White collar crime involves non-violent acts committed for financial gain by government or business professionals in a position of authority. Usually called fraud or embezzlement, these crimes also include insider trading, tax evasion, trade secret theft, and public corruption.
Lawyers often call them “paper” cases due to the overwhelming amount of complex transactions involved. And, you could be prosecuted in either state court or federal court for such crimes.
And here’s the worst part of it – you can be charged even if you had no personal knowledge of the wrongdoing of your business or corporation. That’s right, even if you did not do anything at all. That’s because of the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine (RCO).
Under the (RCO) doctrine, there is a legal presumption that a corporate officer is aware of the corporation's wrongdoing. And even if they had no knowledge, they can be found guilty. This doctrine came from two Supreme Court cases, United States v. Dotterweich, 320 U.S. 277 (1943), and United States v. Park, 421 U.S. 658 (1975).
If you are accused or under investigation, here’s what you are up against and why you should not go it alone. A number of federal agencies, including the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), can enforce federal white-collar crime laws. In addition, most states employ their own agencies to enforce white-collar crime laws at the state level.
Types of white collar crimes
- Breach of trust - involves a person entrusted with financial duties that violates that trust such as using money for personal gain and without permission or employees taking equipment or cash from a business.
- Embezzlement – a theft of money by a person who has legal access to that money and takes it without permission. Often involves the theft of public funds.
- Broad categories including insurance and healthcare fraud. Also, computer, internet, bankruptcy, mail, securities, and telemarketing fraud. Also, counterfeiting, antitrust violations, intellectual piracy and theft, money laundering and public corruption.
Depend on the amount stolen. The breakdown in South Carolina is:
- Items worth less than $2,000 - Up to $1,000 fine, up to 30 days in jail
- Items worth $2,000 to $10,000 - Fines vary, up to 5 years in jail
- Items worth more than $10,000 - Fines vary, up to 10 years in jail
Other consequences include fines, home detention, paying the cost of prosecution, forfeiture, restitution, supervised release, and imprisonment.
Don’t wait to hire an attorney
If you are facing charges, it’s important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. As a former assistant federal prosecutor, attorney Matt Bodman knows how to defend you from the tactics often used by the government. With his team of investigators, he can investigate every allegation and defend your rights. He has nearly 20 years of experience handling complex white collar cases and has served as a commentator on Court TV, now known as TruTV.
Contact him for your strongest defense.