Texas White-Collar Criminal Defense Attorney
White-collar crimes encompass a wide variety of financial crimes, described by the FBI as “illegal acts which are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and which are not dependent upon the application or threat of physical force or violence.” White-collar crimes are most often (but not always) committed by people from middle-class backgrounds, with some level of higher education. Offenders tend to be employed, married, and in their late 30s to 40s.
The distinction between white-collar and blue-collar crime primarily surrounds the level of opportunity—white-collar workers tend to have a higher level of opportunity for their crime. While a blue-collar worker might steal something from the warehouse where he or she works, the opportunity for significant theft simply does not exist in the same way it does for a white-collar worker who steals via financial transactions. While not a popular opinion, some theorize that white-collar crime is actually encouraged, thanks to the following behaviors within the corporation:
- The managers and peers of the employee demonstrate their belief that unethical behaviors are harmless in the big picture.
- Criminal behavior is almost incentivized by the way jobs are structured.
- There are poor business ethics demonstrated by the company which leads to poor business ethics by employees.
- A “do whatever it takes” business model is actively encouraged
White-collar crimes have been on the uptick as technology changes, providing new opportunities for criminal behaviors. The legal consequences for a white-collar crime conviction can be severe. If you’ve been charged with a white-collar crime, it is in your best interests to contact an experienced Frisco criminal defense attorney from Whalen Law Office who is highly experienced in white-collar charges.
Facts and Statistics Regarding White-Collar Crimes
According to Zippia Research, although white-collar crimes are relatively prevalent, they are not widely prosecuted. In fact, these crimes make up only 3 percent of all federal prosecutions despite the fact that annual losses for white-collar crimes in 2021 were as high as $1.7 trillion dollars. As many as 90 percent of all white-collar crimes go unreported, with many businesses choosing to handle the matter in-house to avoid negative publicity.
By some estimates, a staggering 75 percent of all employees have stolen from their employer at least once, and half of those have done so repeatedly. About 50 percent of all those caught embezzling are in managerial positions. Fraud makes up 63 percent of all white-collar crimes, followed by embezzlement. Forgery and counterfeiting, tax evasion, and money laundering each add about 5 percent to the total percentage of white-collar crimes.
Why Choose a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney from Whalen Law Office?
Most white-collar crimes involving fraud and theft are classified in Texas and by the federal government as felony offenses. As such, a conviction can bring severe penalties, including prison and significant fines. When you choose a Frisco criminal defense attorney experienced in white-collar crimes from Whalen Law Office, you can rest assured your future is in good hands. Federal investigators may be quick to arrest and charge those who otherwise have no history of criminal behavior. Frisco white-collar criminal defense attorneys James P. Whalen and Ryne T. Sandel have years of experience digging into the evidence stacked against you. This evidence can involve a complex paper trail, and in many situations, there were others who had the same access to the business records as you.
While it is easy to become overwhelmed once charged with a white-collar crime, remember that time is of the essence in these matters and the sooner we are on your case, the better able we will be to help you. At the Whalen Law Office, we understand that you have many choices when choosing a criminal defense attorney. We believe once you have spoken to experienced attorneys James P. Whalen and Ryne T. Sandel, you will know that our firm is right for you. We will aggressively defend against your charges, making sure we have found every bit of evidence that could possibly protect you against a guilty verdict.
What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do for Those Charged with a White-Collar Crime?
Having an experienced criminal defense attorney from Whalen Law Office is crucial to your defense and to the outcome of your charges. As knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys we can help you by doing the following:
- Formulate and present a defense on your behalf to mitigate your liability
- Protect you against criminal procedure violations like coerced confessions or testimony
- Thoroughly investigate the case against you and the evidence gathered by the government
- Ensure that all those involved in the investigation are competent and qualified
- Keep a close watch on the government to ensure they follow proper procedures
- Negotiate restitution or a plea bargain that can substantially reduce your penalties
- Represent you in court by providing arguments, evidence, and facts to counter the allegations against you
- Summon witnesses and experts
- File the necessary appeals, if necessary
Being found guilty of a white-collar crime can cause significant damage to your reputation and your finances. The sooner you speak to a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney from Whalen Law Office, the more likely you are to have a favorable outcome to your charges.
What Are the Most Common Types of White-Collar Crime?
There are many types of white-collar crimes, and most involve some sort of financial fraud. While espionage is considered a white-collar crime and may not appear at first glance to include financial gain, governmental secrets are rarely given freely without monetary compensation in return. Although embezzlement was once the most commonly charged white-collar crime, the following types of white-collar crimes are quickly becoming more and more prevalent.
- Healthcare Fraud—Healthcare fraud often involves filing dishonest healthcare claims in order to turn a profit. An individual who obtains prescription medications covered by insurance then sells those medications is guilty of healthcare fraud. Healthcare practitioners who file duplicate claims with altered dates or who bill a non-covered service using a code for a service that is covered are examples of healthcare fraud as is prescribing unnecessary treatments. Individuals may commit healthcare fraud by providing false information when applying for government programs or services or through the use of another’s insurance card. Because healthcare fraud is so pervasive, about ten cents of every dollar spent on healthcare now goes toward paying for fraudulent healthcare claims.
- Medicaid and Medicare Fraud—Medicaid fraud is generally committed by individuals who lie about their income or assets in order to obtain Medicaid benefits. Medicare fraud is more often committed by healthcare providers who bill Medicare for procedures not performed, double-bill, or bill for unnecessary procedures.
- Wire Fraud—Wire fraud is rarely a stand-alone white-collar criminal charge; Many of those accused of racketeering or embezzlement are also charged with wire fraud, which can increase the overall penalties. Wire fraud is the intentional or negligent misrepresentation or falsification of information to gain money or information—lying for a benefit. When fraud occurs via email, on television, over the phone, or over the radio, it becomes wire fraud. As an example, suppose a corporate executive alters quarterly reports to make it seem as though the company is doing better than it actually is, in an attempt to obtain investment capital. The executive then emails those quarterly reports to all the shareholders. The original crime of altering the quarterly reports now has wire fraud as an added charge. Since wire fraud is usually charged as one count per e-mail, the wire fraud charges could add up alarmingly, adding penalties in the event of a conviction, and also forcing the defendant to potentially agree to a plea deal they might otherwise not have agreed to.
- PPP Loan Fraud—There were so many fraudulent PPP loans issued that the IRS, FBI, SBA, and the Department of Justice are all looking at borrowers who received $2 million or more in PPP funds, investigating them for fraud. Some borrowers who received smaller PPP loans are also being looked at. Since the PPP loan fraud penalties can be severe, you should always seek legal guidance if you are being investigated for this type of fraud.
- Mail Fraud—Like wire fraud, mail fraud is rarely a stand-alone charge, yet wire fraud and mail fraud are considered the “bread and butter” of federal white-collar prosecutors. Mail fraud is committed when a person engages in a scheme to defraud, using the mail to further that scheme. The “fraud” part of mail fraud involves depriving another person of property through dishonest or deceitful means. Property can include tangible property like real estate or money, or intangible property like intellectual property or information. Good faith is a defense against fraud, in that if you believe your statements and actions were truthful and honest, you did not commit fraud or mail fraud. The document or documents mailed do not have to be an essential element of the entire fraudulent scheme, rather can be incidental. The simple act of mailing something that is a part of the entire fraudulent scheme allows prosecutors to add mail fraud to the other charges. Bernie Madoff, among his other charges, was also charged with mail fraud. “Mail” fraud does not just include the USPS, but also private or commercial carriers like FedEx and UPS.
- Antitrust Fraud—We have antitrust laws in place to protect competition in the marketplace. Competition is positive because it helps encourage businesses to produce better products while saving consumers money. Antitrust laws promote and protect consumer benefits, and antitrust violations are most often committed by those in corporate and business environments. Some examples of antitrust violations include:
- Contract bid rigging
- Price fixing
- Allocating consumers between businesses, rather than making businesses compete for the consumers’ business
- Tax Evasion—When a person or entity deliberately avoids paying their actual tax liability, they have committed the white-collar crime of tax evasion and are subject to criminal charges and significant penalties.
What Legal Strategies Are Available When Facing White-Collar Criminal Charges?
The legal strategy for your white-collar criminal charges will depend on the exact charges as well as the circumstances and facts surrounding the charges. Even though white-collar crimes are considered “non-violent,” the penalties can be severe, which is why you need a strong white-collar criminal defense attorney from Whalen Law Office. Perhaps your defense attorney can show you were an unwilling participant, and that you were forced or induced to commit the crime. You must present evidence showing that you were threatened, intimidated, or forced to do something that was against the law or you or someone you cared about would be put into harm’s way.
You may have had no intention of committing the crime—a substantial purpose or goal to deceive someone. Whether the crime charged is embezzlement, tax evasion, Medicare or Medicaid fraud, or any other white-collar crimes, the prosecution must be able to show there was intent on your part. For a guilty verdict, the prosecution must show you committed or attempted to commit a criminal offense, and that you then concealed or attempted to conceal the criminal offense in furtherance of the crime.
Your defense attorney’s goal will be to poke holes in the prosecutor’s argument so you will be found not guilty. Since white-collar crimes may involve bank transactions and multiple people, the evidence can be challenging for a jury to understand. Your attorney may bring out witness bias against you, an unbelievable story by a witness, faulty evidence, or the fact that a witness has cut a deal to testify against you. Your attorney may also show that you had no knowledge of the criminal activity that was taking place.
How a Texas White-Collar Criminal Defense Attorney from Whalen Law Office Can Help
Speaking to a Texas white-collar criminal defense attorney from Whalen Law Office is the single most beneficial step you can take following being charged with a white-collar crime. You need highly skilled assistance, and you need it quickly. The sooner we are on your case, the better chance you have of a positive outcome. If having a professional, honest, highly experienced legal team on your side is important, then Whalen Law Office is the law firm for you. Contact Whalen Law Office today.