Amarillo White Collar Crime Defense Attorney
Texas Types of White Collar Crimes
Many white collar cases are the result of accounting errors, billing mistakes, or business deals gone bad. Just because an investor, business, or even the government itself lost money does not necessarily mean there was criminal intent. White collar prosecutions are typically tenuous, circumstantial, or based on hearsay statements of those who have an ax to grind or stand to benefit from the prosecution.
Regardless of whether you are facing serious white collar or cybercrime charges in federal or state court, the consequences of a conviction can impact the rest of your life.
The most common white collar crimes are:
- Antitrust violations
- Bank fraud
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Cellular phone fraud
- Computer/internet fraud
- Corporate fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Economic espionage
- Environmental law violations
- Export controls violations
- Financial institutions fraud
- False Claim Act violations
- Government fraud
- Health care fraud
- Identity theft fraud
- Insider trading
- Insurance fraud
- Investment schemes
- Mail fraud
- Market manipulation fraud
- Mass marketing fraud
- Money laundering
- Mortgage fraud
- Office of Foreign Assets and Control (OFAC) violations
- Phone and telemarketing fraud
- Piracy/intellectual property theft
- Public corruption
- Securities and commodities fraud
- Social security fraud
- Tax evasion
- Trade secret theft
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations
Understanding the White Collar Federal Crime Process in Texas
White collar criminal suspects are normally professionals with no experience dealing with law enforcement agents or the federal criminal courts. They often feel overwhelmed when confronted by investigators because, at a moment’s notice, their livelihood, reputation, and freedom are at stake.
In order to appear cooperative, many professionals will submit to interviews with FBI agents or other federal criminal investigators without a lawyer. This is a mistake that could dramatically affect their ability to defend themselves. Criminal suspects often have nothing to gain and everything to lose by talking to federal agents. Even making false statements in response to embarrassing questions can result in federal felony charges of making false statements to federal agents.
Federal agents are trained in interviews tactics that encourage individuals to cooperate and talk.
Do not be fooled by statements like:
- “If you haven’t done anything wrong, you don’t need a lawyer.”
- “I am just trying to close this investigation.”
- “If you have nothing to hide, you don’t need a lawyer.”
White collar crime trials are complex. An ordinary criminal trial may take only a day or two to complete and involve testimony from just a few witnesses. However, the government often tries to confuse and mislead juries through a barrage of physical exhibits, complicated charts, electronic evidence such as emails, volumes of financial records, and dozens of witnesses, including professional experts who make a living testifying for government prosecutors.
Government prosecutors want the jury to presume guilt based on the sheer weight and volume of mostly irrelevant evidence, creating a “smell” of wrongdoing, but this is the very flaw in the government’s case that a skilled defense attorney can spot and use to their advantage.
Texas Money Laundering Criminal Defense
An example of renewed focus in white collar investigations and prosecutions is money laundering cases. There are two federal money laundering statutes: 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956 and 1957.
Of the two, Section 1956 is the one most often used to prosecute money laundering offenses. The statute prohibits four kinds of money laundering. Each can occur only in connection with what the statute defines as “specified unlawful activities” (SUA).
Section 1957 prohibits depositing or spending more than $10,000 of the proceeds from Section 1956 SUA. In short, money laundering has been defined as the act of transferring illegally obtained money through people or accounts so that its original source cannot be traced.
Section 1956 carries a penalty of not more than 20 years while Section 1957 carries a penalty of not more than 10 years. Violations of these two statutes may implicate other federal statutes, such as RICO, which involves additional 20-year felonies. Violations of these two statutes may also involve conspiracies to commit separate federal offenses punishable by imprisonment of not more than five years.
White Collar Cyber & Computer Crimes in Texas
Historically, white collar crimes were committed through paperwork. Today, they are committed with a computer involving the internet. This has spawned what is generally referred to as “cybercrimes” — criminal activity associated with information technology’s infrastructure, including illegal access (unauthorized access), illegal data interception or interference (unauthorized damaging, deletion, deterioration, alteration, or suppression of computer data), systems interference (interfering with the functioning of a computer system), misuse of devices, forgery (ID theft), and electronic fraud.
In brief, cybercrimes involve activity in which a computer, network, or the internet is the source, tool, target, or place of a crime – including activity such as fraud, hacking, copyright infringement, child pornography, and child grooming.
The law is forever changing with respect to white collar and cybercrimes. These kinds of offenses frequently require criminal defense attorneys to use “forensic experts” and experienced investigators to fight the charges. Forensic experts are able to examine a defendant’s computer hard drive and, after careful analysis, can offer possible defenses. Investigators, including skilled CPAs, are able to research the volumes of paperwork and documents associated with these cases to determine the validity of what the government is charging.
Texas Corruption & Bribery Laws
Corruption charges against state or local officials, on the other hand, often involve videotaped surveillance of charged criminal transactions, electronic intercepts, GPS tracking, cellphone pinging, volumes of incriminating documents, banking statements, and eyewitness testimony. Federal prosecutors will often dump huge amounts of discovery documents and information upon defense attorneys in corruption cases to force them into cumbersome review, investigations, and the hiring of skilled experts to examine the maze of documentary evidence.
Quackenbush Law Firm White Collar Legal Counsel
If you hope to avoid incarceration, heavy fines, and a lasting stain on your permanent record, you will need an aggressive, intelligent, and innovative defense. The right attorney can be the difference between suffering a lengthy period of incarceration or avoiding criminal charges altogether. Get help from me today to start planning your defense.
At Quackenbush Law Firm, I represent business executives, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals facing federal charges in Houston, throughout Texas, and in federal courts nationwide. Given the huge financial losses suffered as a result of white collar crimes, the Department of Justice has announced that white collar investigations and prosecutions will be treated as one of the top priorities and will be punished severely. If you were accused of one of these crimes, you need help from an experienced Amarillo criminal defense lawyer on your side. Call Quackenbush Law Firm today.
Schedule your free consultation with Quackenbush Law Firm by dialing (806) 424-4108 or contacting the firm online to get started.