What To Know About 5 Common White Collar Crimes
“White collar crime” is a term used to describe crimes that are mainly financial in nature, usually involving some type of fraud. Some white collar crimes also involve a person’s involvement in some broader scheme with intent to deceive or defraud others. State and local law enforcement officers, along with federal agents are always on the lookout for white collar criminal conduct. This puts some innocent people at risk as their regular business and financial activity may trigger investigations or even criminal charges.
Some of the most common types of white collar crime include:
- Bank Fraud
Bank fraud involves intentional deception, false representations, and attempts to wrongfully procure funding from financial institutions. Misrepresenting information for wrongful financial gain from a bank is punishable under Florida’s law on bank fraud, and federal laws as well.
Different examples of bank fraud might include:
- Check and credit card fraud (forgery, theft, check kiting, and money laundering);
- Internet bank fraud and impersonation and “phishing” schemes;
- Accounting fraud and fraudulent loan applications;
- Mortgage fraud.
- Healthcare Fraud
Healthcare fraud causes tens of billions of dollars in losses each year nationwide. It can be committed by medical providers, doctors, patients, and other individuals that deceive healthcare institutions for financial gain.
Common examples of healthcare fraud include:
- Billing for non-covered services;
- Filing multiple claims for a single service rendered;
- Altering medical records, including the use of stolen names and social security numbers;
- Unnecessary medical treatments or prescriptions to pad a claim to insurance;
- Falsification of a diagnosis for higher payment amounts;
- Embezzlement from a healthcare institution.
These actions affect the healthcare institutions, insurers, and the Medicare and Medicaid programs. They also affect regular, innocent patients in the form of higher insurance premiums and medical costs.
Cybercrime is a continually developing category of crimes that keep pace with technological advances. These crimes are committed using the Internet and digital technology to cause financial harm or worse to innocent people worldwide.
These crimes can include a wide scope of activity such as:
- Identity theft;
- Copyright infringement and theft of intellectual property;
- Child pornography;
- Phishing scams;
- Extortion (threatening some type of harm as a “ransom” to collect money from a person);
- Cyberterrorism and hacking of government or business institutions.
Cybercrime convictions can result not only in prison time and fines, but lifelong damage to a person’s career and ability to obtain employment.
Conspiracy involves a plan between at least two individuals to commit a criminal act that the actors know is criminal. Even if the plan is not ultimately carried out, people involved can be charged and convicted of conspiracy. Criminal conspiracy under Florida law often involves felony charges, depending on what was “attempted, solicited, or conspired” to. There can also be substantial federal punishments for conspiracy in many situations.
Embezzlement happens when a person – usually acting as an employee or agent – has access to money or property and uses that access to steal assets from the organization. Embezzlement occurs every day all over Florida, to varying degrees. When caught, a person can be subject to substantial penalties including prison time and permanent damage to their career and livelihood. At the same time, it is not unthinkable for a person to be falsely accused and charged with embezzlement due to bookkeeping errors or other oversights.
The Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys at Trombley & Hanes Have the Expertise and Experience to Defend Against White Collar Criminal Charges
If you face investigation or charges for any type of white collar crime, you should seek skilled legal counsel immediately. Your career, finances, and even your freedom may be at stake. At Trombley & Hanes, our Tampa white collar crime lawyers have a proven record of defending clients from all walks of life against white collar criminal allegations. You will need to build your defense with care and diligence, and our accomplished attorneys can help guide the way.