White collar crime: a broad umbrella of vigorously prosecuted offenses

White collar crime: a broad umbrella of vigorously prosecuted offenses

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2020 | White Collar Crime |

Louisiana residents are accused of all types of crime, of course. Criminal charges filed by prosecutors range widely across a virtual A-Z catalog of alleged wrongdoing. A full-service criminal defense law firm might reasonably be engaged in representing individuals accused of drug violations, sexual misconduct, violent criminal behavior, property crimes and more.

These days, that “and more” designation liberally comprises so-called “white collar” crime, a diverse realm within criminal law that has progressively garnered more attention in recent years. Many commentators on crime have long stated that white collar defendants are leniently treated when compared with other offenders, but that expressed view is certainly muted currently.

And untrue.

Here’s why: Select activity within the white collar crime sphere is now a high-profile focus of investigators and law enforcers. Lawmakers and government officials regard it as manifestly concerning and seek to ensure the public that it is being vigorously prosecuted. Stories of arrests and convictions often spotlight combined state and federal task forces with ample resources and deep pockets, coupled with a commitment to securing maximum sentences for alleged wrongdoing.

What exactly is a white collar crime in Louisiana and nationally?

That above header question can’t be simply or precisely answered. One legal source addressing the white collar criminal realm stresses that fraud is often a central factor and can cover “a multitude of crimes.” Following are some offenses that typically fall into the white collar category:

  • Securities fraud (e.g., insider trading and Ponzi investment schemes)
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Insurance fraud (falsifying information to unlawfully collect on a policy)
  • Mail and wire fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Computer-based crime
  • Health care fraud (often billing illegalities targeting Medicare and Medicaid)

Those bulleted entries cover a lot of territory, but an online overview discussing the sheer range of closely probed white collar wrongdoing points to many additional high-profile categories.

One of those is embezzlement (unlawfully taking property while in a position of trust, often in a company context), with investigators in some instances targeting and seeking to convict mid-level or lower ranking business employees.

Another is tax evasion, where a murky line can sometimes exist between willful fraudulent intent and a taxpayer’s simple mistake.

Money laundering is also a spotlighted and actively investigated white collar offense these days, which often morphs into deeper probes involving illegal drugs or alleged organized criminal activity.

The above overview of white collar crime underscores a bottom line stressing that it “can involve a variety of state and federal laws with a wide range of possible punishments.”

An individual targeted in a white collar crime investigation might reasonably want to promptly contact an attorney well experienced in that singular area of law.