Miami White Collar Criminal Defense

Our white collar defense attorneys represent business owners, executives, professionals, politicians, and other clients in white-collar criminal cases. If you are under investigation or facing charges in Miami, we can use our experience to protect you.

Facing white-collar criminal allegations is a serious matter. Regardless of the specific nature of the allegations, a conviction could mean substantial fines and long-term imprisonment. If you own or run a business in Miami, if you are a professional, if you are a public figure, or if you work in any of a number of different occupations, even facing publicized charges could cause permanent damage to your reputation.

At Oberheiden P.C., we defend clients in federal white-collar investigations, grand jury proceedings, and trials. Unlike other firms, our practice focuses predominantly on federal defense, and this matters tremendously if federal agents are knocking at your door or federal prosecutors are fervently preparing your case for trial. We have extensive experience in matters involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and multiple other federal agencies—including prior experience as U.S. Attorneys and senior law enforcement agents.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden

Founder

Attorney-at-Law

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior Trial Attorney
U.S. Department of Justice

Local Counsel

Joanne Fine DeLena
Joanne Fine DeLena

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney & Former District Attorney

Local Trial & Defense Counsel

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former Federal Prosecutor

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (OIG)

Gamal Abdel-Hafiz
Gamal Abdel-Hafiz

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

Chris Quick
Chris Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Kevin M. Sheridan
Kevin M. Sheridan

Former Special Agent (FBI)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

Dennis A. Wichern
Dennis A. Wichern

Former Special Agent-in-Charge (DEA)

We Have a Proven Record of Success Defending Clients Against Serious White-Collar Criminal Allegations

If you are facing federal white-collar criminal allegations in Miami, this is the type of experience you need. Think about it: Would you rather trust your case to an attorney who spends the majority of his or her time in state court? Or, would you prefer a team of affiliated federal attorneys and former federal agents who have had significant success on both sides of federal white-collar cases? We know what it takes to secure favorable results in complex white-collar cases as quickly and quietly as possible, and we rely on all of our attorneys’ and former agents’ collective experience to represent our clients effectively.

Are You at Risk for Federal Criminal Prosecution?

When facing a federal white-collar investigation, one of the first critical steps toward executing an effective defense strategy is to determine what charges are on the table. White-collar investigations can target a multitude of federal offenses, and federal agents and prosecutors will frequently work to establish multiple charges simultaneously. Regardless of the circumstances involved, no potential charges can be overlooked, as even a single charge for a single federal offense can carry the potential for substantial fines, federal imprisonment, and other penalties.

While this list is not exhaustive, in our experience, the majority of federal white-collar criminal investigations target the following types of allegations:

  • Antitrust Violations
  • Bribery
  • Tax Fraud
  • Bank Fraud
  • Computer Fraud
  • Counterfeiting
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Currency Schemes and Cryptocurrency Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Forgery
  • Healthcare Fraud
  • Mail Fraud
  • Money Laundering
  • Mortgage Fraud
  • Insider Trading
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Intellectual Property Crimes
  • Investment Fraud
  • Securities Fraud
  • Tax Fraud
  • Wire Fraud

However, even within these categories, specific allegations can vary widely. For example, in federal securities fraud cases, charges can range from corporate accounting violations to stock broker fraud. Bribery cases can focus on payments (or in-kind benefits) offered to local and state officials in Miami or attempts to unlawfully obtain government approvals in foreign countries.

Once again, understanding the nature of your specific investigation is critical. With our former federal prosecutors and former federal agents advising you, you can feel confident knowing that your defense is targeting the right allegations and not unnecessarily creating exposure to additional federal charges.

Practice Spotlight: Financial Fraud

Many of the white-collar offenses listed above fall under the broader umbrella of financial fraud. Investigating and prosecuting financial fraud crimes has long been a top federal law enforcement priority, and several recent developments have brought financial fraud to the forefront of the SEC’s and other agencies’ enforcement efforts.

In particular, with many new companies going public in highly-publicized IPOs, federal authorities are meticulously scrutinizing these companies’ public disclosures—not just initially, but on an ongoing basis. Additionally, while the SEC has relaxed some of its standards for corporate meetings in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, top agency officials have also made clear that they intend to continue to prosecute all companies that make delayed filings and mislead investors.

In this same vein, bank fraud and mortgage fraud are gaining renewed attention as well. The same is true of investment fraud and other financial fraud scams targeting consumers.

Cryptocurrency fraud is another area that is currently seeing a high level of federal enforcement activity. The SEC, IRS, and other agencies are finding new ways to gain insight into fraudulent practices involving Bitcoin and other virtual currencies and blockchain technologies, and they are increasingly targeting both individuals and corporate organizations in the U.S. and abroad.

Practice Spotlight: Healthcare Fraud

Healthcare fraud is another umbrella term that encompasses a variety of different fraud-related offenses. Hospitals, physician groups, clinics, laboratories, pharmacies, durable medical equipment (DME) companies, and other entities and individuals in Miami are all at high risk for federal prosecution. In addition to the DOJ, various other agencies and task forces are actively involved in the federal government’s fight against healthcare fraud. This includes, but is not limited to, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (DHHS OIG), the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, and the Prescription Interdiction & Litigation (PIL) Task Force.

In federal healthcare fraud cases, allegations can range from Medicare and Medicaid billing violations to the payment and receipt of unlawful rebates and referral fees. The False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, and other laws include provisions for both civil and criminal enforcement, and healthcare providers can face penalties including fines, program exclusion, and federal imprisonment.

When we represent clients accused of healthcare fraud offenses, we work closely with our clients to review their billing records and compliance practices, and we seek to proactively uncover potential issues before they are discovered by federal authorities. By uncovering issues before they lead to allegations, we are frequently able to resolve our clients’ cases discretely and without any civil or criminal liability.

Practice Spotlight: Securities Fraud

The SEC investigates public companies, private companies, and individuals for many different types of securities fraud. As discussed above, IPOs, investor fraud, and cryptocurrency fraud are currently hot-button issues, but more-traditional issues continue to lead to aggressive enforcement and steep penalties as well.

For example, while insider trading allegations have not received a significant amount of publicity since the Enron and Martha Stewart era, we have recently seen a significant number of insider trading investigations. Brokerage firms and individual stock brokers are also routinely targeted in federal securities fraud investigations, often as a result of whistleblower allegations.

Violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) are at the center of many securities fraud investigations as well, and we have significant experience in federal investigations under ERISA. These and other cases can also involve inquiries focused on tax evasion, money laundering, and other white-collar crimes; and, as we discussed above, it is imperative to defend against all pertinent allegations in order to avoid prosecution and sentencing.

Practice Spotlight: Conspiracy to Commit Fraud

In federal white-collar criminal investigations, another critical issue is the federal government’s ability to pursue charges for conspiracy. Under the federal conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. Section 371, individuals can face criminal sentencing even in circumstances in which they have not “successfully” committed a substantive federal offense. Examples of common conspiracy charges in federal white-collar cases include:

  • Conspiracy to Accept or Receive Illegal Kickbacks (42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7(b)(b); 18 U.S.C. § 371)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1344; 18 U.S.C. § 371)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Bribery (18 U.S.C. § 201; 18 U.S.C. § 371)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Healthcare Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1347; 18 U.S.C. § 371)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud or Wire Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341; 18 U.S.C. § 1343; 18 U.S.C. § 371)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1357; 18 U.S.C. § 371)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1348; 18 U.S.C. § 371)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Tax Fraud (26 U.S.C. § 7206; 18 U.S.C. § 371)
  • Conspiracy to Unlawfully Use Health Information (42 U.S.C. § 1320d-6; 18 U.S.C. § 371)
  • Conspiracy to Use Identification Information (18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(7); 18 U.S.C. § 371)

A single conspiracy charge can carry statutory fines and up to five years of federal imprisonment. As a result, during white-collar investigations, suspects and targets must be extremely careful to avoid utilizing defense “strategies” that avoid culpability for the substantive offense at issue but create exposure to conspiracy charges under 18 U.S.C. Section 371.

FAQs: Defending Against Federal White-Collar Charges in Miami, FL

Q: What can trigger a white-collar criminal investigation, and why is my company or practice being targeted?

There are several events and circumstances that can potentially trigger a federal white-collar criminal investigation. For example, something in your company’s public disclosures or your practice’s billing records may have raised red flags for federal agents; or, an employee, client, or patient may have filed a complaint or whistleblower claim. Certain agencies, such as the SEC, also conduct routine “audits” and inspections, and information uncovered through these efforts can potentially trigger an investigation as well. In order to determine why your company or practice is being targeted, it will be necessary to make contact with the agents or prosecutors assigned to the investigation. When you contact us, this will be one of our first orders of business so that we can determine how we need to structure your defense. We have experience in matters involving all major federal law enforcement agencies, and we can use this experience to your advantage.

Q: Can I be prosecuted personally if my company or practice is being targeted in a federal white-collar investigation?

Yes. If federal investigators find evidence to suggest that you personally have been involved in fraudulent or other criminal activity, then you could absolutely be at risk for federal prosecution. Our federal defense attorneys can quickly determine whether this is a risk in your case, and we will tailor our defense strategy accordingly.

Q: What are the penalties for federal white-collar crimes?

The penalties for white-collar crimes vary widely; but, as felony offenses, all white-collar crimes have the potential for severe consequences. Fines can climb into the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars for corporate entities, and business owners, executives, professionals, public figures, and other individuals can face personal fines in addition to years or decades of federal imprisonment.

Q: What happens if DOJ, FBI, IRS, or SEC investigators find evidence of a crime during their investigation?

If an investigation uncovers evidence of a white-collar offense, then the next major step is for the U.S. Attorney’s Office to seek an indictment before a federal grand jury. The DOJ will issue a grand jury subpoena, and you will need to appear before the grand jury in federal district court in Miami. This is an extremely high-stakes proceeding, and it is imperative that you have experienced defense counsel at all stages of the process.

Q: What are potential defense strategies in federal white-collar cases?

There are several potential defense strategies in federal white-collar cases. However, virtually all of these defenses are specific to the statutes at issue and the facts involved. For an overview of the types of issues that can give rise to defenses to criminal culpability, we encourage you to read this Q&A with firm founder Nick Oberheiden, PhD: 10 Effective Defenses in White-Collar Cases.

Q: What should I do if I think federal authorities may be looking into my business or practice?

If you think federal authorities may be looking into your business or practice, you should not wait to engage federal defense counsel. In white-collar cases, a proactive approach can be crucial, and you cannot afford to fall behind if federal prosecutors are actively working to build a case against you. At Oberheiden P.C., we regularly represent clients at this stage; and, if federal agents are targeting you behind the scenes, we can make sure the investigation goes no farther than necessary.

Speak with a Miami White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyer at Oberheiden P.C.

If you or your company is under investigation by the DOJ, FBI, IRS, SEC, or any other federal agency, it is imperative that you engage experienced defense counsel right away. Our firm represents clients in Miami and nationwide, and we are prepared to take action immediately. To discuss your case with one of our highly-experienced federal white-collar defense lawyers in confidence, call 888-680-1745 or tell us how we can reach you online now.

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