LEGAL HELP FOR THOSE CHARGED WITH WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES
White-collar crimes are not crimes of violence, but the repercussions of white-collar criminal activity can negatively impact thousands of people. Anyone charged with such a crime in this state will need the advice and services of a Lemoyne white-collar criminal defense attorney.
Stealing money doesn’t require a gun and a getaway car. White-collar criminals use the Postal Service, the internet, accounting tricks, and deception.
A variety of non-violent, financially-motivated crimes are considered “white-collar” crimes. These crimes may be prosecuted as misdemeanors or as felonies hinging on the details of each case and the criminal record of the alleged perpetrator.
Convictions for the most egregious white-collar crimes usually mean lengthy prison terms, and that’s only the start of an offender’s legal troubles. If you’re convicted a white-collar crime, that conviction may be followed with a civil lawsuit as your victim or victims seek to recover losses.
WHICH CRIMES ARE CONSIDERED WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES?
White-collar crimes typically involve deception, fraud, and theft. If you deceive, commit fraud, or forge signatures or documents to obtain property or money illegally, you’re committing a white-collar crime. These crimes include but are not limited to:
- Embezzlement, which happens when someone entrusted to protect assets or property steals the assets or property.
- Bankruptcy fraud, which happens when someone fails to disclose his or her assets completely in a bankruptcy filing.
- Credit card fraud, which happens when someone uses a credit card without intending to pay or when someone accesses a credit card account without authorization.
- Forgery, which happens when someone uses another person’s signature on a financial document or alters such a document for financial gain.
- Money laundering, which happens when financial transactions are made to conceal the source or identity of illegally-obtained funds.
HOW ARE EMBEZZLEMENT AND OTHER FINANCIAL CRIMES PENALIZED?
No single law specifically addresses embezzlement in Pennsylvania, so the crime – along with several other white-collar crimes – is prosecuted as theft. Penalties for an embezzlement conviction primarily depend on the amount or the type of property that was stolen:
- For embezzling less than $50 or property valued below $50, the maximum penalty is a year in jail and a $2,500 fine, unless you are also accused of breaching a fiduciary duty. If a fiduciary duty is breached, the penalty can be up to five years in prison.
- For embezzling from $50 to $200 or property valued between $50 and $200, the maximum penalty is two years behind bars and a $5,000 fine, unless you are also accused of breaching a fiduciary duty.
- For embezzling from $200 to $2,000 or property valued between $200 and $2,000, the maximum penalty is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- For embezzling from $2,000 to $500,000 or property valued between $2,000 and $500,000, the maximum penalty is seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Any theft over $2,000 is a felony in Pennsylvania.
- If more than $500,000 in money or property is embezzled, the charge is a first-degree felony punishable upon conviction with a twenty-year prison term and a $25,000 fine.
WHEN IS A WHITE-COLLAR CRIME A FEDERAL OFFENSE?
The prosecutor in a white-collar case must prove – beyond a reasonable doubt – that a defendant took money or property with the intention of permanently depriving the rightful owner of that money or property.
If federal authorities get involved in a white-collar case, the stakes are higher and the penalties harsher. If a state line is crossed, even by using the internet or the Postal Service, or if a large amount of cash or property is involved, a white-collar crime may be charged as a federal offense.
But even if you’re found not guilty of committing a white-collar crime, or if the charge is dismissed, a criminal case can consume your time and resources. The right defense attorney can sometimes expedite the process and bring a white-collar case to a rapid and positive conclusion.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND THE RIGHT DEFENSE LAWYER?
In Cumberland County, Dauphin County, and adjacent jurisdictions, the right lawyer for these cases is Lemoyne white-collar criminal defense attorney R. Davis Younts. Don’t try to act as your own lawyer. The stakes will be too high, and anything you say could be used against you.
Attorney R. Davis Younts has been practicing law in Pennsylvania for eighteen years. After reviewing the case and the charge or charges, he will develop an effective strategy for your defense, and he will fight hard for the justice you need.
If you are accused of any white-collar crime in Dauphin or Cumberland County, arrange at once to meet with attorney R. Davis Younts. Even the best defense attorney needs time to investigate a white-collar case and to develop the right defense strategy.
You can reach attorney R. Davis Younts by calling (833) 739-5291 or (717) 612-4840. His law offices are located at 26 North Ninth Street in Lemoyne. If you’re charged with any crime in Pennsylvania, reaching out promptly for a good defense attorney’s help is the right thing to do.