Typically crimes of theft and deception committed by salaried and professional individuals, white collar crimes can be prosecuted at a state or federal level. Over the past several years, courts have been paying extra attention to white collar crimes, and have been punishing them more severely than they have in the past.
The term “white collar crime” was first used in the 1930s, and referred to non-violent crimes. Usually, criminals were charged with white collar crimes when they couldn’t be found guilty of more serious violent crimes in a court of law. Today, there are several types of crimes which fall under this category, including bribery, embezzlement, extortion, forgery, and fraud. In the state of California, white collar crimes are prosecuted by the federal government in US District Courts, or by the district attorney’s office or city attorney’s office in the California Superior Courts. Most are non-violent and involve money or property entrusted to an employee.
Medical Insurance Fraud
Recently, there’s been a significant increase in the number of prosecutions for medical insurance fraud. Depending on the specifics of the case, insurance fraud may be handled as an administrative action by the Fraud Division, or the Fraud Division may handle it as a criminal matter. In many cases, these prosecutions could result in prison terms for the doctors and dentists who have been convicted of these crimes. Typically, these prosecutions begin when a search warrant is issued for certain documents from the medical offices. These crimes are prosecuted on both a state and federal level.
White Collar Crime Penalties
Although white collar crimes are charged just like any other type of crime, the legal principals and theories surrounding these types of cases are much more complicated, as the amount of evidence includes vast amounts of paperwork and sensitive documents. From time to time, the defendant makes a statement to the investigators that admits guilt and seals their fate. In order to best protect your rights and avoid making such a mistake, it’s best to obtain proper representation from the criminal defense attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm as early in the process as possible.
The penalties associated with white collar crimes varies from case to case. Depending on whether the gains in question were less than or greater than $950, the defendant can face petty theft or grand theft charges. If the monetary amount exceeds $500,000, the defendant can be sentenced to an additional two, three, or five years of imprisonment. If the amount is greater than $200,000 but does not exceed $500,000, the defendant can be punished by an additional two years in prison.
White Collar Crime Defenses
There are defenses and defensive strategies specific to white-collar crimes. Entrapment and absence of intent are two of the most common defenses. Entrapment can be used as a defense if law enforcement officials coerced the defendant into committing a criminal act he or she would have otherwise not committed. Since intent is an inherent part of most white-collar crimes, if your attorney can convince the prosecutors that you lacked intent, a favorable outcome may be realized.
If you’ve been accused of committing fraud, embezzlement, forgery, or any other type of white collar crime, early intervention by a criminal defense attorney with experience defending white collar crimes in the state of California is crucial. Contact The Kavinoky Law Firm today for more information.