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An overview of white-collar crimes

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Financial crimes in Mississippi commonly fall under white-collar crimes, a term referring to the usual offenders of these illegal acts. Modern technology has enabled individuals to devise new methods of stealing or put a spin on an older version of theft.

Basics of white-collar crime

White-collar crimes are rarely violent, but they all have the same intent of deception for personal gain. These crimes are commonly committed by educated or affluent people in business sectors who rely on their position to illegally obtain money.

A common type of white-collar crime is a Ponzi scheme, which promises investors high returns. The old investors get paid with the “fees” from new recruits, so it makes the scheme look legal. Another type of type of white-collar crime is money laundering, or disguising funds illegally obtained. Other types of white-collar crime include pyramid schemes, securities fraud, embezzlement and ID theft.

Getting charged with a white-collar crime

The prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant willfully and knowingly committed the crime. Prosecution often pulls evidence from eyewitnesses, phone calls or bank records. The government agencies involved in the case depend on the type of crime, but the FBI, IRS or EPA will commonly investigate white-collar crimes.

A criminal defense attorney might argue that the defendant’s constitutional rights were violated in an unlawful search and seizure. Other common defenses include lack of intent, insanity, intoxication, duress and entrapment, which is a common white-collar crime defense.

Penalties for white-collar crimes commonly include jail, fines, restitution, supervised release and community confinement. An attorney may be able to help a defendant with their case and possibly get the charges lessened or even dismissed.