White collar crime refers to the many types of fraud committed by business and government professionals. While non-violent, white-collar crimes can have devastating financial impacts on businesses, families, and individuals. For this reason, penalties for white-collar crimes can be severe. They can include not only imprisonment for up to 30 years but additional fines up to $500,000 or more.
White Collar Crime In Florida
In Florida, white collar crime refers to a broad range of offenses. These can include the following:
- Elder abuse and fraud
- Computer-based fraud
- Forgery and counterfeiting
- Misuse of public office
Aggravated white collar crime in Florida is defined as two or more white-collar crimes committed with the same intent and/or victim or that target the state, more than 10 elderly victims, or more than 20 other persons with the intent of obtaining $50,000 or more. Those convicted of aggravated white-collar crime are not only subject to the obligatory prison sentences for each of their crimes, but are also held responsible for paying their own court costs, as well as restitution to their victims. In addition, they may be held liable for fines up to twice the value of the financial gain or loss resulting from their crime.
Who Gets Charged With White-Collar Crimes?
Both individuals and organizations such as corporations can be charged with white-collar crimes. Corporate white-collar crime typically involves fraudulent financial claims, such as deliberate misrepresentation of a corporation’s financial condition or fraudulent claims intended to boost the corporation's share value.
One doesn't even have to participate in a white-collar crime to be convicted. In some cases, high-ranking corporate officials can be convicted of corporate white-collar crimes even if they aren't directly involved in (or even aware of) these crimes: The Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine, upheld twice in the Supreme Court, assumes that such officers should know about and be held responsible for the actions of their companies.
Types Of White-Collar Crimes
In addition to the crimes outlined above, white collar crimes include acts such as insurance fraud, money laundering, forgery, and forms of public corruption such as bribery In general, the intent of white-collar crimes is wrongful financial gain, and the costs of these crimes have been staggering. According to the FBI, white-collar crimes cost the U.S. over $300 billion a year.
Penalties For White Collar Crimes
In Florida, white-collar crimes are taken seriously. Penalties vary with the nature of the crime and the amount of money involved and can range from a $500 fine and 60-day jail sentence for a second-degree misdemeanor to prison sentences of 30 years or more for a first-degree felony. In addition, those convicted of white-collar crimes may be required to pay reparations to their victims. In particular, payment of reparations may be a necessary condition for probation.
How A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
White collar crimes can be legally complex, and if you are accused, it’s critical that you get knowledgeable, experienced legal support immediately. Criminal defense attorney, Adam Stout brings a deep understanding of white collar crime cases to your personal situation. As a former prosecutor, he knows how both sides think and work and understands what’s needed for an effective crime defense.
When you’ve been accused of white-collar crime, every moment counts—don’t wait to call a criminal defense attorney today.