Savannah White Collar Crime Attorney
A federal investigation or a criminal charge for a white collar offense is a huge development for you or your company. Before, it was all business as usual. After, though, it can be difficult to think of anything else.
The best way to both protect your future and to relieve the stress of defending against a federal investigation or criminal charge is to hire an experienced white collar crime defense attorney. The lawyers at the national defense firm Oberheiden P.C. have represented numerous clients in and around Savannah, Georgia, in the past, helping them secure favorable outcomes in a wide variety of white collar cases.
The Broad Field of White Collar Defense Work
“White collar crime” encompasses a huge variety of criminal offenses. However, they all share three elements:
- They are nonviolent,
- They are property crimes, and
- They are done with a financial motive.
Most of them involve some level of fraud or deceit..
Here are some shallow dives into just a few examples of the sorts of federal white collar crimes that Oberheiden P.C. defends its clients against.
Anticompetitive Business Conduct and Antitrust Violations
Federal antitrust laws like the Sherman Act are among the oldest economic laws on the books in the U.S. They forbid anticompetitive business behavior in a notoriously broad and vague fashion, leaving it up to federal courts to figure out what amounts to a business practice that is “anticompetitive.”
After decades of restrained enforcement of federal antitrust laws, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have started to attack market consolidation and aggressively counter many mergers and acquisitions.
Additionally, it is no longer rare to see federal antitrust investigators scrutinizing allegations of:
- Agreements to not compete with other companies in an industry or location
The white collar offense of bank fraud covers the use of any fraudulent or deceitful conduct against a financial institution. This is an extremely broad range, and covers the following specific courses of criminal conduct:
- Check kiting
- Obtaining a loan or credit by using a stolen identity
- Forging documents or a signature on a loan application
- Lying about your assets in order to secure better loan terms
Because bank fraud focuses on the presence of the financial institution in the course of conduct, people suspected of committing bank fraud frequently also face criminal counts for the underlying conduct, like charges for:
- Check fraud
- Identity theft
- Making false statements
This is in addition to the charges for bank fraud.
The federal crime of computer fraud is the offense of using a computer to access another computer system, or to alter or to steal data. A classic example is hacking into a company’s collection of data to steal personal information about its customers in order to sell it.
Due to the soaring costs of healthcare, the federal government has amped up its enforcement of laws that combat healthcare fraud. Most of these investigations allege that suspects deliberately overbilled a federal healthcare program, like Medicaid or Medicare, often by:
- Billing for medical services that were not provided
- Upcoding, or providing the patient one medical service but then billing for a similar one that is more expensive
- Double billing a medical procedure
- Phantom billing, or sending invoices for compensation for medical procedures that were not performed or for patients that do not exist
These allegations can be investigated and prosecuted by several different federal agencies:
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
- U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Deceiving an insurance company can amount to insurance fraud. This can implicate a wide variety of insurance policies and companies, in addition to private healthcare insurers. A few examples of insurance fraud are:
- Filing a false claim for workers’ compensation
- Deliberately crashing your car and then making a false claim for compensation against your car insurance policy
- Lying about your home’s value in order to reduce your homeowners’ insurance premiums
- Using misleading information about your business to get better liability coverage
Broker-dealers, investment firms and professionals, and other securities professionals who are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) face a heightened scrutiny for securities fraud. However, they are not the only ones who can break the law by using securities and other financial instruments in misleading or deceptive ways in Savannah, Georgia.
Just a couple of common allegations of securities fraud involve:
- Insider trading
- Stock fraud
- Mutual fund fraud
- Securing investments through the use of misrepresentation or omission of material information
While anyone can commit securities fraud, not just brokers or brokerage firms, regulated securities professionals stand to face significant professional repercussions if they are found liable for fraud – even if it is only civil liability. In some cases, they can see their license to transact in securities revoked forever.
It can amount to tax fraud when you intentionally make false statements about your wealth or income in order to reduce your tax liability. Also known as tax evasion, this can include the following courses of conduct:
- Lying about your income on a tax return
- Making deductions that you know you are not entitled to use
- Undervaluing your assets to reduce the taxes on them
If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) spots signs of tax fraud, you can expect an audit that can escalate into a full-blown investigation.
Wire Fraud and Mail Fraud
Wire fraud and mail fraud are examples of procedural white collar offenses. Unlike many other white collar crime statutes, which focus on what you did, the federal wire and mail fraud statutes focus on how you did it.
If you used the mail or any electronic communications device – including email, texting, or the phone – to perpetrate a fraudulent scheme, you can face additional charges of mail or wire fraud, on top of the charges for the underlying offense.
Some FAQs About White Collar Defense in Savannah, Georgia, and Oberheiden P.C.’s Services
What are the Penalties of a Conviction for a White Collar Crime?
The specific penalties of a conviction will depend on the specific charges that have been filed. Because white collar crimes span such a broad range of conduct, the range of penalties is also wide. However, you can expect them to include:
- Prison time
- Criminal fines
- Disgorgement of illegally-obtained funds and assets
- Victim restitution
Generally, federal law enforcement agencies will only pursue criminal charges if they would be felony-level offenses. These carry over a year in prison. However, some white collar crimes, like mail or wire fraud, carry up to 20 years in federal prison.
If they would not be felonies, federal agents typically refer the case to state or local officials.
The financial penalties of a conviction for a white collar crime are also extremely high. Between fines, restitution, and disgorgement, it is not uncommon to see amounts well in excess of a million dollars.
Additionally, there are also likely to be collateral consequences. These are punishments that do not come from the criminal justice system. For example, you could become ineligible for a professional certification that you need to continue in your profession or you could struggle to obtain a bank loan with a prior conviction of bank fraud on your criminal record.
Can a Criminal Charge Be Reduced to a Civil Claim?
Yes, and this can present serious complications for your defense strategy.
It is not uncommon for law enforcement agents to investigate your case and file criminal charges, only to realize that their case is not as strong as they thought it would be. Rather than drop it, though, they may refile the offense as a civil one. This comes with a lower standard of proof and different elements. When the offense is based on fraud, criminal charges require proof that you acted with the specific intent of defrauding someone. Civil cases do not.
While prison time is not possible in a civil case, the financial repercussions are still extremely high. At Oberheiden P.C., we aim to protect our clients from both criminal and civil liability whenever possible.
What Makes Oberheiden P.C. Different from Other Firms?
One of the key ways that Oberheiden P.C. is different from other firms is our hiring practices: We only employ senior-level lawyers with extensive experience in white collar defense. That way, our clients can rest assured that an experienced lawyer is handling all of the aspects of their case, rather than the work being delegated to a junior associate or a paralegal.
Why Doesn’t Oberheiden P.C. Call Itself the Best White Collar Defense Firm in Savannah?
We think statements like that mean more when they come from our prior clients, rather than from us. Read their testimonials here.
White Collar Defense Lawyers at Oberheiden P.C. Serve Defendants in Savannah, Georgia
If you have been charged with a federal white collar offense or have learned that you or your business is suspected of committing one, you need effective legal representation to get you through what comes next.
The white collar defense lawyers at Oberheiden P.C. have a track record of successes in federal white collar cases. Contact them online or call their national intake number at (888) 680-1745 to get them on your side today.