“White collar crime” is a catch-all term generally referring to financial misdeeds committed by business or government professionals. Tax crimes, fraud, bribery, embezzlement, tech-related crimes, illegal pyramid schemes and kickbacks – among other activities – all fall under the white collar crime umbrella.
According to recent data from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Middle District of Florida (covering the Tampa Bay area) led all U.S. Federal Districts in the number of white-collar crimes charged in April 2022. Fraud was the most prevalent crime charged among those in the white collar category. Historically speaking, Florida has long been considered a hotbed for white collar crime based on the opportunities present in the 1970s and 1980s and the maze of agencies responsible for tracking down white collar crime schemes.
Generally, nationwide trends suggest the following white collar crimes have risen in prevalence, with increased attention from prosecuting agencies:
- Fraud. Bank fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud are all frequently charged white collar crimes in Florida and elsewhere. These typically include schemes to obtain money or other assets using deceptive tactics toward banks, financial institutions, and other businesses.
- Identity Theft. One white collar trend has been a move to stealing money from individuals instead of stealing from companies. Identity theft schemes can be crude (phone calls to individuals to scam them out of information) or highly sophisticated (large-scale attempts to hack personal information from databases with sensitive personal information).
- Tax Evasion. Misleading the IRS and the State of Florida with the intention to avoid tax payments has been commonplace for decades, but continues to draw heavy focus from law enforcement agencies. In tax cases, unfortunately, a simple oversight or accounting error can lead to an investigation and serious charges for the alleged offender. If the issue is not cleared up, it can lead to prosecution and even a prison sentence.
- Crimes Against the Elderly. Sadly, the senior population in Florida and the Tampa area has been heavily targeted by scammers and fraudsters for years. This trend has not let up one bit and continues to rise in various ways. Identity theft and financial abuse are common, as are various forms of fraud and attempts to take money and property out from under senior citizens without their consent or even knowledge.
Defending Against White Collar Criminal Charges
As Federal and Florida law enforcement agencies continue to play catch-up against sophisticated white collar criminal rackets, it is possible for innocent individuals and businesses to get caught up in investigations and potential prosecution. Facing a criminal charge based on a bookkeeping mistake or other reason can have devastating consequences for those involved. Anyone charged with a white collar crime in the Tampa area needs a proven Florida white collar defense attorney that can review the facts thoroughly and build a skillful defense.
The Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys at Trombley & Hanes Have the Experience to Defend Against White Collar Criminal Charges
At Trombley & Hanes, we have years of experience defending criminal cases involving Florida and Federal law. We understand that situations may arise where some type of mistake leads to serious allegations that can damage your reputation, carry severe fines, and threaten your liberty. Contact our Tampa criminal lawyers today for help.