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Since the term white collar crime was coined in the 1930s, it’s been increasingly used to describe non-violent offenses that involve money or property. Back then, it was typical for the prosecution to levy these charges when they didn’t have the evidence necessary to prove violent crimes that may have been committed in conjunction with the non-violent offenses. That’s still true today, but many other California white collar cases do not involve any element of violence.
Even when violence is not a component of a crime, prosecution of that offense may be zealous. Strong punitive measures are often taken against people who are convicted of white collar crimes in Los Angeles. In fact, in recent years courts seem to be handing out increasingly harsh sentences. If you have been accused of committing a white collar crime in California, then you need a qualified criminal defense attorney to represent you in court. Contact one of our Los Angeles white collar crimes lawyers to learn about your options. It may be possible for our aggressive defense attorneys to get the charges against you reduced or dropped, saving you from prison time, excessive fines and the destruction of your reputation.
Types of White Collar Crimes in Los Angeles
The most commonly charged white collar crime in California is embezzlement. Embezzlement occurs when an individual, often an employee, misappropriates funds or other assets that belong to the organization that employs him. This offense may be as simple as pilfering from the company’s petty cash box or it may involve a complex operation by which small amounts are diverted from various accounts and placed into the employee’s secret account. Regardless of the circumstances, an embezzlement conviction can have serious consequences.
Embezzlement charges can be brought at either the misdemeanor or felony level. A conviction can mean serious jail time, fines and the stipulation that restitution must be made to the victim. The length of the prison sentence is determined in part by the amount of money stolen. Penalties may be particularly severe when public funds were stolen.
Bankruptcy Fraud in Los Angeles
Bankruptcy fraud is another common white collar crime in Los Angeles. Individuals and companies may file for bankruptcy under federal law. Declaring bankruptcy is a complex process, and it is essential that everything be reported accurately and in full. Unfortunately, because bankruptcy filings are so complicated it’s not unusual for mistakes to be made. These mistakes can be misinterpreted as bankruptcy fraud in California. Conviction on these charges can lead to up to five years in prison and substantial fines. If you are being investigated for this offense, then you need an experienced bankruptcy fraud attorney to represent you.
California Tax Evasion
Like it or not, everyone has to pay taxes. That includes businesses both large and small. Much like bankruptcy paperwork, the forms needed to complete tax filings every year are becoming increasingly complex. Mistakes are all but inevitable, and this can lead to charges of tax evasion in Los Angeles. To avoid a prison term of up to five years and fines of as much as $100,000, it’s important to work with an experienced Los Angeles white collar crimes attorney.
Los Angeles Money Laundering
Money earned from illegal endeavors is sometimes run through a legitimate business to make it appear as if it comes from a legal source. The authorities often begin investigating money laundering charges without much evidence to support their claims. If you have been accused of money laundering, you could spend as much as 20 years in prison and be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. An aggressive California white collar crimes lawyer may be able to remedy this difficult situation.
Perjury in California
Perjury is the act of lying while under oath. This offense is illegal in all states and at the federal level. Prosecutors and judges take allegations of perjury very seriously. Five year prison terms and considerable fines may be levied when someone is convicted of this crime. You may be able to avoid these consequences when you hire an experienced perjury defense lawyer in Los Angeles.
Bribery Charges in Los Angeles Courts
Both state and federal laws deem it a crime to offer money or favors to individuals in public positions in order to influence their stance on a particular issue. Anyone found guilty of bribing or attempting to bribe a public official may find themselves subject to a term of up to four years in state prison. Similarly, an official who accepts a bribe may have to serve a prison term of four years and may also have to pay fines of as much as $10,000.
Contact a Los Angeles White Collar Crimes Attorney
Just because a crime doesn’t involve violence does not mean that it won’t be pursued with vengeance by the District Attorney, prosecutor or the federal government. Authorities are taking stronger stances against these crimes, and that can be bad news for anyone who is accused of a white collar crime in Los Angeles.
It is in your best interests to seek the services of a qualified Los Angeles white collar crimes lawyer as soon as possible. If you suspect that you are under investigation, it is not too soon to begin strategizing a legal defense. Make an appointment with a criminal defense attorney. It may be possible to prevent charges from being filed.