While white-collar crimes are financial and typically don’t involve violence, both the Federal Government and Ohio treat these cases as serious offenses. A conviction can lead to harsh penalties, including steep fines and a prison sentence.
You should contact a Toledo white collar crime lawyer as soon as you know you are under investigation. When you retain Patituce & Associates for legal counsel and representation, our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys will fight for your rights using their decades of experience.
We have vigorously and effectively defended individuals and businesses against accusations of white-collar crime in both state and federal court. Call our Toledo criminal defense attorneys at 419-737-4556 to schedule a free phone consultation.
What Is a White Collar Crime?
White-collar crimes are financial crimes that are often committed in a business setting. Common examples include fraud and embezzlement. Typically, white-collar crimes are met with severe penalties, including fines, prison sentences, or both. In some circumstances, these cases may be prosecuted as federal crimes.
In Toledo, we represent those who are accused of white-collar crimes. Here are some of the cases we handle.
Identity theft is when someone steals another individual’s personal information to obtain services, money, or benefits in the victim’s name. Many people have had their identities or account information stolen in the US. Identity thieves may use the victim’s personal information to create new bank accounts or lines of credit or make purchases.
As a base charge, identity theft is a fifth-degree felony with a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. For values over $150,000, identity theft is a second-degree felony carrying a maximum of 8 years in prison.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there are many types of securities fraud, including:
- Ponzi schemes
- High-yield investment fraud
- Pyramid schemes
- Foreign currency fraud
- Broker embezzlement
- Advanced fee schemes
- Late-day trading
- Fraud involving hedge funds
Fraudsters often attempt to deceive investors by fabricating information and manipulating the financial markets. Delivering incorrect information, withholding crucial information, giving subpar counsel, and acting on private information violate the securities fraud law.
Embezzlement is when a person steals funds under his/her control. For instance, an accountant might be charged with altering financial records to transfer funds to their account. A retail cashier might be charged for stealing money from the register.
The prosecutor must prove that you took the money or assets on purpose for you to be found guilty of embezzlement.
Tax evasion occurs when taxpayers fabricate, misrepresent, or lie on their tax returns to obtain a larger refund. Some of the most typical ways that people attempt to evade paying taxes are:
- Underreporting of income
- Requesting for more tax exemptions than necessary
- Not covering the entire debt
According to the IRS, 17% or so of taxpayers do not adhere to the tax laws. If you didn’t intend to commit fraud, the good news is that you probably won’t be charged with a crime. Alternatively, you’ll be required to pay the correct sum, a penalty, or both.
Money laundering typically takes place after another crime. Making money from an unlawful business appears to have come from a legitimate source is known as money laundering. The act may involve:
- Putting a little bit of money each month into a bank account
- Purchasing pricey items with the money
- Using a front cash-based company to cover an unlawful business
You may be charged with more than one crime if you are found guilty of money laundering. The first is the unlawful crime where you have obtained large amounts of cash, and the second is money laundering.
What Are Some Common Factors in White Collar Crimes?
The prosecution must prove three factors to convict you of a white-collar crime. If they are present, the jury will likely find you guilty of the charges.
You must intentionally commit a white-collar crime to be judged guilty. For example, someone who knowingly lies on tax returns can be convicted of tax fraud. But a person who made a mistake doing their taxes may be able to avoid a conviction and instead pay the IRIS what they actually owe.
However, you might not be penalized if you accidentally committed an offense.
Everyone is capable of committing crimes. However, the law deems the following individual categories as lacking the capacity to understand their actions were wrong.
- Children under the age of 14, unless there is a strong argument that they knew the act they are accused of at the time it was done was wrong.
- People who are deemed legally insane.
- People who unknowingly carried out the alleged act.
Since many white-collar crimes include lying to obtain money, they are classified as fraud. Fraud includes securities offenses such as Ponzi schemes and corporate money theft. It also comprises tax evasion because those who engage in it defraud the government.
The prosecution must demonstrate that you obtained money through deception.
What Are Some Common Defenses for White Collar Crimes?
White-collar criminals may not use force but still face hefty fines and lengthy sentences in prison if convicted. If you are charged with a white-collar crime, you should speak with a white-collar criminal defense attorney in Toledo who knows your options and how to use them properly.
The following are some of the most typical strategies a Toledo white collar crime lawyer from Patituce & Associates can use to defend you.
Identifying the Weaknesses in the Prosecution’s Case
Prosecutors rarely go to trial unless they have a strong case and a lot of evidence against the defendant. There are valid reasons for a prosecutor to pursue a lawsuit. Our Toledo white collar criminal defense lawyer will endeavor to refute significant claims made by the prosecutor to justify the dismissal of your case by finding errors or weaknesses in the evidence.
Absence of Intent
The prosecution must prove two crucial things in a white-collar crime case. The first is that the defendant intended to commit the act, and the second is that the act was criminal.
Sometimes, a defendant makes a mistake (such as an accounting error) and might not even gain any benefit from the alleged crime. The case can be dismissed if the prosecution cannot demonstrate that the defendant intended to commit a crime for financial gain.
Lack of Knowledge
Typically, you usually cannot claim you didn’t know you were committing a crime and use this as a defense. However, a lack of knowledge can be a strong defense if others hatched a scheme and you played a role in the plan without being aware that a crime was being committed.
Coercion, or being forced to commit a crime, is a legal defense for white-collar crimes. One form of coercion that can be used as a defense in court is when someone threatens your family to make you commit a crime.
Entrapment involves the defendant being coerced into doing something by a law enforcement official. Entrapment is a concept that is often misunderstood.
Many defendants believe that if an undercover officer convinces them to do something illegal, it must constitute entrapment. However, that is not true. You must prove you would not have committed the offense if the government employee hadn’t coerced you to assert the entrapment defense successfully.
Why Should I Hire a Toledo White Collar Crime Attorney From Patituce & Associates?
If you are facing white-collar criminal charges or the possibility of being charged in a criminal investigation, Patituce & Associates can provide you with the legal representation you need to face your charges confidently.
Here are some of the reasons why you should hire our Toledo white collar crime lawyers.
Experience You Can Trust!
Our skilled defense attorneys are familiar with the procedures of the Ohio courts and can guide you through the process according to your particular circumstances. Our team, which includes former prosecutors, has been able to take 200+ cases to trial. We know how prosecutors handle these cases and how to find and attack any weaknesses.
We Will Conduct an Independent Investigation
We simply won’t depend on the police investigation. We will conduct our own independent investigation to get the charges against you either dismissed completely or reduced. We will investigate the evidence presented against you to ensure that the prosecution is operating within the confines of the law.
100% Transparency From Start To Finish
Some criminal defense lawyers will present a positive case for why they can aid you. They will assure you that going to court won’t result in negative outcomes. Then you receive a 5-year prison sentence after being found guilty of a white-collar crime. The lawyer said it wouldn’t happen, but it did because you had faith in the system to function properly and establish your innocence.
Patituce & Associates is aware of the repercussions of breaking the law. We can explain to you what will occur if you are found guilty and what you ought to do in your particular circumstance.
If the prosecution offers you a plea bargain, our Toledo white-collar criminal defense attorneys will advise you whether accepting it is preferable to fighting the charges in court. We know the typical punishments meted out by Ohio judges for various white-collar crimes and how to have your case dismissed.
Work With Experienced Toledo White Collar Crime Lawyers
White-collar crimes have severe penalties, including steep fines and prison sentences. In some circumstances, these cases may be prosecuted at the federal level where sentencing is harsher.
If you are under investigation or have been charged with a white-collar crime, it is crucial to contact an experienced defense attorney in Toledo who will aggressively protect your rights. Our team at Patituce & Associates has the knowledge and experience necessary to represent you in any white-collar criminal case in Ohio.
Whether you have been accused of money laundering, tax evasion, fraud, or any other white-collar crime, our attorneys will work tirelessly to defend you. Our team has over 70 years of legal experience and includes former prosecutors.
Call us at 419-737-4556 or fill out our online form to schedule a free phone consultation.