeits a public record, certificate, deed, will, testament, bond, letter of attorney, a policy of insurance and many other official documents.
Pumphrey Law also works with individuals accused of Identity Theft. According to Florida Statute § 817.568, Identity Theft involves taking or using someone’s personally identifying information without their permission and using that information to obtain money, goods, services, or any other thing of value.
Embezzlement is another area of representation for the firm. Embezzlement is a type of property theft that occurs when someone was trusted to manage someone else’s money or property and steals all or part of those assets for their personal gain. Florida does not specifically have a statute for embezzlement, rather the offense is typically brought forth as a general property theft crime pursuant to Florida Statute § 812.014. People commonly involved in these crimes are treasurers, agents, trustees or someone else in a fiduciary position.
The firm also works on cases involving money laundering and racketeering / RICO.
White collar crime can either be a state or federal offense, which can lead to different penalties. Under Florida state law, penalties for white collar crimes are found in the White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act (Florida Statute § 775.0844). White collar crimes in Florida can be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the level, degree, and type of crime committed.
Misdemeanors of the first-degree can result in up to one year in prison and a fine of $1,000. Conviction of a misdemeanor of the second-degree may lead to a sentence of up to 60 days in prison and a fine of $500. However, there are few economic white collar crimes that are punishable only as misdemeanors.
For felonies of the first-degree, the sentence is up to 30 years in prison. For felonies of the second-degree, the sentence is up to 15 years in prison. For felonies of the third-degree, the sentence is up to 5 years in prison. Monetary punishments for first and second-degree felonies cannot exceed $10,000, and fines for third-degree felonies can be up to $5,000.
White collar crimes are prosecuted as either Florida state crimes or federal crimes. Some white collar crimes, such as crimes involving interstate commerce, are specifically federal crimes. The most notorious federal white collar crime is RICO. RICO, or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, is a federal law enacted to punish an individual or group who commits two criminal acts associated with racketeering activity and involves interstate commerce within a ten-year period as defined under Title 18 of the United States Code §§ 1961-1968. Federal RICO charges result from a violation of the federal statutes and are prosecuted in Florida Federal Courts.
Another common federal crime is mail fraud. This type of fraud, codified in 18 USC § 1341, involves a scheme to defraud someone of money or property through the use of the United States Postal Service or a private mail carrier, like UPS or Fed Ex. An example of mail fraud involves “selling” non-existent property to a resident of another state through the mail.
Wire Fraud is very similar to mail fraud. This federal white collar crime involves any type of fraud through the use of any wire, such as telephones, radio or telephone that crosses state lines. This crime is very broad, and prosecutors can easily make a case against someone they want to charge with this federal crime.
Bankruptcy Fraud is a charge someone can be accused of if they hide assets or other information in a federal bankruptcy action.
Securities Fraud occurs when a securities agency or company fails to disclose activities to investors or analysts. Insider trading often falls into this type of fraud.
Ponzi Schemes are a type of federal white collar crime often seen in the news. In these situations, an investment manager takes money from new investors to pay old ones, instead of investing the money as promised.
Florida Statute §775.0844(4) defines “aggravated white collar crimes,” which means engaging in at least two white collar crimes that have the same or similar intents, results, accomplices, victims, or methods of commission. It states that any person who commits an aggravated white collar crime and in doing so either victimizes 10 or more elderly persons, victimizes 10 or more veterans, victimizes 20 or more persons, or victimizes the State of Florida, any state agency, any of the state’s political subdivisions, or any agency of the state’s political subdivisions and attempts to obtain $50,000 or more commits a felony of the first degree. This is punishable as provided in Florida Statutes §§ 775.082–775.084, which states that the offender will face prison time up to 30 years and fines up to $30,000. Section 775.0844(7) states that in addition to the sentence otherwise authorized by law, a person convicted of an aggravated white collar crime may pay a fine of $500,000 or double the value of the pecuniary gain or loss, whichever is greater.
111 N. Adams Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
The FBI White Collar Crime Division
The Federal Bureau of Investigation White Collar Crime Division’s website describes white collar crime scams, prevention tactics, current programs and the Most Wanted list.
Pumphrey Law | Florida White Collar Crime Defense Lawyers
If you have been charged with a white collar crime in Leon County, Tallahassee, contact the Pumphrey Law to discuss the facts of your particular case. There may be ways to reduce your charge or have it dismissed altogether.
Attorney Don Pumphrey, Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney. Don has achieved over 100 not guilty verdicts at trial and over 2,000 dismissals.