Since 2008, law enforcement and federal prosecutors have been pursuing white collar crimes more aggressively. Prosecuting white collar crimes has become a top priority because of the large financial losses associated with these offenses, and of course the media attention they gain as the public is interested in corruption both in business and the government.
The criminal defense attorneys at the Garza Law Firm PLLC have represented individuals in federal court in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Greeneville, Tennessee, who have been charged with all types of white collar crimes.
Why 'White Collar' Crimes?
White collar criminal offenses are the type of criminal and civil offenses regarding fraudulent business scams and financial transactions. "White collar" is a term commonly used to describe business executives, with their tendency to wear white, collared shirts with ties.
White collar crimes can be prosecuted both on the state and federal level depending on which law enforcement agency conducted the investigation and whether state or federal statutes were violated. Individuals charged in federal court face significant prison terms and fines if convicted.
Some of the most commonly charged white collar criminal offenses include:
- Acts of terror
- Bank fraud
- Computer and Internet crimes
- Criminal conspiracy
- False advertising
- Health care fraud
- Identity theft
- Mail and wire fraud
- Money laundering
- Mortgage fraud
- Racketeering (RICO) violations
- Tax evasion
- Trade secret theft
The Prosecution Will Be Ready — Will You?
White collar criminal offenses can be extremely hard for the prosecution to get a conviction due to the burden it must establish regarding the knowledge and intent of the individual being accused. Furthermore, a plaintiff has the burden of extensively investigating a product or service before making an investment or buying. New tech transactions such as Internet and other electronic transactions and well-hidden paper trails make the job of the criminal or civil prosecution even more difficult.
What this means, of course, is that the prosecution will be thoroughly prepared when charges are actually brought. Therefore, an experienced criminal defense lawyer who comprehends white collar law and technology will become crucial to your defense.
Our team will work hard to minimize the charges you face through demonstrating, through investigation, evidence and witnesses that the accused had no knowledge or intent to commit fraud or that they are in fact completely innocent.
White Collar Penalties
A white collar crime conviction can result in heavy penalties and more, depending on the seriousness of the criminal offense as well as damages sustained. Additionally, a conviction can result in the loss of professional licenses, prison time along with a destroyed business reputation.
White collar crimes in federal court often result in multi-count indictments. The federal court will use the United States sentencing guidelines in such cases, and take into account the amount of loss that is alleged to have occurred in determining whether a prison sentence is warranted upon conviction for a white collar crime. A loss amount as little as $5,000 can result in a prison sentence.
The knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at the Garza Law Firm are committed to protecting the rights and future of individuals who have been charged with white collar crimes. Our experience and knowledge in this area will be key to protecting you.
What The Garza Law Firm Offers You
The lawyers at the Garza Law Firm believe in a creative and pro-active approach to defending clients charged with white collar crimes. Although every case is unique, our staff will work with investigators and other experts to investigate, develop and prepare the best defense available. We approach each and every case with tenacity and professionalism.
We are a team of federal defense lawyers that prepares every case as if it were going to trial. There are two benefits to this approach:
- First, preparing every case for trial ensures that nothing will be missed in evaluating a case. Thorough preparation of a case will most often lead to a favorable outcome.
- Secondly, you can be certain that no stone has been left unturned in preparing your case for trial.
We have many years experience representing clients who are being investigated or who have been charged with a white collar crime. When retained in advance of indictment (or in the "investigation" stage), we have been able to secure favorable resolutions for our clients and avoid some of the public scrutiny associated with these cases.
How White Collar Crimes Progress
Unlike gun and drug cases, the typical "white collar" case usually begins with a seemingly innocuous contact by law enforcement. Investigating agencies know that suspects or targets — usually businessmen or women — in these investigations will often give statements to police without consulting a defense attorney first.
Law enforcement agents will often show up at a person's business or home unannounced and ask to talk. In the ensuing discussion, the agent will take one of two approaches:
- He or she will be extremely friendly in demeanor to try to relax and gently coax you into making statements; or
- He or she will act like they already know everything, so you should go ahead and talk.
If you ask the agent whether you should contact a lawyer, the agent will often respond "only if you think you did something wrong." A targeted individual will often make the critical mistake of thinking that hiring an attorney makes them look guilty. This assumption is wrong and counterproductive to your case.
If you have been contacted by law enforcement or prosecutors indicating that you are a target of a criminal investigation, or if you have been served with a federal grand jury subpoena, you need to hire a skilled and respected defense attorney to represent you from the outset. At the Garza Law Firm PLLC, we handle white collar cases with discretion, savvy and intellect.