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White Collar Crime

Tallahassee white collar lawyer

White collar crimes often lurk beneath the surface of seemingly legitimate businesses and professional settings. These types of crimes have become more prevalent in Florida, resulting in multiple State and Federal laws being put in place to combat these offenses.

White collar crimes are considered non-violent criminal offenses that are often driven by fraud, deceit, or financial manipulation. White collar crimes are not victimless crimes. So, even though the crime does not involve violence, both State and Federal prosecutors take white collar crimes very seriously. Depending on which type of white collar crime was allegedly committed, you may be facing extremely expensive fines and potential imprisonment.

It is important for anyone facing criminal prosecution for a white collar crime to contact an attorney regarding the case. A defense attorney can help you navigate the legal field and build a plan to fight the charges against you.

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 to reduce or dismiss your charges. If convicted of a white collar crime, you could be facing penalties that can severely impact your future. When you need a strong criminal defense team, contact the attorneys at Pumphrey Law Firm. Our attorneys will provide you with support and knowledge to take on and defend your white collar crime case. Call us today at (850) 681-7777 or leave us an online message for a free consultation.


 

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What is a White Collar Crime?

White collar crimes are considered non-violent offenses which are usually committed within a professional or business setting. These types of crimes often involve financial schemes such as fraud or deceit. White collar crimes are characterized by the focus of financial gain through deceptive practices rather than by physical force. Examples of white collar crimes include:

  • Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Money Laundering
  • Tax Evasion
  • Bribery
  • Insider Trading
  • Forgery and Counterfeiting
  • Identity Theft
  • Extortion
  • Scheme to Defraud
  • Grand Theft

The penalties and defenses will vary depending on the type of white collar crime you have been charged with. Contact an experienced defense attorney with Pumphrey Law Firm to review the specific details of your case in a free consultation.

Florida White Collar Crime Charges

Florida’s White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act is codified under Florida Statute Section 775.0844. The State’s definition of a white collar crime includes the commission, or conspiracy to commit, any of the following felony offenses specified under each Statute:

1. Chapter 560, relating to the Money Transmitters’ Code;

2. Chapter 812, relating to theft, robbery, and related crimes;

3. Chapter 815, relating to computer-related crimes;

4. Chapter 817, relating to fraudulent practices;

5. Chapter 825, relating to abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elderly persons and disabled adults;

6. Chapter 831, relating to forgery and counterfeiting;

7. Chapter 832, relating to the issuance of worthless checks and drafts;

8. Chapter 838, relating to bribery and misuse of public office;

9. Chapter 839, relating to offenses by public officers and employees;

10. Chapter 895, relating to offenses concerning racketeering and illegal debts; and

11. Chapter 896, relating to offenses related to financial transactions.

In addition, Florida’s white collar crime statute includes the following in its definition:

  • A felony offense committed with the intent to defraud or involves a conspiracy to defraud;
  • A felony offense committed with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive a person of his or her property; or
  • A felony offense that involves or results in the commission of fraud or deceit upon a person that involves a conspiracy to commit fraud or deceit.

The lawyers at Pumphrey Law Firm work to defend those who have been accused of the more common white collar offenses in Florida. White collar crimes our firm covers include:

  • Fraud – Fraud is defined in Florida Statute Sections02–817.569 as intentionally misleading someone to part with something of value or surrender a legal right.
  • Forgery and Counterfeiting – Forgery and counterfeiting are defined in Florida Statute Sections 831.01311 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 or other official documents.
  • Identity Theft – Identity theft is defined in Florida Statute Section 817.568 as when a person takes or uses someone’s personally identifying information without their permission, and uses that information to obtain money, goods, services, or any other thing of value.
  • Theft and Property Crimes – Embezzlement is another area we represent, which is a type of property theft. Florida Statute Section 812.014 defines theft as when a person knowingly and intentionally deprives another person of their belonging(s) or property or appropriates their belonging to the use of another person. In relation to white collar crimes, 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.

Contact Pumphrey Law Firm regarding your white collar crime charge to discuss your options for criminal defense.


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Florida State Penalties for White Collar Crime

White collar crime can be charged as a state or federal offense, which may lead to differing penalties. White collar crimes can result in misdemeanor or felony offenses depending on the level, degree, and type of crime committed. Factors which may impact the defendant’s penalties include:

  • Type of white collar crime;
  • How many victims were affected;
  • Financial amount of alleged theft;
  • The specific identities of victims (elderly, government, vulnerable individuals, etc.); and
  • The defendant’s criminal history.

For example, a defendant convicted of committing a worthless checks crime under Florida Statute Section 832.05 can face a first-degree misdemeanor or third-degree felony. Other offenses such as money laundering under Florida Statute Section 896.101 can result in a second-degree or first-degree felony depending on the amount of money laundered.

Florida’s penalties are categorized as follows:

  • Second-degree misdemeanor – Up to $500 in fines and up to 60 days in jail;
  • First-degree misdemeanor – Up to $1,000 in fines and up to one year in jail;
  • Third-degree felony – Up to $5,000 in fines and up to five years in prison;
  • Second-degree felony – Up to $10,000 in fines and up to 15 years in prison; or
  • First-degree felony – Up to $10,000 in fines and up to 30 years in prison.

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Federal White Collar Crime Charges

 

Some white collar crimes, such as crimes involving interstate commerce, are prosecuted under federal jurisdiction.

The most notorious federal white collar crime is Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO). RICO is considered a federal law enacted to punish an individual or group of people who commit two criminal acts associated with racketeering activity. Racketeering is defined as a set of illegal activities aimed at commercial profit that may be disguised as legitimate business. The offense involves interstate commerce within a ten-year period as defined under Title 18 of the United States Code Section 1961-1968. Federal RICO charges result from a violation of the federal statutes and are prosecuted in Florida Federal Courts.

Another common federal white collar crime is mail fraud. This type of fraud, codified in 18 USC Section 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.

Another common white collar federal crime is wire fraud. The offense of wire fraud involves 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.

Security 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.

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Aggravated White Collar Crime

Florida Statute §775.0844(4) defines “aggravated white collar crimes” as a defendant engaging in at least two white collar crimes that have the same or similar intents, results, accomplices, victims, or methods of commission.

Any person who commits an aggravated white collar crime and in doing so either victimizes:

  • 10 or more elderly persons;
  • 10 or more veterans;
  • 20 or more persons; or
  • 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 can be charged with a first-degree felony in Florida.

The penalties for a first-degree felony include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 30 years of imprisonment. However, Florida Statute 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.


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White Collar Crime Resources in Florida


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Pumphrey Law | Florida White Collar Crime Defense Lawyers

If you have been charged with a white collar crime in Leon County, Tallahassee, contact Pumphrey Law Firm to discuss the specific circumstances of your white collar crime case. Our attorneys will help build you a strong defense to fight the charges and clear your name. You could avoid paying steep fines and facing lengthy imprisonment if you hire a highly skilled white collar defense attorney.

Finding an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tallahassee who is familiar with Florida white collar crimes is your best option to avoid severe punishments and protect your future. Contact the attorneys at the Pumphrey Law at (850) 681-7777 for a free consultation about your alleged white collar offense.


Article last updated July 17, 2023

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