The concept of “white-collar crime” includes many different crimes committed in many different ways. What all these crimes tend to have in common is the simple fact that they involve the business and financial systems of our society, and are accomplished without force and, most times, without threat.
White-collar crime is rampant and costs victims an enormous amount of money each year–some estimates place the amount as high as $400 billion. The fact that it is a nonviolent crime that occurs largely behind the scenes probably accounts for the tendency of the public to view it as less serious than the main forms of street crime. Nevertheless, the penalties if you are convicted can be harsh.
Protect your business reputation and your freedom. Call Orent Law today for the representation that can limit the negative consequences to your life following a white-collar crime allegation.
Arizona is among the national leaders in property-related fraud, especially the many aspects of mortgage fraud. That makes prosecutors anxious to get convictions in the field and, as always when prosecutions are zealously pursued in part for publicity purposes, some innocent people end up being targeted.
Other examples of white-collar crime include:
The many, many different forms of fraud—securities, bank, corporate, insurance, even healthcare—account for the bulk of white-collar crime. The criminals employ deceit, trickery, forgery, technology and sometimes, simply the use of information that they possess but are not supposed to use to make money, as in insider trading. The laws criminalizing these actions may be at the state or federal level, or both.
Especially in an electronic world, our personal identifying information—name, phone number, credit card and banking information, Social Security number, etc.—is the key to accessing a multitude of financial assets. Anyone who has enough information about you can claim to be you and spend or steal your money. This information is stored online in countless places where people intent on fraud can find it. It’s also routinely given to clerks of all kinds in person, over the phone, and online, where an unscrupulous person can steal and use it.
That, essentially, is identity theft, one of the true scourges of modern life. The extent of the problem is perfectly illustrated by the constant media coverage of people who have had their identity stolen, and by the number of commercial businesses now selling consumers protection against the crime.
Identity theft is a crime under both Arizona law and federal law. Arizona has two degrees of identity theft: simple and aggravated. Simple identity theft, which is a class 4 felony, involves the use or possession of someone else’s identity without their permission, for:
Aggravated identity theft, which is a class 3 felony, involves any of the following:
Under the federal law, penalties vary widely, from as little as 5 years to as long as 30 years, depending on various factors, including the extent of the loss that results from the theft to the purpose of the theft (facilitating terrorism carries the 30-year maximum).
Most white-collar crime cases are extremely complex and may require extensive knowledge of the latest technology, financial instruments, and terminology, as well as the intimate workings of financial institutions. An effective defense in these cases requires an experienced defense attorney with personal knowledge of how they are handled by the government and extensive contacts in the financial and technological world. Your attorney will need to have the resources and connections to bring on board various experts to support your case, especially forensic accountants.
Glendale, Arizona, criminal defense attorney Craig Orent understands the intricacies of criminal law in the state. A former prosecutor and public defender, Craig brings to the table nearly three decades of experience handling criminal matters of all types. He maintains relationships with well-respected forensic accountants and other experts who make themselves available to assist in developing a powerful white-collar criminal defense.