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  • White Collar & Antitrust Crimes

    Author : Criminal Defense Associates August 18, 2015

    In terms of time devoted by our criminal defense legal team, white collar and federal criminal cases make up approximately 80% of our criminal practice. The remainder of the firm's practice consists of criminal defense work that is not classified as white collar. The term "white collar criminal defense" refers only to the type of crime involved, usually a financial or business crime. It does not refer to the education or social standing of the individual accused. Many of our non white collar criminal cases involve clients who could be considered white collar in nature, and this sometimes affects the potential collateral consequences of any disposition offered in the course of our criminal defense representation.

    Criminal defendants facing white collar crime charges will often be forced to defend several interrelated charges arising from the same activity. For example, an individual arrested for alleged participation in a fraudulent medical clinic may be facing charges including Conspiracy, RICO (or Enterprise Corruption depending on whether the case is prosecuted by the federal or state authorities), Insurance Fraud, Money Laundering and Mail Fraud, among others. The criminal statutes contemplate this overlap and sometimes help to confuse matters. For example, mail fraud and wire fraud charges can be deemed to create the type of "specified unlawful activity" that may become the basis for prosecution of a money laundering charge. See §§ 1956(c)(7)(A), 1957(f)(3), and 1961(1)(B) See Also United States v. Hare, 49 F.3d 447, 451-52 (8th Cir. 1995), U.S. v. Massey, 48 F.3d 1560, 1565-67 (10th Cir.), U.S. v. Smith, 44 F.3d 1259, 1264-65 (4th Cir.) Our white collar crime practice utilizes the entire firm comprising our financial crimes defense lawyers based in New York.

    Major Fraud Against the United States 18 U.S.C. Section 1031: In 1988 a new criminal offense was created under The Major Fraud Act. Under the Major Fraud Act a person can be charged with this special brand of white collar criminal activity where the person knowingly tries to defraud the U.S. Government. The Act also includes situations where a supplier or subcontractor of the U.S. Government takes money or property valued at $1 Million Dollars or more via false pretenses. Arguments that the criminal statute is unconstitutionally vague have been defeated in the Second Circuit. The U.S. Department of Justice's -- the D.O.J. -- Criminal Division, Fraud Section Federal Procurement Fraud Unit prosecutes crimes involving charges arising under the Major Fraud Act. A "bounty-hunter" provision is included in the Major Fraud Act under 18 U.S.C.§ 1031(g). The bounty hunter provision allows the DOJ to make payments to anyone who can provide information.

    Wire Fraud and Mail Fraud 18 U.S.C. Section 1343: Wire fraud is described as a plan or scheme to defraud or otherwise obtain money under false pretenses or fraudulent means. Such fraud becomes "Wire Fraud" where the criminal defendant directly or indirectly makes use of television, radio, the wires including the internet in the furtherance of his or her criminal fraud scheme. The definition of the wires has been widely interpreted to include almost any media transmission. Punishment for Wire Fraud: Wire fraud can carry fines up to $1,000,000 and a thirty (30) year prison term. One determining factor in the sentence for wire fraud is whether the alleged criminal activity affected a financial institution. What is deemed to "affect" a financial institution is also up for argument. Money Laundering 18 U.S.C.A. Section 1956 & 1957: Money laundering techniques, strategies and schemes have become increasingly complex over the years. However, the crime itself remains fairly simple in its statutory construction. Put simply, a criminal defendant is guilty of money laundering if he knowingly conceals the source of money or revenue to hide the fact that it was generated by illegal activity or to avoid reporting the proceeds.

    Sentencing and Punishment: Money laundering charges carry sentencing exposure of up to 20 years in prison and a monetary fine of the greater of double the value of the money laundered or $500,000. Our criminal defense attorneys are experienced in defending clients from money laundering crime charges.

    Criminal Tax Fraud and Tax Evasion Charges The criminal defense of tax evasion charges presents some complicated issues that can actually be turned into opportunity for the experienced white collar criminal defense lawyer. This is because the line between (1) aggressive tax maneuvering through the lawful exploitation of potential loop holes in statutes not yet fleshed out by the courts and (2) outright criminal tax fraud can be a slippery one. This is less the case than it was prior to 2001-2004 when several entities that had employed these aggressive techniques found themselves facing charges for accounting fraud and securities reporting fraud. Tax evasion prosecution requires that the government prosecutors prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had knowledge of, or intent to engage in, the deceptive tax practices designed to take money from the the Government's coffers. Federal tax evasion and state tax fraud criminal charges are both fully prosecutable offenses at both the federal court and state criminal court level. If you can afford to hire the best criminal defense possible you would be advised to allow your criminal defense lawyer to hire a forensic or tax accountant, depending on the charges, to assist in the case. You will need an expert witness as well who can attempt to convince the prosecution, and a jury if necessary, that the defendant's conduct does not rise to the level of criminal tax fraud.

    Insurance Fraud, Medicare Fraud & Healthcare Fraud BLF's criminal lawyers have experience in defending their white collar crime clients from charges involving allegations of insurance fraud. This can also be prosecuted at both the state and federal levels and sometimes more than one state can prosecute a defendant for the same alleged activity. Money laundering is usually charged along with insurance fraud as the owner operators of medical clinics often use check cashing agencies to launder the proceeds of the illegal clinic. Simply cashing those checks in another state's jurisdiction can arguable give that state jurisdiction to prosecute all aspects of the insurance fraud case. At the state level, these charges usually include Enterprise Corruption, Grand Larceny, Insurance Fraud and Money Laundering. The state from which the allegedly fraudulent medicare or medicaid checks are sent and where the clinic is run can also prosecute for the insurance fraud charges and, depending on the facts of the case, other related charges. We typically have employed two levels of criminal defense in such cases. First, we defend the case on the grounds that the clinic was not run fraudulently. This involves showing that the patients were actually treated and that the treatment was medically necessary. Second we defend on the knowledge requirement. Often the prosecution simply cannot prove that the owner operator knew how it was being run. If the doctor or floor manager partakes in the profits of the medical practice then that manager or doctor has an incentive to send fraudulent bills to the insurance company.

    Bank Fraud Bribery Charges Environmental Law Violations Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Crimes - RICO Bid Rigging Price Fixing The list above is not by any means exhaustive or meant to encompass our criminal firm's entire breadth of experience handling white collar criminal cases in New York or elsewhere. Because of the serious nature and larger size of these cases our white collar and federal criminal defense team is prepared to defend cases in multiple jurisdictions. Our current criminal caseload involves allegations relating to Washington D.C., Virginia, California, Maryland, New York, and Miami, Florida. The majority of the firm's white collar criminal defense practice is based in Manhattan and the rest of NYC, primarily Brooklyn and Long Island. Our lawyers also practice criminal defense in the Bronx, Staten Island, Kings County - Brooklyn, Westchester, Buffalo, Niagara and Albany. Contact one of our New York criminal defense lawyer by calling (877) 7-BLANCH. We practice criminal defense law primarily at the federal level and also handle major NY state felonies in NYC. Our criminal defense attorneys have experience in the Bronx and Nassau County criminal courts. Our New York criminal defense lawyers also practice criminal law in Suffolk County, Westchester, throughout out Long Island and Brooklyn. Our Queens criminal defense practice consists of our criminal lawyers defending felony charges and major crimes in Queens, NY.

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