White collar crimes involve deceiving individuals, organizations or companies of their money. This type of crime is non-violent and usually occurs when a person in a position of trust abuses his/her power. Some examples of white collar crimes include, but are not limited to:
- Money laundering
- Electronic or cyber crime
- Bribery and corruption
- Tax Evasion
Although these crimes do not cause physical harm, they may carry heavy consequences. In Florida, penalties can include:
- Second Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail and/or fines not exceeding $500.
- First Degree Misdemeanor: Jail sentence up to 1 year and/or fines not exceeding $1,000.
- Third Degree Felony: Imprisonment up to 5 years and/or fines up to $5,000.
- Second Degree Felony: Imprisonment up to 15 years and/or fines not exceeding $10,000.
- First Degree Felony: Imprisonment for up 30 years or possible life imprisonment and/or fines not exceeding $10,000.
An aggravated white collar crime is defined under the Florida White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act as “engaging in at least two white collar crimes that have the same or similar victims, results, accomplices, intents, or methods of commission, or that are otherwise related by certain characteristics showing the offenses are not isolated from each other.” An aggravated white collar crime is a first degree felony.
It is important to hire a defense attorney if you are charged with or believe you are being investigated for committing a white collar crime. Common defenses include 1) Challenging or disproving the state’s case and 2) Entrapment, which is when law enforcement induced someone to commit a crime that he/she would not have committed otherwise.
For more information on the different types of white collar crimes, please visit: http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=36300