St. Louis White Collar Crime Lawyer
What is a White Collar Crime?
A white collar crime is any type of non-violent crime that is motivated by financial gain. In the U.S., these crimes siphon more than $300 billion each year from individuals and corporations. While there are many types of white collar crimes, some of the most commonly prosecuted offenses include:
- Bank Fraud - Bank fraud is knowingly defrauding or attempting to defraud a financial institution or obtaining property held by a financial institution by fraud. Persons who are convicted of bank fraud could face fines of up to $1,000,000 and 30 years in prison.
- Credit Card Fraud - This is the act of carrying out unauthorized transactions by using another person's credit card and personal information. Cards could be counterfeited or stolen. Credit card fraud is a Class D felony in Missouri if the funds stolen are valued at $500 or more.
- Embezzlement - Embezzlement is the wrongful use of funds or property that were entrusted to an individual. To be classified as embezzlement, the person must have had lawful possession of the assets and then used the property for their own benefit and to owner's detriment.
- Identity Theft - This is the act of fraudulently obtaining and using another person's personal information for financial gain. An identity thief could use bank accounts, social security numbers, credit card statements, and other personal documents to steal a person's identity.
- Tax Fraud - This is when a person knowingly alters information on a tax return to avoid paying taxes. This may include failing to report income, claiming wrongful deductions, and omitting other details. The penalties could include fines of up to $100,000 and 5 years in prison.
Criminal Consequences for White Collar Offenses
Although many have been led to believe that white collar defendants get an easy ride when charged with crimes, the reality is that these fraudulent offenses are punishable by what can be extensive prison sentences – especially at the federal level. Because every case is unique, there are a number of factors that will determine the severity of the penalties for a white collar offense, such as:
- The nature and scope of the crime
- The value of property or money involved
- The number of victims
- Prior criminal history
These elements play a critical factor in the number and types of charges prosecutors file, potential penalties, and whether or not a defendant will be prosecuted in state or federal court.
When the federal government pursues charges against an individual, they will use extensive resources to gain convictions. One should also understand that federal crimes often draw heavier penalties and sentences than similar cases in state courts due to harsh federal sentencing guidelines.
It is not uncommon to see severe prison sentences in seemingly “minor” white collar crime cases, nor are multi-year sentences out of the ordinary. Whether a case is state or federal, defendants typically face fines, imprisonment, and the various repercussions associated with felony convictions.
Hire Former Prosecutors with the Experience You Need
There is nothing “easy” about being charged with a white collar crime or being sentenced to a term in state or federal prison. White collar crimes, in many cases, are serious felony and federal offenses that pose life-changing penalties. To protect yourself and your rights as you navigate the process ahead and work toward the most positive outcome possible, you need proven lawyers by your side.
When you call our firm to defend you against your white collar crime charges, you can expect to meet with a qualified attorney, not a paralegal or secretary. Our St. Louis white collar crime attorneys are committed to thoroughly investigating your case and communicating our findings during the process. We understand that your participation and knowledge is critical to the success of the case.
We have successfully defended hundreds of clients in criminal jury trials, contested hearings, and bench trials, so we are more than competent to handle whatever type of charges you are facing. Contact The Hammer Law Firm, LLC at (314) 334-3807 to discuss your case.