Michigan White Collar Crimes Attorney
Attorneys Dedicated to the Passionate, Zealous and Effective Defense of Those Charged with Committing White Collar Crimes in Michigan
If you or someone you love is charged with or being accused of a white-collar crime in Michigan, like bribery, fraud, embezzlement or conspiracy, the following information should be very helpful to you. The experienced, effective white-collar defense attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have almost 40 collective years of experience defending clients charged with these offenses.
White-collar crimes are different than many other offenses because the consequences frequently are far more serious 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 economic ability to support.
Because of the seriousness of these offenses and our dedication to helping those in need of expert legal representation, we offer free consultations to those charged with or accused of white-collar offenses in Michigan. You can call us directly at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and an experienced criminal defense attorney will promptly contact you.
What is a 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 a 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 public outcry against white collar crime is usually significant, because victims of white collar crime are usually eager to pursue prosecution, because alleged victims are often times politically or financially connected, and because Michigan judges generally want to set an example for others tempted to engage in similar conduct.
Jail and prison are not always given to those convicted of white-collar offenses. Obviously, a top white-collar criminal defense lawyer can have a significant impact in reducing any potential term of incarceration. Those convicted will undoubtedly be forced to pay restitution (sometimes at rates or according to terms that are unduly harsh or unrealistic), heavy fines, damage to reputation, and/or incur the loss of professional business licenses.
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 a particular business activity, to the wide catchall laws that broadly cover any allegations of 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 activities (white collar crimes), or if you have been charged with any of the following white-collar crimes, you should quickly arrange representation by the experienced white-collar criminal attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.
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, often times, the aggressiveness of law enforcement investigating the offense. These investigations, depending on whether state or federal, may take weeks, months or even years before charges are filed. It is critical that a person who is or may be under investigation be proactive. Often times the best defense is a good offense. Many people who are ultimately charged with white-collar offense may have been able to avoid charges with an aggressive pre-charge intervention by an experienced criminal defense attorney. If charges cannot be avoided, many times pre-charge negotiations can result in reduced charges or favorable sentence agreements. We have successfully negotiated civil restitution or cooperation in cases and helped clients avoid criminal charges all together. We would be happy to speak to you and explain how we can help you in your particular situation if you call us at (248) 263-6800.
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 money from a cash register. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has a team of Michigan embezzlement defense attorneys available to work with you.
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/or insurance fraud. For example, an allegation of insurance fraud may be that someone attempted through dishonesty to receive payment from an insurer based upon a fraudulent claim for life, property, and/or automobile insurance. In Michigan, there are many variations on fraud charges on both the State and Federal level. Defense experts that are frequently consulted on these cases include forensic accountants, former IRS agents and former police officers as well as document examiners. Fraud defense lawyers can help you if you are charged with a misdemeanor fraud offense or a felony fraud charge.
In the context of a white-collar criminal charge, conspiracy consists of one or more persons agreeing to participate in a criminal 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 of Michigan 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.
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 a 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 illegally imitate something. Counterfeit products are often produced with 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.
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, in order to pose as someone else. The information can be used to obtain credit, merchandise, and services using the victims’ name. 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 very often the crimes committed by the identity theft expert are often 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.
If you are charged with a white collar crime
If you have been charged with a white-collar crime, it is very important to find an attorney who you trust and whom you trust will 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. This is equally true if you are totally 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. You can call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for a free consultation by calling us directly at (248) 263-6800 or you may complete a Request for Assistance Form and an experienced criminal defense attorney will promptly contact you.