Our ability to help individuals who are being investigated or charged in New York and New Jersey with state and federal white-collar crimes is based upon almost 60 years of experience handling exclusively complex criminal cases. That skill set is enhanced by our prior experience prosecuting these types of complicated criminal cases. Firm founder, Robert G. Stahl, formerly prosecuted complex white-collar crimes when he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Knowing how law enforcement puts cases together is the building block to taking them apart and defending those accused.
Do Not Delay Seeking Legal Advice
Prison time, restitution, and large fines are possible if you are convicted of a white-collar crime. To preserve your liberty, it’s imperative that you contact a white-collar criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. In recent years, federal and state prosecutors have aggressively investigated and prosecuted professionals. Business owners, physicians, pharmacists, real estate brokers, financial advisors and attorneys are frequent high-profile targets. Early decisions about what to say or do when a federal or state agent calls can have an enormous impact on your future. Contact an experienced white-collar crime attorney to obtain the proper legal advice at the first sign of trouble, whether it’s an administrative summons from the IRS or SEC, a subpoena for business records from a grand jury or a visit from an agent. Before you say a word or provide a document, talk with an experienced white-collar defense lawyer.
What is White-Collar Crime?
Crime committed in the business or professional setting to achieve financial gain or professional advantage is often called white-collar crime. White-collar offenses are typically non-violent "paper crimes" involving deceit and concealment. Unlike other types of crimes, white-collar offenses are often complex, and involve numerous legal and factual issues. Penalties range from fines, prison sentences, restitution and criminal forfeiture. Examples include mail fraud, embezzlement, securities fraud, tax evasion, healthcare fraud, conspiracy, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) offenses, financial crime, public corruption and bribery. White-collar crimes are usually not violent, but their effects can be just as devastating.
Dedicated Defense Against a Wide Range of Criminal Charges
Our attorneys help people charged with many kinds of white-collar crime, including:
- Business fraud
- Health Care fraud
- Medicare and Medicaid fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Securities fraud
- Tax fraud
- Wire and mail fraud
- Falsifying documents
- Money laundering
- Insurance fraud
- Bank fraud
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Telemarketing fraud
- Computer fraud
Law Enforcement Agencies Take These Allegations Seriously
Federal and state law enforcement expend substantial resources investigating and prosecuting white-collar crime. A person suspected of white-collar crime may face coordinated investigations from a number of state offices and agencies such as county prosecutors’ offices, the state attorney general’s office and regulatory agencies like the Division of Insurance Fraud, or Gaming Enforcement or Division of Securities. Federal agencies such as the FBI, Secret Service, Treasury Department, IRS or SEC may also be involved.
Recently increased federal sentencing guidelines and penalties for white-collar crime highlight the Government's view that such offenses are to be treated harshly. From fines to imprisonment, white-collar crime punishment is often similar to the penalties assigned to violent street criminals or drug distributors.
Help at Every Stage of Your Case
We can help you with every aspect of your case, including:
- Grand jury investigations
- Criminal appeals
- Asset forfeiture
- Search and seizure
- Federal plea and sentencing mitigation
- Domestic Violence
- Appellate litigation
- Representing victims of fraud and government seizure of assets
White-Collar Criminal Investigation
The investigation of a white-collar crime may go on for months or years and a person may not even know that he or she is being investigated until formal charges are filed. Moreover, the extent of a person’s connection to a white-collar crime may not be clear at the beginning of an investigation. Contact a defense lawyer as soon as you think you are involved in a criminal investigation either as a target or as a witness, and before any meeting with law enforcement, no matter how harmless the meeting seems to be.
Grand Jury Investigations
A prosecutor may present the case to a grand jury. A grand jury is the prosecutor’s tool to issue grand jury subpoenas for records or witness testimony. It is a one-sided proceeding where the defendant normally has no right to appear or present favorable evidence. During grand jury proceedings, the prosecutor questions witnesses and presents evidence. Unlike trial jurors, grand jury members can ask questions and subpoena additional witnesses to testify or to produce documents for review, but the defense may not. At the end of the proceeding, the grand jury decides whether to indict the defendant.
Penalties for White-Collar Crime
Defendants worry most about the penalties they might face if they are convicted. People charged with white-collar crimes often have no prior experience with the criminal justice system, which intensifies their fear and uncertainty about the future. Civil suits and administrative actions are also a concern. White-collar offenses may lead to licensing actions if the person is a physician, lawyer, real estate broker, accountant, appraiser, broker or other licensed professionals. Civil and administrative penalties are imposed in addition to, and not as a substitute for, criminal case penalties.
Depending on the severity of the crime, penalties may range from probation, fines, and community service to restitution, substantial prison time or some combination of the above.
White-collar investigations often result in more than one defendant with varying degrees of involvement. The court may consider a lesser sentence for one defendant if it results in a stronger case against another defendant guilty of a more serious crime.
Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Negotiate Plea Agreements
Sometimes, a defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to drop all or some criminal charges before going to trial. Serious charges may be dropped if the defendant agrees to plead guilty to lesser charges or to cooperate with an ongoing investigation. An experienced white-collar criminal defense attorney may also be able to negotiate the least severe punishment. The defendant—not his or her attorney—always has the final word on whether to accept a plea agreement.
At trial, the defense attorney will work vigorously to defend the client and demonstrate to the jury that the prosecutor has not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime.
Restitution requires the defendant to compensate the victim(s) for financial losses or to pay the victim(s) an amount of money calculated based on how much the defendant gained as a result of the criminal activity. Fines may be imposed in addition to restitution.
Forfeiture requires the defendant to give up property used or obtained through criminal activity. A court can also require forfeiture of money, bank accounts or property gained through criminal activity or used in the commission of a crime.
Common Questions on White Collar Crime
Will I be able to find a job after being convicted of a white-collar crime?
If you are convicted of a white-collar crime, it can be hard to find a job. White-collar crimes involve deceit, which worries potential employers. Employers may also worry about repeated offenses and/or having to disclose the hiring of an employee with a criminal record to shareholders.
Do I need a lawyer to represent me even if I am innocent?
An attorney is essential for every criminal defendant, especially if you are innocent. Experienced and zealous legal representation can protect your rights and ensure that the truth comes out.
Why do I need a lawyer if plan to plead guilty?
The prosecution will have an attorney and you should too. An attorney will ensure that you understand the full implications of the crime with which you are charged and may also be able to minimize your sentence. All defendants, whether they are guilty or not, are guaranteed certain constitutional rights and a defense attorney will ensure that your rights are protected.
Contact Us: Speak to a Criminal Defense Lawyer
White-collar criminal charges compromise professional integrity and cause great stress and worry. If you or someone you know has been charged with a white-collar crime, do not delay. We will work hard to protect your rights. Contact Stahl Criminal Defense Lawyers today to schedule a consultation with a white-collar criminal defense attorney. Our offices are located in Westfield, New Jersey and Manhattan. Contact us at 908-301-9001 in New Jersey and 212-755-3300 in New York City.