Augusta White Collar Crime Attorney
Being investigated or formally charged with a federal white collar crime can be the start of a harrowing trip through the federal criminal justice system. Many convictions for white collar offenses carry massive fines and years behind bars.
Oberheiden P.C. Has Experience Defending Against Many Different Federal White Collar Charges
“White collar crime” is a broad category of criminal offenses. Typically, these are nonviolent property crimes that were committed with a financial motivation. They are generally a form of theft, and often involve deceptive conduct of some kind. Some examples are:
- Tax fraud (26 U.S.C. § 7206)
- Bank fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1344)
- Counterfeiting (18 U.S.C. § 2320)
- Computer fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1030)
- Embezzlement or theft (18 U.S.C. §§ 641 et seq.)
- Forgery (18 U.S.C. §§ 470 et seq.)
- Healthcare fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1347)
- Mail fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341) and wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343)
- Insurance fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1033)
- Investment and securities fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1348)
- Credit card fraud (15 U.S.C. § 1644)
- Forgery (18 U.S.C. §§ 470 et seq.)
- Antitrust violations (15 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq.)
- Obstruction of justice (18 U.S.C. §§ 1501 et seq.)
- Perjury (18 U.S.C. § 1001)
Convictions for these and other, similar offenses carry huge criminal fines, victim restitution obligations, prison sentences of many years, and strict probationary periods after release.
The white collar defense lawyers at Oberheiden P.C. have extensive experience protecting individuals and corporations from these serious allegations.
Let’s take a closer look at a few of these types of cases.
An increasingly common white collar allegation to face is one for healthcare fraud. These cases frequently involve fraudulent billing tactics against federal healthcare funding providers like Medicaid or Medicare and are often pursued by the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Some of the most common billing practices that can lead to criminal charges of healthcare fraud are:
- Billing for healthcare services that were not actually provided
- Charging for services that were not medically necessary
- Upcoding the service that was provided to a similar one that is more expensive
- Unbundling services that are typically billed together at a discount and charging for each one individually
These cases are especially complex because, even if criminal charges are not filed, civil ones may get filed by whistleblowers or the OIG under the False Claims Act.
Anyone – not just brokers and other regulated securities professionals – can face federal allegations of securities fraud. Company owners or insiders or even just members of the public who use securities or other financial instruments in a deceptive way can find themselves under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Just a few offenses that fall under the guise of securities fraud include:
- Investment fraud
- Insider trading
- Fraudulently misrepresenting or omitting material information in order to solicit or encourage investment
Like with many other types of fraud-based offenses, securities fraud can be prosecuted as a criminal offense or pursued with a civil lawsuit.
Mail and Wire Fraud
While many white collar crimes are substantive offenses, mail and wire fraud are procedural crimes – they prohibit using the mail or any electronic telecommunications device to perpetrate a fraudulent scheme. As a result, many defendants who have been accused of other white collar offenses will see additional counts for mail and wire fraud thrown in on top, simply because they used email or a phone call to commit the other alleged crimes.
Shockingly, each count of mail and wire fraud carry up to 20 years in prison for a conviction.
A Federal Defense Firm for Your Needs
The thing that many defendants and criminal suspects do not appreciate about the seriousness of a federal criminal charge is that it will be a massive law enforcement agency that will be gathering evidence and prosecuting the offense. While it comes to white collar crimes, the investigation and prosecution will often by performed by one or more of the following agencies:
- Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
These are some of the most powerful law enforcement agencies in the entire world, with thousands of agents, investigators, and prosecutors available to them.
It is important to remember that federal white collar criminal offenses are prosecuted by these federal agencies and not by smaller state ones, like the Georgia Attorney General’s Office or the local district attorney’s office for Richmond County. Because federal offenses implicate the huge assets of the federal government, defending against federal charges is a completely different beast than defending against state charges.
You need a defense team that understands what they will be up against in your case.
Unlike most other criminal defense firms, which primarily or even exclusively handle state cases, Oberheiden P.C. focuses its white collar defense work in federal court. We have legally represented clients in over 2,000 federal cases over the years, with many of them involving white collar charges. We know what to expect and understand what your needs will be.
5 FAQs About White Collar Defense Work at Oberheiden P.C.
1. How Do White Collar Investigations Begin?
White collar criminal investigations can begin in a wide variety of ways. Two of the most common, though, are when:
- A whistleblower brings evidence of potential wrongdoing to the attention of law enforcement agents, or
- Law enforcement agents notice something suspicious in public filings or a company’s communications with other government agencies.
In whistleblower cases, someone associated with the company – often a current or former employee – finds what appears to be evidence of wrongdoing, conducts their own investigation into the matter, gathers evidence, and then presents it to federal investigators. All of this can happen without company stakeholders, or even the employee’s supervisor, knowing about it. The whistleblower is generally represented by a lawyer, with the goal of recovering a financial reward for bringing the matter to the government’s attention.
2. Can Criminal White Collar Cases Turn Into Civil Ones?
Yes, it is not uncommon for prosecutors to pursue criminal charges for a white collar crime, decide that they do not have the evidence to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, drop the criminal charges, and refile them as a civil lawsuit.
This potential development has huge repercussions for your defense strategy. You do not want to defend against the criminal charge in a way that leaves you completely exposed to a civil lawsuit – while prison time is no longer on the table in the civil case, the financial consequences of civil liability can be massive.
The white collar defense lawyers at Oberheiden P.C. know this and aim to protect you from both criminal and civil liability.
3. What are the Penalties of a Conviction?
It will depend on the specific offenses that you are being charged with. However, federal white collar cases are nearly always felony offenses that carry at least a year in prison. Some, like mail and wire fraud, have maximum prison sentences of 20 years. After release, you will be subjected to a strict set of probationary terms that will last for several more years.
Convictions for white collar offenses also often come with massive financial penalties, including criminal fines, disgorgement of the proceeds of the offense, and victim restitution.
Finally, there are the collateral consequences of the conviction. These are a wide variety of punishments inflicted by parties outside of the judicial system. For example, you may lose a professional license or certification that was used during the offense, like a medical license or the certifications necessary to work as a broker-dealer. You may also struggle to get a loan from a bank with a white collar conviction involving fraud on your criminal history.
4. How is Oberheiden P.C. Different from Other White Collar Defense Firms?
We are different from other firms in numerous ways. One important one is in how we structure our law firm.
Other law firms have a couple of very experienced lawyers and then numerous junior associates and paralegals to do the work on your case. In many situations, the supervision that the senior-level attorney on your case provides is minimal.
At Oberheiden P.C., our senior-level lawyers cannot delegate the legal work on your case to less experienced attorneys and professionals because we only employ senior-level lawyers.
5. Why Don’t You Call Yourselves the Best White Collar Defense Attorneys in Augusta, Georgia?
That is something that we think is best left to our prior clients to say. Read their testimonials here.
Call Oberheiden P.C. for Effective Legal Representation in Augusta, Georgia
Finding out that you or your company is suspected of committing a white collar crime is a huge moment. You need to take action immediately to preserve your future and avoid the penalties of a criminal conviction.
The good news is that many federal investigations for financial crimes do not progress far enough to lead to criminal charges being filed. However, reducing the odds that you get charged often takes the vigorous advocacy and legal work of a white collar defense lawyer.
Call the ones at Oberheiden P.C. at their national intake number, (888) 680-1745, or contact them online to get their help today in Augusta, Georgia.