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White collar crime: a broad and complex criminal law sphere

| Jul 1, 2021 | White Collar Crimes

It can be “difficult to define.”

That is an opening observation regarding white collar crime from a proven criminal defense law firm that represents clients in East Grand Forks and across North Dakota and Minnesota.

And it is a comment broadly echoed by many other writers and commentators. They collectively stress that the white collar criminal realm is often underappreciated for both its complexity and the aggressive stance that law enforcers take in filing charges and seeking convictions.

An elusive definition: What exactly is white collar crime?

For some readers of this blog post, white collar crime might evoke conduct like embezzling money from a company or formulating a so-called “Ponzi” scheme to defraud innocent investors.

And, indeed, those are centerpiece examples of alleged wrongdoing in this very singular criminal niche.

But they are merely representative citations of spotlighted misconduct within a much larger universe. That realm features a truly lengthy list of white collar crime charges, which includes the following bulleted entries and more:

  • Various types of fraud (e.g., mortgage, insurance, health care, wire/mail and securities)
  • Shareholder-targeted ruses (including the aforementioned Ponzi scheme)
  • Extortion
  • Identity theft, often secured through Internet fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Tax evasion
  • Racketeering/RICO (often relevant in the context of organized crime and gang activity)

How aggressive are white collar crime prosecutions?

The view that prosecutors don’t proceed as resolutely in white collar criminal cases as they do when focused on violent crime has long been discredited. In fact, white collar crime has been a prime prosecutorial focus for many years. Criminal probes often feature combined state/federal task forces and deep-pocketed resources. The above legal source underscores the “long, complex investigations” that often precede an arrest.

The key role defense counsel can play in a white collar case

There are a number of reasons why a white collar defendant in a criminal case might reasonably want to secure the help of an experienced attorney without delay.

For starters, such a matter frequently features interplay between complex state and federal rules and regulations. Moreover, a number of defenses might be available, as well as opportunities to find charging weaknesses and craft strategies aimed at maximum mitigation.

In short, a proven and aggressive white collar criminal defense attorney will do everything possible to secure an optimal case result.

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