Boston White Collar Crime Attorneys
White Collar Criminal Defense
Many white collar crimes are federal offenses that carry substantial fines and potentially even jail time. The white collar crime defense lawyers at Oberheiden P.C. represent professionals, business owners, executives, and healthcare providers in Boston who have been charged with one of these financial crimes.
A Broad Range of White Collar Crimes
There are numerous types of white collar crimes that can happen in Boston, with dozens of different federal laws regulating financial and corporate activities in the region. Our white collar crime defense attorneys have extensive experience defending individuals and corporations in Boston against all of them.
Federal law enforcement agencies have shown a newfound interest in regulating anticompetitive behavior and breaking up large corporations that have grown from their successes. Even within antitrust law, there are dozens of unique types of conduct that can lead to civil or even criminal liability, including:
- Agreeing not to compete with potential competitors
- Tying or bundling arrangements
Recently, enforcement agencies have been paying more attention to mergers and acquisitions that consolidate market share in the hands of only a few companies, including those that are headquartered in Boston.
The crime of bank fraud involves defrauding, or even attempting to defraud, a financial institution through the means of false pretenses, misrepresentation, or empty promises. The offense is wide-reaching, and covers all of the following:
- Forging signatures on financial documents or loan applications
- Using a stolen identity to get a loan or credit
- Check kiting
- Altering checks or other financial instruments
Under 18 U.S.C. § 1344, convictions for bank fraud carry up to $1 million in fines and up to 30 years in prison. Additionally, many charges of bank fraud are filed alongside other state or federal offenses, like:
- Identity theft
- Check fraud
Computer fraud is another wide-reaching federal offense. It covers conduct that makes use of a computer to take or alter data or to gain unlawful access to a computer or electronic system. Some examples of computer fraud can include:
- Hacking into someone else’s computer
- Using malware to infect a computer and take data from it
- Accessing a computer system to shut it down and demand a ransom payment from the owners
No criminal offense is as broad and far reaching as conspiracy. This criminal charge is used frequently by federal prosecutors to pursue the associates of a criminal defendant, even those who were only vaguely aware of the allegedly criminal activity.
Embezzlement is another white collar crime that can be pursued on the federal level. Commonly filed against financial institutions, securities professionals, or brokerage firms, embezzlement is the offense of appropriating property or money that was lawfully entrusted to the defendant’s care.
Another example of a white collar crime is healthcare fraud. Healthcare fraud is the criminal offense of defrauding a healthcare program, often by:
- Billing for services not rendered
- Upcoding, or charging for services that are more expensive than what was provided
- Providing medically unnecessary care
- Falsifying patient records to make the care appear to be medically necessary
When the healthcare program is one run by the government, like Medicare or Medicaid, federal law enforcement agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) can pursue civil or criminal penalties through the False Claims Act or other federal laws.
With so many pharmaceutical and biomedical companies in Boston, the number of healthcare fraud cases in the area is disproportionately high.
Obtaining insurance through fraudulent means or filing insurance claims that overvalue losses or that request compensation for an event that never occurred can amount to insurance fraud. While this can happen in the healthcare field, it can also involve other forms of insurance, like:
- Car insurance
- Homeowner’s insurance
- Business liability insurance
Mail and Wire Fraud
Any type of fraudulent activity that uses the mail or a telecommunications service can lead to federal criminal charges for mail fraud or wire fraud. Convictions for these offenses carry up to 20 years in prison, on top of the substantive fraud that was allegedly committed using the mail or wires.
Financial professionals and firms that are regulated by federal securities laws can face investigations for securities fraud for any of the following courses of alleged conduct:
- Insider trading
- Fraudulent misrepresentation or omission of material information
- Investment fraud
Investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can lead to professional sanctions and substantial civil penalties. They can also be referred to other federal agencies for criminal prosecution.
Another common type of white collar crime is tax fraud or evasion. This can happen when filers undervalue their assets or their income, or when they incorrectly use deductions to reduce their taxable wealth.
FAQs About Federal White Collar Crime Defense in Boston
What are the Potential Penalties of a Conviction?
The penalties of a conviction for a white collar crime will depend on the specific law that was allegedly violated. However, there are three types of penalties that can be imposed: Professional sanctions, financial payments, and prison time.
Many white collar professionals need specific certifications to do their job. Those certifications often come from the organizations or agencies that investigate them for wrongdoing, and can be taken away or restricted. For example, securities professionals get their securities license from the SEC. If they commit securities fraud or some other white collar crime, the SEC may take away their license and bar them from the industry.
The financial penalties of a white collar crime conviction are even more severe. These penalties often include fines, penalties, disgorgement of ill-gotten funds, and interest payments. Depending on the offense, this can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even into the millions.
Finally, many white collar crimes carry the potential for prison time. Most of these offenses are felonies, which can come with more than a year in prison.
What Can Trigger an Investigation?
White collar investigations can begin in a number of different ways.
Whistleblowers, often disgruntled former employees or clients, can bring evidence of what seems like criminal or fraudulent activity to law enforcement agencies, who may then decide to investigate further.
In some other cases, information in tax returns or in public filings or statements can raise suspicion and trigger an investigation.
Are the Cases Criminal or Civil?
White collar crimes are criminal cases. However, many criminal investigations for white collar offenses begin as civil investigations or even as administrative procedures. As these non-criminal investigations uncover information that suggest that there is potential criminal activity, the evidence can be passed around to law enforcement agencies like the Department of Justice for further inquiry. This can lead to criminal charges for an investigation that began as a civil case. Avoiding this potential escalation is paramount and often requires a skilled defense team.
Why Doesn’t Oberheiden P.C. Call Itself the Best White Collar Crime Defense Firm?
Oberheiden P.C. does not call itself the best white collar crime defense firm because we prefer to let our track record of success stand for itself. Our firm is filled with extremely capable and deeply experienced attorneys who have both defended and prosecuted white collar crimes for years. Their experience on the side of law enforcement often proves to be invaluable to our clients, who can count on them to accurately predict what law enforcement is likely to do based on the information that it finds during its investigation. This foresight can help our attorneys build better defense strategies that insulate our clients from civil or potentially criminal liability and sanctions.
The White Collar Crime Defense Lawyers at Oberheiden P.C.
Facing any of these charges is a serious problem. A single conviction can carry years in prison and thousands or potentially even millions of dollars in fines and disgorgement. In many cases, multiple charges are filed against a single individual or entity.
Getting a strong legal defense team on your side is critical. The white collar defense lawyers at Oberheiden P.C. can help.
Many of our attorneys came to our defense firm after working as prosecutors and investigators in the same law enforcement agencies that filed the charges you may be facing. Those years of experience running the investigation lets our white collar crime defense attorneys predict how law enforcement will likely move forward in your case. This is a huge advantage, as they can build a defense strategy that stays ahead of the investigation, rather than one that merely reacts to what law enforcement is doing.
Getting our white collar crime defense lawyers involved in your case as quickly as possible can drastically improve the chances of reaching a successful outcome. Individuals or firms that retain our services early in the process can give our experienced lawyers the time they need to conduct a thorough review of the facts and determine the best defensive strategy to adopt as the case moves forward. Calling for legal representation as soon as you suspect that an investigation is possible is ideal.
Call Oberheiden P.C. at 617-202-2912 or contact them online today.