White Collar Crimes in the Digital Age
White collar crimes are non-violent offenses committed for some type of financial gain. With the advent of digital technology, these types of crimes have exploded in frequency, bringing new challenges to the legal system in Tampa and across the nation. The city has established task forces to take on identifying, arresting, and convicting those found to be engaged in digitally-based white collar crimes. State lawmakers have passed new laws in an attempt to slow down the number of these crimes. Any person accused of committing a white collar crime using a digital device may be facing both state and federal charges.
How Are White Collar Crimes Identified in the Tampa Area?
White collar crimes often trigger an FBI investigation. The Tampa Division of the FBI was established in 1960 and has established methodologies to identify, arrest, and convict those committing online financial crimes. A Tampa police investigation or an FBI investigation may identify these criminal acts. The two agencies will work together to bring down perpetrators of these crimes in the region.
What Are the Most Common Internet-Based White Collar Crimes?
While white collar crimes may not harm anyone physically, they can cause great financial damage to an individual, lender, or company. Law enforcement in Tampa is currently engaged in identifying those engaged in a range of white collar crimes, including but not limited to:
- Money laundering
- Bank fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Real estate fraud
- Identity theft
- Mail fraud
- Data theft
- Ponzi schemes
- Corporate espionage
- Conspiracy to commit fraud
- RICO crimes
Tampa Law Enforcement and Cyber Crimes
Florida has the unfortunate reputation as being a “haven” for fraud schemes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. An individual who believes they are a victim of such a crime will typically contact the Tampa Sheriff’s Office or Tampa Police. These agencies may perform an initial investigation or refer the case to the FBI to investigate using the almost unlimited resources of the federal government.
Accused of a White Collar Crime in Tampa?
You are in serious legal danger if you have been accused of a white collar crime or are currently under investigation in such a case. Never answer questions from investigators without your criminal attorney present to protect you. You may be entirely innocent of the crime, but the stress related to being accused is significant. With early intervention by your attorney, you may be able to avoid criminal charges altogether. Just one individual stands between you and the full force of the criminal justice system – your attorney. Exercise your right to remain silent and contact Tampa criminal attorney Patrick B. Courtney.
What Are the Penalties for White Collar Crimes in the Tampa Area?
The penalties imposed in a conviction vary based on the amount of money in the case. The fines and days behind bars will reflect the extent of the white collar crime and can range from a fine of $500 and sixty days in jail to fines of $10,000 and incarceration for 30 years to life. You can’t take any risks if you are under investigation for a digital white collar crime – a conviction will ruin your reputation and career and likely lead to loss of freedom.
How Can a White Collar Crime Be Defended?
The first action your attorney will undertake is a full review and evaluation of the evidence against you. The prosecutor has the burden of proof and must have enough compelling evidence to file a charge. The prosecutor must have evidence to support the concept of “criminal intent,” one of the more challenging aspects of seeking a conviction. Attorney Patrick B. Courtney is a former prosecutor and is very familiar with how the prosecutor works. If you are not guilty, he will develop a robust defense case to seek a case dismissal or favorable verdict in court. In cases in which the prosecutor is armed with a substantial quantity of evidence, he may negotiate a plea bargain to reduce the damage to your life and freedoms.
Misdemeanor and Felony Digital White Collar Crimes
Some white collar crimes that involve digital information have caused little financial damage and will be filed as a misdemeanor, such as forging a check. Others have caused significant financial damage to an alleged victim or victims. When the amount of financial loss is extensive, the crime will be charged as a felony and carry very heavy penalties, including fines and time spent in state prison. If you hold a professional license, you may lose your ability to legally practice your profession.
Under FL Statute 775.0844(3), the “White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act,” a crime will be charged as a felony when it involves deceit or fraud or conspiring to defraud another individual. The Act lists “aggravated white collar crimes,” which include victimizing ten or more elderly persons, veterans, or the State of Florida or obtaining or attempting to obtain $50,000 or more from a state agency or political subdivisions. These crimes are filed as a felony of the first degree, with very heavy penalties imposed.
Attorney Patrick B. Courtney and White Collar Crime Defense
Few attorneys have the breadth of experience you will find in attorney Patrick B. Courtney. He has been practicing law for over 24 years, on both sides of the aisle, giving him a profound understanding of how to work within the system to benefit his clients. If you are facing white collar crime charges in Tampa, reach out to his firm by calling (813) 252-1529. Your future freedom may depend on it.