White collar crimes are often committed for the purpose of financial gain by means of fraud or omission. Unlike many other crimes, they are nonviolent and are often committed in or against corporate, financial, or government institutions.
Common white collar crimes
If you are under investigation or facing charges for a white collar crime, the consequences can be harsh. It’s important to refrain from answering any questions posed by investigators, and to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Common white collar charges include:
- Tax fraud and evasion: Purposely falsifying information on a tax return, not filing a tax return, or willfully failing to make tax payments constitutes a tax fraud or tax evasion. Under both federal penal code 26 U.S.C. 7201, and state code 40-29-110, those found guilty of tax evasion can be charged with a felony, face up to five years in prison, and/or pay a fine of up to $100,000 ($500,000 for corporations).
- Embezzlement: Embezzlement involves unlawful misappropriation or theft of assets belonging to a company. In Alabama, the severity of an embezzlement charge depends on the value of embezzled assets. The penalties include:
- Theft of property in the first degree (over $2,500 embezzled): This carries a sentence between two and 20 years in prison and up to $30,000 in fines.
- Theft of property in the second degree (between $1,500 and $2,500 embezzled): This carries a sentence between one and 10 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.
- Theft of property in the second degree (less than $1,500 embezzled): This carries a sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine up to $6,000.
- Bribery: Bribery involves offering assets or blackmailing individuals in order to influence public officials, private corporations, or members of a jury. In Alabama, bribery can result in a Class C felony charge, which carries up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.
Keep your mouth shut and contact an attorney
Being found guilty of a white collar crime can have life-long consequences. It can destroy your reputation, business, and career.
Those suspected of white collar crimes are often placed under an initial investigation. Investigators may extract evidence by viewing documents, speaking to witnesses, and even probing you for intent. The more you tell investigators, the more evidence they will have to use against you in court.
If you have been accused of a white collar crime, the best thing you can do is remain silent and speak to an experienced Alabama criminal defense attorney.
Attorney John Michael Barclay will review the details of your case and work tirelessly to build a strong defense. To learn more, contact us today.