White Collar Crime Information
We will aggressively defend our clients against White Collar Crime charges throughout Michigan. This would include cities like Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids. We are willing to travel throughout the Lower Peninsula for our clients!
White collar crime refers to non-violent activity that is usually business related. Typically, the activity centers on dishonesty; for example, embezzlement, fraud, and conspiracy are common white collar crimes. People charged with white collar crimes usually act as agents of a business or organization, though sometimes they are acting independently. White collar offenses typically relate to a breach of trust.
White collar crimes are usually related to activities involving dishonestly obtaining money, property, services, or preferential treatment. While some people accused of white collar crime have made calculated decisions to deceive, many others do not know that their actions are, indeed, illegal. Either way, the seriousness of white collar crimes is significant, and ignorance of the law is not a defense.
Even though white collar crime is non-violent, these charges still carry the risk of severe punishment. This is because public outcry against white collar crime is usually significant and also because victims of white collar crime are usually eager to pursue prosecution. So, even if a long prison sentence is not the consequence of being convicted on a white collar charge, very often convicted defendants will be forced to pay restitution or heavy fines, and they will incur the loss of their professional business licenses. In addition, people accused of white collar crime, even if not convicted, risk severe damage to their reputations.
White collar crimes are often complicated, and the prosecution of white collar defendants can be exceedingly complex. The Michigan laws that address white collar crime range from the very specific, narrowly tailored to a particular business activity, to the wide catch-all laws that broadly cover any dishonest behavior.
With so much at risk, and with so many complex details to consider, it is critical that you have an experienced white collar defense team on your side. If you are being investigated for any of the following white collar crimes, or if you have been charged with any of the following activities, you should quickly arrange representation by our experienced white collar criminal defense attorneys.
Bribery consists of offering (or seeking) anything of value in exchange for preferential treatment. Typical targets of bribes include public officials. Both the official and the defendant charged with participating in the bribe are potentially criminally liable, even if no bribe actually exchanged hands.
In the white collar context, conspiracy consists of one or more persons agreeing to participate in a mutual criminal activity. There must be an intentional agreement, and there must be an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. In addition to State of Michigan charges, there are also several Federal charges related to conspiracy to commit white collar crimes.
Embezzlement typically concerns an unauthorized disposal or acquisition of money or property by a person acting in an official capacity, usually as an employee or agent. Any time such a person fraudulently uses the property of another, that person may be charged with embezzlement. An act of embezzlement can be something as straightforward as a cashier taking money from the cash register or something as complicated as an accountant or stockbroker skimming money from client accounts. Under Michigan law, embezzlement can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount alleged to have been misappropriated. Our defense team has been successful at trial in defending embezzlement charges in Michigan.
Generally, fraud is an intentional deception designed to induce someone into parting with money, property, or something else of value. Fraud can take many forms and one wide category of fraud is benefits fraud: mortgage fraud, healthcare fraud, Medicare fraud, and insurance fraud. For example, insurance fraud concerns the attempt through dishonesty to receive payment from an insurer and typically involves fraudulent claims for life, property, and/or automobile insurance. In Michigan, there are many variations on fraud charges on both the State and Federal level. Our lawyers are experienced in fighting fraud charges. We have access to a large number of experts to assist in the defense of fraud charges. These include forensic accountants, former IRS agents and police officers, and document examiners.
Money laundering is any intentional activity that conceals the evidence of, illegal source of, or illegal use of income for the purposes of giving the income the appearance of legitimacy.
Other White Collar Crimes
Our experienced team of expert white collar criminal defense attorneys can also assist you if you are under investigation for (or have been charged with) any of the following:
-Retail Fraud (Shoplifting)
Fighting White Collar Crime
White collar criminal charges differ from other offenses in the scope and length of the investigation made by the prosecution. That investigation may take months, or even years, and be far-reaching. Thus, it is important that a person under investigation (or even potentially under investigation) be pro-active, not reactive. Do not wait until you have been formally charged with a white collar crime. You may be able to avoid prosecution by having your attorney negotiate civil restitution. We have successfully negotiated civil restitution in lieu of getting the police and prosecutor involved in filing criminal charges. In addition, white collar crime defense can require a complicated strategy. Therefore, you should enlist the aid of our experienced and expert team of white collar defense attorneys as soon as possible.
If You Are Charged With A White Collar Crime
If you have been charged with a white collar crime, your first step is to consult with an attorney and let your attorney represent you. Do not volunteer any information to the police. Your attorney should speak for you. Do not speak to the police or give any statement of any kind to anybody. Sometimes this is a difficult thing to do, especially if you want to profess your innocence or explain to others that your actions were well-intentioned. But such admissions can lead to more trouble for you, rather than less.
- For example, in cases of corporate white collar crime, employers (or their attorneys) will often try to question the suspected employee. But instead of volunteering information independently, you should first retain an attorney who is familiar with both Federal and Michigan white collar criminal law and you should have your attorney present during all questioning. Do not let your employer, their attorney, or the police convince you that you are being uncooperative by your silence. Tell them that you are willing to cooperate with them, but only after you have consulted your attorney. Having an attorney help you with this very serious accusation does not make you look guilty. It makes you look intelligent. (Our firm has represented other intelligent people such as attorneys and police officers who have been accused of serious white collar crimes.)
- While you should remain silent during any attempted questioning and say nothing without the presence of counsel, you should still be well-mannered. This includes not resisting arrest; go along willingly, and let the police fingerprint and/or photograph you. However, you should absolutely refrain from consenting to any searches or answering any questions without the advice of your attorney. You must tell the police that you wish to remain silent and do not want to be questioned without your attorney present.
- Do not waive your right to a preliminary examination. In a felony case in Michigan, a district court preliminary examination is required before the case can be moved to circuit court. This preliminary examination provides an excellent opportunity to make progress on your case. Therefore you should not waive your preliminary examination (the prelim) without an experienced and aggressive attorney advising you.
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