Michigan White-Collar Crimes Attorney
Attorneys Dedicated to the Passionate, Zealous, and Effective Defense of Those Charged with Committing White Collar Crimes in Michigan
Unparalleled Track Record of Success Defending White-Collar Charges
If you or someone you love is charged with or being accused of white-collar crime in Michigan, like bribery, fraud, embezzlement, or conspiracy, the following information should be beneficial to you. The experienced, capable white-collar defense attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience defending clients charged with these offenses.
White-collar crimes are different than many other offenses because the consequences frequently are far more severe than financial penalties and potential incarceration. The consequences of white-collar convictions, and sometimes, mere public allegations, can result in loss of employment, reputation, family, and professional licenses. These convictions can result in the loss of a client’s financial ability to support themselves and their family.
What is white-collar crime?
White-collar crime refers to non-violent activity that is usually business, financial, or fraud-related. Typically the allegations are of activity that involves dishonesty. Examples of white-collar crimes include, but are not limited to: embezzlement, fraud, misconduct in public office, misappropriation and conspiracy are common white-collar crimes. People charged with white-collar crimes usually act as agents, employees, or representatives of a business, organization, charity, or government. White-collar offenses typically, but do not always, relate to a breach of trust or fiduciary duty.
Michigan Prosecutors who charge these crimes usually allege 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. On the other hand, lack of intent may be a winning defense, if presented in a thorough, credible, and persuasive manner by an experienced white-collar defense attorney.
White-collar crimes are typically felonies and carry the risk of severe punishment. People charged with these offenses often complain that prospective jail sentences are higher on white-collar crimes than on some violent felonies. The reason for this seemingly unfair disparity is because the public outcry against white-collar crime is usually significant. Victims of white-collar crime are typically eager to pursue prosecution. Law enforcement agents and police officers aggressively pursue charges in these cases because victims are frequently connected politically or financially. Michigan judges generally want to set an example for others tempted to engage in similar conduct.
Incarceration is not always imposed on those convicted of white-collar offenses. A top white-collar criminal defense lawyer can have a significant impact in reducing any potential term of imprisonment. A judge will order a convicted person to pay restitution (sometimes at rates or according to terms that are unduly harsh or unrealistic). Convictions regularly result in substantial fines, damage to reputation, and can result in the loss of a professional business license.
White-collar prosecutions are often complicated and can be exceedingly complex. The Michigan laws that address white-collar crime range from the very specific, narrowly tailored to particular business activity, to the extensive catchall laws that broadly cover any allegations of dishonest behavior. With so much at risk, and with so many intricate details to consider, you must have an experienced white-collar defense team on your side.
How we fight allegations of white-collar crime?
White-collar criminal charges differ from other offenses in the scope and length of the investigation made by the prosecution and, frequently, the aggressiveness of law enforcement investigating the crime. These investigations, depending on whether state or federal, may take weeks, months, or even years before the filing of charges. It is critical that a person who is or may be under investigation be proactive. The best defense is a good offense. Those people charged with white-collar crimes may have been able to avoid charges with the aggressive pre-charge intervention of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
If charges cannot be avoided, pre-charge negotiations may result in reduced charges or favorable sentence agreements. We have successfully negotiated civil restitution or cooperation in cases and helped clients avoid criminal charges altogether.
Types of white-collar crime
Embezzlement is the unauthorized disposal or acquisition of money, property, or thing of value by 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 as complicated as an accountant or stockbroker skimming money from client accounts or as simple as a store cashier taking cash from a cash register.
Generally, fraud is an intentional deception designed to induce someone into giving away money, property, or something else of value. Fraud can take many forms. One broad category of fraud is benefits fraud, which may include mortgage fraud, healthcare fraud, Medicare fraud, and insurance fraud. For example, an allegation of insurance fraud maybe that someone attempted through dishonesty to receive payment from an insurer based upon a fraudulent claim for life, property, and automobile insurance. In Michigan, there are many variations on fraud charges on both the State and Federal level. The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have close connections with experts who can help defend against white-collar charges, including forensic accountants, former IRS agents, retired police officers, and document examiners.
In the context of a white-collar criminal charge, conspiracy consists of one or more persons agreeing to participate in illegal activity. There must be an intentional agreement to engage in the offense or some part thereof, and there must be an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. In addition to state charges, there are also several federal charges related to conspiracy to commit white-collar crimes that may be prosecuted in the United States District Court in Michigan. Conspiracy defense attorneys must be particularly fearless because prosecutions of conspiracy charges are complicated, and the consequences are severe. Defense strategies must be creative, effective, and intelligent.
Money laundering is disguising illegal sources of money so that it looks like it came from legal sources. These prosecutions are most frequently in federal court; however, state prosecutors can charge felony money laundering charges as well.
Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift given that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime. It is defined as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of public or legal duty. The bribe is the gift bestowed to influence the recipient’s conduct. It may be any money, good, right in action, property, preferment, privilege, emolument, object of value, advantage, or merely a promise or undertaking to induce or influence the action, vote, or influence of a person in an official or public capacity.
To counterfeit means to imitate something illegally. People who counterfeit products have the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product. The word counterfeit frequently describes both the forgeries of currency and documents, as well as the imitations of works of art, clothing, software, pharmaceuticals, watches, electronics, and company logos and brands.
False pretenses is an offense involving intent to defraud and false representation and obtaining property as a result of that misrepresentation. There are several offenses that may involve allegations of false pretenses. Depending on the amount of the victim’s alleged loss, the offense can be punishable by as little as 93 days in jail or up to 20 years in prison.
Identity theft, also known as ID theft is a crime in which a criminal obtains key pieces of personal information, such as Social Security or driver’s license numbers, to pose as someone else. Personal identifying information can be used to obtain credit, merchandise, and services using the victims’ names. Identity theft can also provide a thief with false credentials for immigration or other applications. One of the biggest problems with identity theft is that the crimes committed by the person committing identity theft may be attributed to the victim.
Tax Evasion can be either any of 2 things: a person willfully and knowingly tried to evade or elude taxes, or a person owes more tax in addition to what is stated on his tax return. Tax evasion is a federal felony with a maximum fine of $100,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 5 years. The evidence of tax evasion doesn’t need to show the exact amount of additional tax debt. The reality that the individual willfully and knowingly evaded tax must be proven.
Effective White-Collar Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you have been charged with a white-collar crime, it is imperative that you find an attorney who you trust to fight for you. Do not volunteer any information to the police, a private investigator, an employer, or any person other than your lawyer. Your attorney should speak for you. Remember that anything you say “can and will be used against you.” The importance of remaining silent and having legal counsel is equally valid if you are innocent. Police and investigators are experts at twisting words to make someone who is innocent appear deceptive, or guilty of something he or she did not do.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.