White collar crime comprises a complex sphere within the criminal justice realm.
Moreover, it is often misunderstood by the general public in several material ways.
Some fundamental takeaways concerning white collar crime
For starters, many people underestimate the type and scope of criminal charges brought by prosecutors in cases involving alleged white collar criminal wrongdoing. Although a reference to Bernie Madoff and Ponzi schemes might readily resonate with legions of Americans, they may not appreciate as well that white collar offenses span far more than just similarly schemed financial scams.
Indeed, one in-depth Connecticut and New York legal source underscores the sheer variety of white collar criminal charges that are routinely filed and defended against in courts across the country. Those range widely and include the following charges and more:
- Money laundering
There is this too, which is a notable and distinctive element of white collar cases: Many of them feature a complicated interplay of laws, a fact that is expressly noted in one national article addressing white collar investigative probes and prosecutions.
That piece stresses this: “The federal and state governments have enacted an enormous body of law regarding [white collar] crimes, and it can be relatively easy for people to run afoul of these laws without even realizing it.”
Vigorous prosecution of white collar cases must also be emphasized. A stereotypical view that defendants in violent-crime cases routinely receive harsher sentencing penalties than persons charged with white collar crimes do requires revisiting.
Many white collar defendants these days are in fact slapped with penalties that include lengthy prison terms and punitively high financial penalties. High-profile cases in recent years have put a prominent and glaring spotlight on white collar crime cases, which now often results in the issuance of notably harsh sentencing outcomes.
Many white collar criminal suspects are unknowing wrongdoers
As stressed above, the white collar realm is high-profile, complex, replete with a mixture of governing laws and stringently prosecuted.
It is also well funded, with state and federal task forces – often working in concert – conducting aggressive probes backed by an abundance of resources.
The result is that legions of individuals become targets in white collar crime investigations.
Some of those persons are unquestionably sophisticated and knowing wrongdoers. It is also borne out in many instances, though, that targeted suspects either didn’t know they were committing wrongdoing or believed their actions to be truly minor infractions.
The personal stakes can be high for an individual singled out in a white collar criminal probe. Questions or concerns might reasonably be directed to a defense legal team with proven acumen representing individuals charged with crimes in this singular criminal realm.