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Often those charged with white collar crimes in Tallahassee are not stereotypical criminals. Most white collar crimes are associated with businesses or organized crime. 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 types of 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.
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 can be defined as a variety of crimes. Often the victims of white collar crimes have been so minimally affected they don’t even realize a crime has been committed against them.
Florida has enacted the White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act, codified in Florida Statutes § 775.0844, which specifies certain white collar crime charges and the penalties if someone is convicted of these offenses. 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 Statute § 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.
The Pumphrey Law also works with individuals accused of Identity Theft. According to Florida Statute § 817.568, Identity Theft involves taking or using personally identifying information of someone without their permission and using that information to obtain something for your own benefit.
Embezzlement is another area of representation for the firm. Florida Statute § 812.081 states that this crime occurs when someone who has lawful possession of the property of someone else takes or manipulates the property for their own benefit. 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, but they can lead to differing penalties. Under Florida state law, penalties for white collar crimes are found in the White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act (Florida Statutes § 775.0844). White collar crimes in Florida can be misdemeanors or felonies, resulting in jail time or monetary punishments according to Florida Statutes §§ 775.082 and 775.083.
Misdemeanors of the first degree can include imprisonment up to one year and/or fines up to $1,000. Second-degree misdemeanors can incur up to 60 days imprisonment and/or fines up to $500.
Felonies of the first degree can include imprisonment up to 30 years and possibly life imprisonment, depending on the white collar crime. Offenses classified as second-degree felonies can include up to 15 years in state prison, and third-degree felonies involve state prison time of five years or less. Monetary punishments for first or second-degree felonies cannot exceed $10,000, and fines for third-degree felonies can be up to $5,000.
Most white collar crimes can be 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, requires 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. Therefore, this crime is very broad, and prosecutors can easily make a case against someone they want to charge with a federal crime.
Bankruptcy Fraud is a charge someone can easily 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 – these type of federal white collar crimes are often 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.
According to Florida Statutes § 775.084(4), Aggravated White Collar Crimes involve at least two white collar crimes that are related to the same intent, result, accomplices, victims, etc., and are not isolated incidents. If the crimes attempt to obtain at least $50,000, then the alleged offender can be convicted of a felony of the first-degree, and face prison time up to 30 years and fines up to $30,000.
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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.
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 October 26, 2016.
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.
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