White Collar Defense: Financial Crimes

Most people under investigation for financially-motivated, nonviolent (“white-collar”) crimes are business executives and public officials charged with high-level corruption and fraud. These cases are tough and the stakes are high – the government puts significant resources into these cases and aggressively pursues convictions.

The financial crimes defense attorneys at Moskowitz, LLP handle all types of white-collar cases, including securities fraud, insider trading, antitrust violations, money laundering, insurance fraud, bribery, and public corruption. We have extensive experience defending individuals charged with embezzlement, wire/mail fraud, and tax fraud.

Embezzlement

Most people associate embezzlement with the case of an executive who funnels corporate funds into their personal bank account, but most of these cases are far more complex.

Embezzlement involves a betrayal of trust that juries find repulsive. We therefore make every effort to resolve these cases out of court and usually succeed, since plaintiffs are primarily concerned with getting their money back and prosecutors facing an aggressive defense team that is not afraid of litigation are generally willing to accept a plea deal.

Wire and mail fraud

These types of fraud involve the use of the postal service or private mail carriers, or any electronic communication, to defraud someone of their money or property. The method of communication need not be essential to the underlying crime – you can be charged for making any reference to an illegal scheme in a telephone call or email.

Wire fraud and mail fraud are generally easy to prove, and since every separate act can be charged separately (e.g., 15 counts for mailing 15 letters) they are typically added on to more serious charges in order to increase your sentence. Penalties can reach up to 20 years imprisonment, $250,000 in fines, plus restitution to victims (for fraud committed against financial institutions or federal disaster relief agencies, penalties increase to 30 years and $1 million).

Original Issue Discount (OID) tax fraud

In recent years, the IRS has increased its investigations of the fraudulent and fictitious use of Form 1099-OID to claim tax refunds. The penalty is typically 20% of the amount claimed. Even if you were under the impression at the time of filing that your 1099-OID was appropriate and had no intention of defrauding the government, you could still be penalized. The best course of action is to be proactive by seeking the advice of an experienced tax attorney who is familiar with this type of allegation.

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