Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry
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What activities do white collar criminal laws prohibit?

Crimes involving financial fraud, commonly referred to as white collar crimes, occur in a surprisingly diverse range of contexts. Examples include mail fraud, investment fraud and tax evasion, when an individual willfully defrauds the federal government from taxes owed. There’s even a type of health care fraud, where a provider might over charge or bill for work that was never done.

White collar crimes are typically governed by federal laws, with accompanying severe penalties. For example, the federal RICO Act is a law designed to bring down organized crime. It allows for punishment of the leader of an organized crime organization, even if the leader was not personally involved in committing the offense.

White collar crimes also seem to be a big news item. Part of the reason is that the media may portray the victims of financial fraud as hard working Americans, whose savings were defrauded by a criminal scheme.

In a recent white collar case, a St. Louis man pleaded guilty to several white collar crimes, including one felony count of mail fraud, two felony counts of fraudulent use of access devices and four felony counts of aggravated identity theft. He allegedly defrauded his victims from more than $110,000. For those offenses, the court sentenced him to nearly 7 years in prison.

Our criminal defense law firm has represented many clients accused of various crimes involving fraud. The defense we prepare depends on the specific laws involved. In each case, however, we will examine police actions for procedural due process.

For example, if evidence were obtained by illegal wiretaps or unlawful seizures, we will fight to exclude it from court. Without key evidence, the prosecution may be unable to meet its burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, or perhaps make the more open to a favorable plea bargain.

Source: BizJournals, “Owner of home improvement business gets prison for fraud,” Veneta Rizvic, May 24, 2017

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Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry

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