There's a whole bunch of categories when you're talking about criminal defense, white collar-type cases, just depending on what exactly the feds are claiming occurred. I would say probably the biggest one would be embezzlement at the federal level.
This is where somebody is an employee connected with a business, a corporation, even a mom-and-pop store and that employee is embezzling, taking, stealing funds, goods — whatever the case may be — and benefiting from it affecting what we call interstate commerce, which is pretty easy to do and that's what triggers the number one factor for the feds to become involved.
Federal Criminal Prosecutions
The feds typically are not going to get involved in a situation where it's a small-time operation, not too many funds are being lost, but when you're talking about thousands of dollars being stolen, you're talking about any type of sophistication going on.
That's typically when the federal government would get involved and they would use their funds in order to prosecute someone. But it really is going to have to be a situation where a lot of money and sophistication is being utilized.
Otherwise, it doesn't mean it won't be prosecuted, it means it won't be prosecuted at the federal level. So, embezzlement is probably one of the biggest white collar-type crimes that we defend, and I've been doing this now for over 26 years at the federal level.
The next area I would say would be bank fraud. It's very close sometimes to the embezzlement structure, but bank fraud is when banks are involved. All these banks are federally insured, so if someone is using a bank or stealing from a bank — any time a bank is involved, there's some sort of criminal activity going on.
Then a lot of times the FBI, the federal government — will get involved in that investigation and they will give it to the federal prosecutors and let them decide whether or not they're going to deal with it or whether they're going to pass it on to the state government.
So, bank fraud is definitely one of the big categories under the white collar area when you're talking about criminal defense. I've defended people for many years at the federal level for bank fraud-related crimes and have helped them avoid jail time.
Credit Card Fraud
The next area I see in a white collar crime subcategory would be credit card fraud — individuals who are sophisticate — who are either employees, workers — or anybody who's involved in any type of credit card scheme.
They're taking money from their own business or somebody that they know can be involved with a federal case and would fit under the umbrella of credit card fraud. We're not talking about some small-time person doing some sort of credit card transaction.
You're talking about somebody who is sophisticated and is taking large sums of money. You can bet that the federal government will usually get involved with the investigation and the prosecution.
Another category of white collar criminal defense would be investment schemes. A lot of times people will claim they've got investments in real estate or other types of businesses, so they're taking capital from people and those people think that somehow that capital is going to be invested and they're going to get dividends.
There's usually big promises made, but of course, nothing typically in writing, and even if there is anything in writing, good luck trying to enforce it against the person that's being charged with some sort of an investment/Ponzi scheme.
These are the types of things that you're going to see where people think by giving money, somehow they're going to get these great investments. The defendants in these type of cases typically are not investing in anything.
They are not doing anything; and basically are just pocketing the money and a lot of times, if it's like a Ponzi scheme or pyramid scheme, they're going to giving very small dividends just to keep the fraud alive while they are taking the big money from the people. They usually don't even have an account opened, so this is another form of federal white collar crime.
Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you're looking for a federal criminal defense attorney — somebody who's been around the block — who has both street-smarts and experience in these type of defenses, you've come to the right place. Pick up the phone. Make the call. Let's sit down.
Let's talk under the cloak of the attorney/client privilege and I'll give you some good ideas about what you can do to defend yourself, and obviously, what I would be able to do as your criminal defense attorney to assist you.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.