White-Collar Crimes in Seattle
by Lewis & Laws
White-Collar Crimes in Seattle
White-collar crimes are characterized by deceit, violation of trust, or concealment, rather than the threat of physical violence. The motivation behind a white-collar crime is almost always financial—either to obtain money, property or services, or to avoid losing money, property or services. While many people tend to think white-collar crimes are victimless, a single scam can destroy a company, devastate a family, or cost investors millions or billions of dollars. As technology advances, today's white-collar crimes tend to be more sophisticated than ever.
White-collar crimes which are particularly complex, tied to organized crime, or international, national or regional in scope are often investigated by the FBI. The FBI works closely with other federal agencies, including the IRS, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and other federal agencies as well.
What Are White-Collar Crimes?
In the end, there is no universal agreement on the definition of white-collar crimes. As an example, white-collar crimes are generally considered non-violent, however what about a huge corporation dumping toxic waste into a community's water source, threatening the health and life of those community members? Whether we agree on the definition of a white-collar crime or not, four of the most common white-collar crimes are:
- Money laundering
- Wire fraud
- Bank fraud
Identity theft is also a common white-collar crime, as is tax evasion, money laundering, mail fraud, perjury, insurance fraud, extortion, computer crimes, bribery, insider trading, mortgage fraud, welfare fraud and securities fraud.
The majority of white-collar crimes now involve a computer or other electronic device, although mail fraud involves a scheme or fraudulent activity carried out with the use of the United States mail.
Wire fraud is similar to mail fraud but involves communication over wires—electronic communications through the use of telephones, computers, the internet, cell phones or interstate wires.
Bank fraud includes a plan or scheme to defraud a financial institution such as a bank. Some type of deceit, trickery or dishonesty is used to obtain money, credit, security or another asset.
Money laundering involves obtaining money from an illegal activity (drug sales, theft, etc.) then transferring that money to conceal its origin and location.
Embezzlement is the crime most people associate with white-collar crimes. Embezzlement involves a person who is in a position of responsibility and trust over another's money, taking and using that money for themselves.
Penalties for White-Collar Crimes
Penalties for white-collar crimes can be extremely harsh, potentially including probation, home detention, restitution, significant fines, and possibly many, many years in jail. As the complexity of the crime increases, so will the fines increase accordingly in the event of a conviction. White-collar crimes can be difficult to defend, requiring a skilled Seattle criminal defense attorney who can successfully challenge the charges. Criminal white-collar investigations frequently overlap with related civil law matters, therefore you need a Seattle criminal defense attorney who can handle both the civil and criminal law aspects of your white-collar crime.
Have you or someone you love been arrested and charged with a white-collar crime? Contact the Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers at Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws
If you have been charged with a white-collar crime in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Everett, or anywhere in the state of Washington, a Seattle criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights. Let the expert defense team at Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws, PLLC fight aggressively for you and your future. Our lawyers have successfully defended clients in Seattle, Bellevue, and Kirkland. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our online contact form to get more information or to get a free case review!