When Can White Collar Crimes Lead to Federal Charges?
Offenses that are classified under the category of white-collar crimes may seem to be less serious than some other types of criminal charges. These crimes are usually of a financial nature, and they may not involve any direct contact between an alleged offender and the alleged victim(s). Unlike violent crimes or sex crimes, they usually will not result in physical harm. However, because white-collar crimes may lead to significant financial losses for individuals, financial institutions, or other businesses or organizations, they are taken very seriously by law enforcement, and in some cases, those who are accused of these offenses may face federal charges.
Financial Crimes and Other Related Federal Offenses
When white-collar crimes occur at a smaller scale, affecting a limited number of people or taking place within a specific geographical area, they may be limited to state-level charges. However, larger-scale offenses that affected people in several states or involved the transfer of money across international borders are more likely to be prosecuted at the federal level. "Interstate or foreign commerce" is a key element in many of these cases, and federal officials may prosecute people for offenses that allegedly involve the movement of money or assets throughout several states or countries.
There are numerous different types of criminal charges that may be pursued by federal prosecutors in cases involving allegations of white collar crimes, including:
Wire fraud - This form of fraud involves obtaining money or property through false pretenses while using electronic communications. Examples of wire fraud include scams initiated by contacting someone through email or text messages, using "phishing" schemes to obtain information that can be used to access people's online accounts, or using fake websites to obtain people's credit card information. Because these forms of fraud may affect people in multiple states or involve messages sent over the internet, federal wire fraud charges may apply.
Money laundering - Transactions that are conducted for the purpose of making it appear that money that was obtained illegally came from legitimate sources may be considered money laundering. Federal charges for money laundering may apply if transactions were related to certain types of crimes, such as drug trafficking, or if money was transferred or moved throughout multiple states or countries.
Identity theft - Obtaining, using, transferring, or selling someone else's personal identifying information may lead to criminal charges for identity theft. While this offense is often prosecuted at the state level, federal charges of aggravated identity theft may apply in situations where someone's information was allegedly used to commit certain types of felony offenses. These offenses include bank or credit card fraud, gun trafficking, and violations of immigration laws.
The consequences of a conviction for a federal crime can be severe. Many offenses will result in sentences of several years or even multiple decades in federal prisons. Fines totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars may also apply. Because of the complexity of these cases and the serious penalties a person may face, it is crucial to work with an attorney who has experience defending clients in federal courts.
Contact Our Dallas Federal White Collar Crimes Lawyers
In cases involving federal charges for white-collar crimes or other related offenses, a lawyer with experience in these types of cases can make sure your rights will be protected while helping you build an effective defense strategy. At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., we have helped clients defend against numerous types of federal charges. With our understanding of the federal laws that apply in cases involving white-collar crimes and our knowledge of the procedures followed in federal courts, we can provide the guidance and representation you need. For a free consultation, contact our Plano federal crimes defense attorneys at 214-303-9600.