White Collar Crimes: An Overview

There are many different crimes in the world today. Some of the overlooked crimes fall into the white collar crime category. This category is made up of crimes that do not necessarily “hurt” someone. They often happen in professional settings and include things such as embezzlement, pyramid schemes, and fraud. Many times when people see some sort of corporate scandal on the news, it is about a white collar crime. It has been found that the public as a whole is more willing to forgive people who commit these crimes. It is important to remember that they can result in just as much jail time as any other type of illegal activity.

White collar crimes are frequently committed by people in government or business positions. Many of them are felonies and typically involve some sort of fraudulent activity. There is a long list of crimes including:

  • Forgery
  • Money laundering
  • Insider trading
  • Bribery
  • Copyright infringement
  • Identity theft
  • Commodities and securities fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Any and every type of fraud such as bankruptcy fraud and insurance fraud

The biggest difference between blue collar crimes and white collar crimes is that violence is normally not a factor in white collar offenses. The perpetrators are normally financially privileged, especially in comparison to blue collar offenders. Money is often the main motivation of these crimes and while it causes no physical harm to others, businesses and individuals can lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. Any office where financial transactions take place and sensitive information is accessed on a daily basis is at risk for crime. Whether it is a corporate, business, or government office, no environment is immune.

The news is often full of corruption and large corporation scandals. These are perfect examples of the magnitude that white collar crimes can reach. One positive side of handling white collar crimes is that the offense can be committed by an entire agency and not just a single person. Civil law suits against companies can occur because of this type of crime. Common crimes that can be committed by the institute and not the individual include price fixing, false advertising, and company overcharges.

While it would stand to reason that technology improvements would provide better security for businesses, technology is actually making it easier for money to be stolen especially by a savvy person. The crimes are facilitated with computers, paperwork, and any other type of electronic device. These crimes result in some sort of benefit from the company or employee. The goal is normally to make money whether it is through stealing or insider trading.

Unlike other crimes, people are not arrested and charged. An extensive investigation normally takes place so that the right people are accused and charged. If you have been indicted, contacted by an investigator, or fear for your freedom in any way, shape, or form, you need to get in touch with a reliable criminal defense attorney. A lawyer will be at your side through every step of the proceedings. The facts will be evaluated so that you can get a good deal.

How to Fire an Employee For Embezzlement

Embezzlement is common at most workplaces and you should accept that your office is not exception and you must know how to handle this problem. Firing an employee from his or her job after noticing embezzlement is a difficult task.

While firing an employee for embezzlement makes sure that your judgments are accurate. Once you decide to fire an employee for embezzlement take some time for preparing and documenting the exact reason for his termination. Not having correct documentation could lead to lawsuits. Call the person into your office and speak calmly and plainly to him. Do not be defensive and aggressive. State the reason for termination succinctly and objectively, and do not let the employee draw you into an argument. Even if the employee unjustly argues, you may defend your decision with your eye witnesses and witness statement. If possible have someone else present when you fire the employee. After termination make a list and collect everything the employee has that belongs to your company. For example office keys, car, important document etc. Then ask some senior person to escort the employee to the exit. Never fire someone and then let them stay at your business afterward. If the employee becomes violent, consider contacting your lawyer immediately and also consider hiring a security guard to escort the person to the exit.

Most importantly check the local laws regarding dismissal or termination to make sure that you are complying with your state regulations. The employment laws are not same in all the states, if any dispute arises consult an attorney in your area.

Types of Theft

From a young age, most people are told that stealing is wrong and can come with very heavy consequences. We are repeatedly told that we cannot take something that does not belong to us unless we have very clear permission to do so. Thus, people tend to have a good understanding of what is meant by the term “theft,” both in its everyday use and when it is used in courts of law. There are special terms that are used to define theft under specific circumstances, though. While many of these terms are widely used and understood, the details that separate the different classifications can be less clear.

Shoplifting is possibly the most common type of theft charge seen by courts, and also the first type that comes to mind when a person thinks of goods being stolen. It is defined as the stealing of goods from a retail establishment, from a department store in a shopping mall to a small grocery or convenience store. The consequences of being found guilty of shoplifting will depend largely on the value of the good stolen.

Robbery is the term used to describe theft accomplished through the use of violence, threat of violence, or use of other intimidation tactics. Robbery can run the gamut from a quick mugging to a detailed, violent, large-scale bank robbery. The sentence accompanying a guilty verdict in a robbery case will likely be more severe than another theft case dealing with similar values of goods, as threats or assault are often present, as well.

Where robbery is theft through violence, fraud is generally considered theft through deception (though there are types of fraud that do not necessarily involve theft). Common forms of fraud include identity theft, forgery, and bait and switch schemes. When an instance of fraud is defined by a individual or group’s gain through the appropriation of money or other assets they have been trusted to protect, it is known as embezzlement.

Burglary is a blanket term applied to instances where theft is accompanied by trespassing. Home invasion break-ins, stealing goods from closed stores, or taking property out of a parked car are all forms of burglary.

In many states, these sorts of theft charges may be further broken down into the categories of “petty theft” or “grand theft,” depending on the value of goods or assets stolen. The dollar amount where the line is drawn depends on the state.

For more information about theft charges, visit the website of Appleton criminal defense attorneys Kohler, Hart, & Priebe, LLC.

White Collar Crimes 101

The majority of “white collar” crimes are committed by salaried professionals using deception, as opposed to violence or force, to perpetrate theft or fraud. These crimes can be either misdemeanor or felony infractions of the law, and these types of crimes can be prosecuted in state court, federal court, or both.

There are many types of these offenses and most involved theft by deception or fraud. Such crimes include offenses such as:

o Bank Fraud
o Bribery
o Credit Card Fraud
o Forgery
o Embezzlement
o Tax Evasion

Individuals convicted of committing a white collar crime can face punishments such as fines, restitution, forfeiture, or imprisonment. Additionally, individuals accused or convicted of a white collar crime may be subject to additional consequences such as loss of employment and loss of pension. Situations such as these can threaten the financial stability and future of both the accused and their family.

In many cases, individuals under investigation for these crimes are aware that they are under investigation. Suspected individuals may be the focus of internal investigations or private investigations. White collar crimes do not represent an immediate threat to society; therefore, white collar crimes are often investigated by federal authorities for a year or more before charges are filed against an individual suspected of committing these types of crimes. Individuals who believe they are under investigation for a white collar crime should contact an attorney for assistance.

If you are currently under investigation, have been contacted by law enforcement for questioning, or have received a subpoena for records or testimony, you should contact a lawyer immediately. Individuals should never agree to speak with law enforcement officials in regard to white collar crime investigations until they have discussed the matter with their attorney. You want to be sure that information provided to law enforcement officers cannot not be used against you in court. For that reason, it is imperative to consult an attorney as soon as you learn you are under investigation.

Offenses Requiring Sex Offender Registration

Florida took the first step in 1997 to make a list of sex offenders available on the internet as well as making that information also available by telephone hotline for people who do not have the internet. It is a requirement in Florida for those convicted of a sex crime to register and report between two and four times per year, to the Sheriff’s Office. Florida’s requirements include more than just an address to register as sex offenders are required to also report any instant message names and numbers, and email addresses to the Sheriff’s Office. A sex offender’s birth month is what is used to determine which months he/she will be required to report in. If they fail to report, submit to all restrictions or provide all information requested will have penalties that classify as felonies. Sex based crimes in Florida are divided into two categories, Sexual Offender and Sexual Predator.

Sexual Predators

Florida law states that all sex offenders are not always considered to be sexual predators, and that for this to happen, the offender must appear in court before a judge who considers the evidence and makes the designation. Even someone who was convicted of sex based crimes, this does not automatically mean they are a sexual predator. There are five different ways in Florida for someone to be classified a sexual predator. These include first time convictions of: lewd and lascivious behavior in front of someone under the age of 16, kidnapping, buying or selling child pornography, false imprisonment, or sexual battery. You should be aware that this applies even if the conviction occurred in another jurisdiction or state besides Florida.

Another way you can be designated a sexual predator is if you commit one of the above mentioned offenses and especially if you were found guilty of having committed other sexual offenses in the past. Past sexual offenses that can get you a designation of sexual predator include: sexual battery, kidnapping, unlawful sexual activity with a minor, false imprisonment, having a child perform sexually, luring or enticing a child or getting someone under 18 for prostitution. Lastly, anyone can be designated a sexual predator if they are determined to be a sexually violent predator at a civil commitment hearing.

Sexual Offenders

he courts in Florida provide three ways to designate someone a sexual offender. The first way includes if you attempt to commit or commit: luring or enticing a child, kidnapping a minor, sexual battery, false imprisonment of a minor, getting someone under 18 for prostitution unlawful sexual acts with a minor, sexual misconduct, selling or buying minors for sex trafficking, or computer pornography. The second way says if you have a conviction that occurred in another state or jurisdiction, you can be considered a sex offender in Florida. If a person has been designated a sexual offender in a different jurisdiction or state, Florida laws will also designate that person as such and they will be required to register their status. The third way says that under Florida laws, if someone attempts to commit or commits lewd and lascivious molestation, sexual battery or lewd or lascivious battery on someone 14 or older, they can be designated a sexual offender in Florida.