White Collar Criminal Defense Attorneys in Las Vegas, Nevada Explain Legal Definitions and Sentencing
White collar crime is a name for crimes involving businesses, fraud, or forgery by people in positions of trust. These offenses are different from violent crimes because they do not usually involve physical confrontation or violence.
Still, the state and federal government are very active in pursuing white collar crime convictions. These crimes are usually felony offenses which can destroy your ability to get employment in the future, in addition to carrying long prison sentences, expenses fines, and restitution to victims.
If you have been arrested for a white collar crime in Nevada, contact LV Criminal Defense to help you develop a sound legal strategy so you can fight accusations. Our legal team has extensive experience handling cases involving white collar crime and we can put our knowledge of the law to work for you.
You should give us a call as soon as you are under investigation or if you have been charged so our firm can work to help you develop a legal strategy aimed at reducing the chances of conviction or avoiding penalties. Let us help you fight for your future by giving us a call today.
What is white collar crime?
A vast number of different crimes in Nevada are considered to be white collar crimes. Examples of white collar crimes include:
- Identity Theft
- Money Laundering
- Bank Fraud
- Wire and Mail Fraud
- Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO)
- Conspiracy to commit RICO
- Mortgage Fraud
- Health Care Fraud
- Computer Crimes
- Investment and Securities Fraud and
- False Billing and Healthcare Fraud
These crimes are considered “white collar” because they are often associated with an organized business enterprise and are often committed by a person who misuses his or her position of trust. Most non-violent financial crimes are classified as white collar offenses, but while they are not violent, they are still serious crimes and harsh penalties could be imposed upon conviction.
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Summary of White Collar Crimes in Nevada
Most white collar crimes are felony offenses under state and federal law. Each crime has its own specific definition and, in order to secure conviction, a prosecutor must prove every element of the offense. Our Las Vegas white collar defense lawyers can help you to understand the specific things that a prosecutor needs to prove in order for you to be found guilty. You can also review brief summaries of white collar crimes below to understand the basics of each type of offense that you could be accused of.
Any person who passes, or attempts to pass, a false instrument as true and genuine can be found guilty of forgery if the prosecutor can prove that the person who passed the false instrument knew it was false and passed it with intent to defraud another person. Forging someone else’s name on financial documents is a common example of forgery, as is creating a copy of a painting and trying to pass it off as being painted by a professional artist.
Identity theft involves the use of the personal, identifying information of another individual without permission in order to access money or property. Identity theft could involve the use of someone’s Social Security number, name and address to obtain credit cards, a personal loan, medical care, or other items of value.
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Embezzlement is a common white collar crime in which a person who is entrusted to hold money or property abuses the trust and steals the money or property from its rightful owner. If an employee steals money out of company accounts, this is an example of embezzlement.
A person can be convicted of money laundering if he or she uses financial transactions to conceal the unlawful source of money. Starting a fake business and claiming the company made money from selling products when the money was, in fact, made from selling drugs or some other criminal enterprise, would be an example of money laundering.
Intentionally defrauding a bank to gain access or control over the bank’s money or property is punishable under state and federal law. Forging checks is an example of a crime that could potentially be classified as bank fraud.
Wire and Mail Fraud
Wire and mail fraud charges are often brought along with charges for other white collar crimes because fraudulent schemes usually rely on electronic communications or the mail. There are many examples of wire and mail fraud. Sending phishing emails to try to get confidential information in order to steal identities is an example of wire fraud. Using the postal service to send out notices that someone has won a fake contest but must submit a small fee to claim the prize would be an example of mail fraud.
Bribery involves improper influence of an employee, of a public official, a judge, juror, or witness in a court case, or athletes and referees in sporting events. Providing something of value to try to coerce an employee, public official, judge, juror, or witness would all potentially give rise to bribery charges. If a person on trial offered to make valuable campaign contributions to a judge if the judge ruled in his favor, this would be an example of bribery.
RICO and Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering
Racketeering charges are brought when a person commits at least two crimes in furtherance of a criminal enterprise. Even agreeing to commit two or more crimes can result in charges for conspiracy to commit racketeering. Those who work with others as part of a crime ring can end up facing charges for racketeering. Racketeering is typically prosecuted by the federal government and the penalties for RICO violations can be very serious. RICO charges are often brought when defendants are involved in some type of organized crime.
An agreement between two people to commit a crime, even if they did not take any step to complete the crimes, is illegal in Las Vegas, Nevada. Making an agreement to violate the law can result in criminal charges for conspiracy. The prosecutor has to prove that an agreement was made and one of the co-conspirators took some type of action in furtherance of the conspiracy. This does not mean actually committing the crime. All co-conspirators could potentially be charged with conspiracy if anyone involved in the plot to commit an offense purchased any piece of equipment necessary to commit a crime.
Mortgage fraud is prevalent in Nevada and brings long jail times and high fines. Making any false statement or engaging in any dishonest activity that causes a lender to provide a mortgage constitutes mortgage fraud. False appraisals or schemes pretending to modify mortgages for distressed homeowners can also result in a mortgage fraud conviction.
Health Care Fraud
Health care fraud is punishable under Nevada and federal laws. Penalties for state or federal offenses may include jail time, fines, and restitution. Using any false statements to obtain health care insurance or engaging in a scheme to overcharge an insurance company for services can both result in a health care fraud conviction. If a doctor pays illegal kickbacks or charges for services he does not perform, these are both examples of health care fraud.
Health care fraud is a complex crime that involves significant amounts of evidence gathered over time. Understand how a qualified Las Vegas defense lawyer will represent you in a health care fraud case.