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White Collar Defense

White Collar Defenses (Business & Government) Explained by a New Mexico Fraud Attorney

New Mexico fraud attorney - Business Man in HandcuffsWhite collar crimes are often thought of as less serious.  However, a New Mexico fraud attorney also recalls Charles Ponzi, Bernie Madoff, and President Nixon and the Watergate scandal, all of which involved serious white collar offenses.

Definition

White collar crimes are nonviolent and fraudulent criminal offenses motivated by monetary gain in a professional setting, such as:

  • Identity theft: actual theft of another person’s identity.
  • Bank or wire fraud: use of illegal means to obtain access to money and other assets owned by a financial institution.
  • Money laundering: disguising money obtained illegally by showing a legal source. This is often coupled with other criminal offenses like drug trafficking.
  • Embezzlement: theft of money or property that was entrusted to a person by another.
  • Extortion: when a person obtains money or other valuable property from another person through violence or threats, such as ransoming a kidnapped person, blackmailing, bribing a public official, or “protection money” wherein organized criminals force others to pay for protection.
  • Forgery: signing another person’s name on a legal document, creating false contracts, or falsifying records.
  • Insider trading: buying or selling a security, i.e. corporate stock, in a breach of fiduciary duty or other relationship of trust and confidence, while in possession of material, nonpublic information about that security.
  • Cyber crimes or computer crimes: ability to engage in criminal activity through the computer.

Penalties

White collar crimes amounting over $500 are felonies, carrying a year or more imprisonment and at least $5,000 fines.  White collar crimes amounting less than $500 are misdemeanors.

Defenses

Each crime must be individually scrutinized, but one defense is lack of sufficient evidence.  For example, for money laundering charges, a New Mexico fraud lawyer may argue that the accused did not knowingly engage in any financial transaction with the intent to conceal the money source. Because of the possible complexity of money laundering prosecution theories, the defenses will vary depending on the specific transactions.

Finding a New Mexico Fraud Attorney

For more information, contact a New Mexico fraud attorney with Twohig Law Firm at (505) 898-0400.

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