Los Angeles White Collar Crime Defense Lawyers
White collar crimes are typically nonviolent offenses perpetrated for financial gain. The suspect is often a professional or corporate officer who has control over a business’s finances. The victim may be a person, a corporation, the government or the American public as a whole.
Though normally not violent, white collar crimes are serious. The charges alone can tarnish your reputation and ruin your career. For this reason, it is vital to retain effective counsel as soon as you learn you are the target of an investigation. Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP was established 25 years ago by two former prosecutors who believe that every defendant deserves quality legal advice. Unfortunately, many people think that hiring a lawyer amounts to an admission of guilt. This is far from true: Not only do you have the right to counsel but by exercising that right, you may substantially improve the outcome of your case.
Types of white collar crimes
The term “white collar crime” refers to a wide range of offenses that, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) website can be summed up in three words: “lying, cheating, and stealing.” Its victims can be individual people, small and big businesses, or government entities, so these crimes can be prosecuted at both the state and federal levels. The following offenses are considered white collar crimes:
- Fraud —Fraud refers to any kind of misrepresentation or use of misleading information for personal gain. Actions that may be deemed fraudulent include adopting a false identity, using phony financial information or presenting a fake passport.
- Embezzlement — Embezzlement is a financial crime that usually occurs over an extended period of time. To prevail on an embezzlement charge, the prosecution must prove that you were in a position of trust over an account or money and you used the funds for personal gain — such as a manager who skims profits from a company.
- Extortion — Extortion involves the use of threats to gain either property or money from another individual. Extortion is typically connected to organized crime. You could face penalties of up to four years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine.
- Forgery — Altering a document or creating a fake one to pass off as the original is forgery. Examples of forgery include adjusting a will for your own personal benefit, signing with the wrong signature or creating counterfeit money to pass off as authentic.
- Money laundering — Money laundering is taking money that was acquired through an illicit activity — such as selling illegal drugs — and attempting to make it appear as if it came from a legitimate source.
- Identity theft — Identity theft involves using someone else’s personal information for some sort of gain, usually tied to financial matters. Applying for a loan or a credit card under another person’s name is considered identify theft.
- Bribery — Bribery occurs if you pay a public official or someone else who is supposed to be impartial to act in a manner favorable to your interests. The recipient of your bribe could be a police officer, council member or juror. Penalties depend on the scope of the crime.
- Tax evasion — In both state and federal arenas, tax evasion is a serious criminal offense that is viewed harshly by the government. Although there are many legitimate ways to reduce tax liability, an attempt to fraudulently avoid paying what you owe could be a criminal offense with fines up to $100,000 and incarceration of up to five years.
- Tax fraud — Tax fraud is a serious criminal offense. Underreporting your income, failing to file a tax return altogether, hiding assets or claiming incorrect deductions may be considered fraudulent and can be prosecuted on the state and federal levels.
In each of these crimes, it’s important to seek counsel with the financial knowledge and federal court experience you will need. Our attorneys possess both.
Retain attorneys who have the financial knowledge to defend you against white collar crime allegations
If you are the subject of a white collar crime investigation, call Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP at 888-579-4844 or contact us online. At your free initial consultation, we come up with a strategy designed to protect your rights and freedom.