While certainly not as serious as being indicted for a violent crime, many white collar crimes lead to serious criminal penalties for those convicted. White collar crimes are generally related to financial matters, and involve no violence. Whether you are an accounting clerk in charge of the company petty cash box or in a management position with a bank or financial institution, you could be accused of a crime.
Falsifying a loan application, neglecting to report all of your assets when filing bankruptcy, even failing to file a tax return could leave you facing criminal charges. From highly visible celebrities to those working in a factory, literally anyone can find themselves being indicted for a crime.
Common White Collar Crimes in Los Angeles
It is important to seek the guidance and support of a seasoned Los Angeles white collar crimes defense attorney at the earliest possible stage, whether you are under investigation or have been indicted. Evidence tends to get lost or facts skewed; memories aren’t as clear after time passes. Taking action early ensures you of the strongest, most effective defense.
Some of the most common white collar crimes include:
- Embezzlement – If you appropriate funds which are owned by another person or your company and are in your trust or care in a way that is unlawful, you may be accused of embezzlement. For instance, an accountant may steal company funds, and manipulate accounting records in order to conceal the theft.
- Tax fraud – Tax fraud occurs when an individual reports income that is not correct, attempts to hide assets, or claims fake or inaccurate deductions on state or federal tax forms.
- Tax evasion – Failing or purposely avoiding the filing of tax returns is considered tax evasion.
- Computer crime – Violating copyrights, hacking, and introduction of viruses on a computer are just a few examples of crimes committed on the Internet.
- Bribery – Bribery is punishable by fines of up to $10,000 and up to four years in prison, and occurs when an individual gives another person payment or property in exchange for official action.
- Fraud – Schemes, falsifying documents, or lying in an effort to take another individual’s money or property by knowingly misrepresenting the truth constitutes fraud.
As you can see, it could be easy to be wrongfully accused of a white collar crime. Depending on the offense a person is charged with, a conviction could mean thousands of dollars in fines and any number of years in prison – not to mention your career and reputation would be ruined.
If you have been arrested for tax fraud, bribery, or any white collar crime or are under investigation, be sure to choose a highly skilled and aggressive criminal defense attorney who is capable of securing positive results. The lawyer you choose could make the difference between years in prison, and your freedom.