As federal defense attorneys, we see many types of white collar crime. White collar crimes are typically fraud-type offenses that can be committed on a large scale and have deceitful or criminal intentions behind them. White collar crimes can have severe penalties, which is why it’s important to have a stalwart and trustworthy white collar defense law firm by your side if you’re facing charges.
If you are ever charged with one of these 5 common types of white collar crime, contact the attorneys at Westfall Sellers to help build your defense. Your reputation and livelihood are on the line.
1. Bank fraud
If you haven’t read our article, “What is bank fraud?” we’ll break bank fraud down for you here. Bank fraud occurs when intentional deception, pretense, or false information is used to steal from a bank, financial institution, or a bank’s depositors. Bank fraud is usually committed with the intent of financial gain or some other benefit including information.
There are 3 different types of bank fraud:
- Check and credit card fraud (including forgery, check or credit card theft, check kiting, and money laundering)
- Internet bank fraud, phishing, and bank impersonation
- Accounting fraud and fraudulent loans
Cases involving bank fraud are investigated by the U.S. Secret Service Agency. Similar to most criminal cases, the penalties for bank fraud vary at the state and federal levels. In Texas law, bank fraud can be considered a Class A Misdemeanor, a State Jail Felony, or a Third-Degree Felony depending on the severity of your case. Meanwhile, a bank fraud conviction at the federal level can result in a fine of up to 1 million dollars and a prison sentence of up to 30 years.
The most commonly deployed defense in a bank fraud case is that the party did not knowingly commit the crime, but proving ignorance of a crime isn’t always an easy feat. For a tough defense, you need an attorney with years of experience dealing with white collar crime cases. If you require a bank fraud attorney in Dallas – Fort Worth, Westfall Sellers has a team of accomplished attorneys that are ready to fight for your reputation, your business, and your financial security.
2. Healthcare fraud
Though healthcare fraud is considered a type of white collar crime, anyone can be charged with healthcare fraud. It is estimated that billions of dollars are spent as a result of fraudulent healthcare spending.
A healthcare fraud offense is classified in the Texas Penal Code Chapter 35A as when a person “knowingly makes a false statement or misrepresentation that a person received payment or benefits under an unauthorized health care program, the benefit or service was not medically necessary, and/or was charged for more than the service or benefit was worth.” Basically, an individual or an organization deceives a healthcare program (like Medicare or Medicaid) for financial gain.
Common examples of healthcare fraud include:
- Billing for a non-covered service
- Filing duplicate claims for one service rendered
- Altering dates and identities related to rendered services
- Modifying medical records
- Prescribing unnecessary treatment and/or procedures
- Prescription drug fraud
- Falsifying diagnoses for higher payments
Penalties for healthcare fraud expand beyond jail time and fines –– even just being convicted of federal healthcare fraud can have severe repercussions on your career. You could potentially lose your medical license, your practice… and the list goes on.
That’s why if you’ve been convicted of healthcare fraud, you need a top healthcare fraud attorney to help you navigate the complex healthcare system. The second you think you may be suspected of fraud or impropriety, contact the attorneys at Westfall Sellers today. Don’t risk losing everything you’ve worked so hard for.
Keep reading: Charged with healthcare fraud? Check out our guide to healthcare fraud defense.
Conspiracy is another one of the top types of white collar crime. If the government believes that you encouraged or aided someone to commit a crime with the intent to break the law –– even if the crime was not actually committed –– you can be charged with conspiracy. Under Texas law, you can be penalized as if you have committed the crime yourself. Conspiracy charges are typically tied to federal drug crimes or organized criminal activity cases.
With conspiracy cases, the government has to be able to prove:
- The defendant and at least one other person agreed to commit a crime;
- The defendant knew the unlawful purpose of the agreement and joined in it willfully, that is, with the intent to further the unlawful purpose; and
- That one of the conspirators during the existence of the conspiracy knowingly committed at least one overt act to accomplish the object or purpose of the conspiracy.
Do not try to talk yourself out of this. If you suspect that you will be contacted or are currently being investigated, DO NOT DELAY! Contact our federal conspiracy defense lawyers in Texas immediately to help with your case.
4. Mail fraud
Title 18 U.S. Code § 1341 defines mail fraud as devising or scheming to obtain money or property in a false or fraudulent manner with any article sent through any United States Postal Service post office or other authorized depository for mail matter.
Any mail fraud conviction will have to prove the following:
- The defendant intentionally lied or made false promises
- The defendant intended to defraud a party out of money, property, or services
- The defendant used a mail service to carry out the scheme
A person may be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and fined up to $250,000 for mail fraud charges. The penalties will increase depending on the severity of the scheme. If you’ve been charged with mail or wire fraud, a criminal defense lawyer at Westfall Sellers can help you build your case.
Last in our list of types of white collar crime — but not least (by far) — is cybercrime. Cybercrime or Internet Crimes are crimes committed with the use of the internet and technology. It can be broken down into 3 categories with examples:
- Crimes against people: Child pornography and identity theft
- Crimes against property: Copyright infringement
- Crimes against the government: Hacking and cyberterrorism
Because cybercrime is such a wide umbrella, each offense has its own punishment and penalty depending on the severity of the crime. To learn more about the types of cybercrimes in Texas, visit our website. In a cybercrime case, these defensive strategies can aid in proving your innocence:
- Proving that your computer was hacked
- Showing that law enforcement conducted their investigations improperly, including with regard to search warrants and probable cause
- Demonstrating how it is possible that other people may have committed the crime (i.e. that there is insufficient evidence to pinpoint you as the exact user) when the computer is in use by multiple persons
Being charged with cybercrime can be detrimental to your reputation, career, and daily life, so choosing the right cybercrime defense lawyer can determine if your case will be a success or not. An attorney at Westfall Sellers can help you build a defense and protect your freedom.
Charged with a White Collar Crime? Contact a Westfall Sellers Attorney today.
A white collar crime defense attorney from Westfall Sellers can provide you with vital white collar case defense for all types of white collar crime. Our criminal defense lawyers Greg Westfall and Frank Sellers have extensive experience in these types of cases. In fact, Super Lawyer Greg Westfall specializes in white collar crime cases.
You only get one shot at this. Trust the legal team at Westfall Sellers to fight for your rights. Contact our team online today or call 817-928-4222.
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