The term white-collar crime refers to criminal activity that involves fraud or theft committed in business or professional settings with the goal of achieving financial gain at others’ expense. In contrast with crimes that include violence or other forms of direct physical confrontation, white-collar crimes are usually executed through complex financial schemes, inaccurate accounting practices, or the solicitation of information in the pursuit of money, property, or some other type of financial advantage.
Being charged with a white-collar crime may be stressful and intimidating. The law office of Patrick McNally has over 35 years of experience handling white-collar crime cases. It is frequently sought after due to our record of success in representing clients facing these types of charges. Whether you just discovered charges are being served against you, or you are worried about the potential of being charged, the Patrick McNally team of white-collar crime attorneys can help alleviate your concerns by discussing your situation and reviewing your options.
White-collar crimes are often considered federal crimes and may be investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as agencies such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Treasury Department. To convict you with such a crime, a prosecutor must prove to a court or jury that you chose to knowingly and deliberately commit fraud against individuals or accepted money from a company or institution with the intention of not paying it back.
White-collar crimes involve many of the same legal principles as other crimes, and individuals charged with white-collar crimes possess the same rights and protections. However, criminal investigations into white-collar crime are difficult because they include a variety of legal and factual matters. Such cases are lengthy, complicated, and require comprehensive, highly detailed examination, as well as considerable resources. They can take months or even years to settle.
Many times, you may be unaware that you are the target of an investigation until the filing of formal charges. As soon as you suspect you may be under investigation, seek legal advice from an experienced defense attorney immediately and consult them before meeting with any law enforcement agencies.
A few of the most common white-collar crimes include:
However, other crimes might fall under the umbrella of white-collar crimes. If you are unsure or need to discuss your potential case, call my office.
White-collar crimes are typically treated differently than other crimes by the criminal justice system. Fines may be higher or prison sentences less harsh compared to an individual convicted of violent crimes. However, every case comes with its own unique set of circumstances, and there is never a guarantee that a white-collar criminal conviction will not result in a long amount of time spent in prison. Potential consequences of white-collar crimes include criminal penalties, civil liability, and negative effects on employment and social standing.
The criminal penalties associated with white-collar crime convictions vary based on the severity of the crime. A defendant may be required to pay a fine, perform community service, receive probation, forfeit profits, make restitution to their victims (paying back losses caused by criminal actions), serve time in prison, or a combination thereof.
Sentencing guidelines recommended to the court are based on the specifics of the crime and the defendant’s prior record. However, they differ depending on the specific jurisdiction and may take into account factors that allow for the imposition of a different sentence. Criminal defense attorneys can negotiate plea deals that lead to the dropping of more serious charges in exchange for pleading guilty to lesser charges or cooperating with ongoing investigations.
Along with criminal penalties, white-collar crime convictions can result in civil claims initiated by state or federal governments or the victims of the crime. When a civil claim is filed by the government, they may pursue restitution to the victims or disgorgement, which refers to turning over any profits that were acquired through the commission of the crime. Sometimes they will seek asset forfeiture, meaning anything purchased using the profits from the crime are seized.
When a civil claim is filed by the victims, their goal is to recover financial losses incurred because of the crime. Civil liabilities imposed on the defendant are in addition to, not a means of substitution for, the criminal penalties.
Employment and Social Consequences
An individual convicted of a white-collar crime may face long-lasting consequences in terms of their employment and social standing. Because the majority of white-collar crimes include deceit, potential employers may demonstrate an unwillingness to employ someone convicted of this kind of crime. Criminal convictions can also significantly affect one’s career, as they can prohibit the earning of particular professional licenses or can cause the individual to lose the license.
If the defendant is not a US citizen, they may be confronted with deportation or other immigration-related issues. Even lawful permanent residents can be removed from the country after a white-collar crime conviction. In addition to deportation, the individual’s ability to pursue citizenship may be adversely affected or completely prevented.
If you are charged with a white-collar crime, you face serious consequences, including financial penalties and imprisonment. You will likely also contend with a variety of personal and professional repercussions that may irreversibly alter your future. To understand and successfully navigate white-collar crime charges, you need an attorney qualified in this area and experienced in handling these types of cases. A skilled, knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can thoroughly examine your case from every possible angle to construct a defense that will best serve you.
Despite the lack of a violent element, a white-collar crime conviction can bring serious consequences. As a founding partner of Weatherly, McNally & Dixon, P.L.C., in Nashville, I have decades of experience providing criminal defense counsel, including in high-stakes federal cases.
For individuals facing charges related to white-collar crimes, there is much more than just a conviction at stake. Your professional reputation could be at risk, as well as your career and future opportunities. You have dedicated a significant portion of your life to building your professional reputation, and accusations of criminal activity can threaten to destroy everything you built.
White-collar criminal cases can be charged under state or federal laws. I have the experience needed to defend you effectively, regardless of the complexity or serious nature of your individual case. With more than 35 years of experience, I am able to build a defense that could minimize your criminal liability and potentially mitigate some of the consequences associated with white-collar crimes.
Due to the slow pace of the investigation process in these types of cases, it is beneficial to take quick action by seeking defense counsel as soon as possible. Even if you are only under investigation, I can help. You do not have to wait for formal charges to benefit from experienced defense counsel. In fact, an aggressive defense during the investigative stage could help you avoid charges completely.
We offer free initial consultations to individuals in Tennessee and Kentucky who are facing accusations of white-collar crimes. You can call our office toll free at 800-785-9546 or locally at 615-200-9559, or you can contact us online to schedule your appointment.