White Collar Crimes
The term ‘white collar crime’ was coined by criminologist Edwin Sutherland in his 1939 speech entitled The White Collar Criminal, and was used to describe a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation. As defined, white-collar crimes included fraud, bribery, ponzi schemes, insider trading, embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery or any crime that could be committed by “white collar” or corporate employees. Sutherland attempted to separate and define the differences between white collar criminals, who learn to take advantage of their circumstances to accumulate financial gain, and common street criminals. Street criminals are those who typically commit crimes such as arson, burglary, theft, and rape, and whose actions are often blamed on psychological, associational, and structural factors. The Federal Bureau of Investigation now associates the term white-collar crime with a full range of frauds committed by business and government professionals such as bankruptcy fraud, insurance fraud, money laundering, etc. The term also encompasses a variety of nonviolent crimes that are alleged to involve cheating or stealing in one form or another.
White-collar crimes are viewed very negatively and those convicted for crimes of this nature can expect harsh penalties. While most white-collar offenses fall under federal jurisdiction, an individual accused of a white-collar crime in Massachusetts may be prosecuted to the utmost extent by both the state and federal prosecutors. You should immediately seek legal counsel if personnel from a federal agency such as the FBI, SEC, IRS, USPS or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service have contacted or questioned you, as you may be a target of their investigation. If federal or state investigators contact you, it is very important that you do not give statements or cooperate in any way until you have spoken with a Massachusetts attorney skilled in white-collar defense.Penalties for White Collar Criminals
The United States treats white-collar crimes very seriously, as any disruption to commerce can have enormously detrimental repercussions to the federal economy. Therefore, those convicted of white-collar theft crimes may face imprisonment, fines, restitution, community service, disgorgement, probation and other alternative punishments. The punishments associated with these crimes become even more severe due to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which set new or enhanced standards for all U.S. public company boards, management and public accounting firms, and enhanced the penalties for crimes such as mail and wire fraud.
As an experienced white collar crimes defense attorney, the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy has extensive experience handling clients and cases involving a wide variety of white collar crimes including:
- Money Laundering
- Insider Trading
- Public Corruption
- Computer Crime
- Securities Fraud
- Identity Theft
- Tax Evasion
The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy understands what you are going through and will be with you every step of the way. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy has exclusive experience practicing criminal defense in various counties in Massachusetts, and as a result, our office possesses a deep knowledge and level of familiarity with the local court system. If you have been charged with or are under investigation for any white-collar crime, contact Attorney Patrick J. Murphy. In most instances, the sooner an experienced white-collar crimes defense lawyer becomes involved in your case the more likely we will be able to gather the proper information and evidence to begin building an effective defense strategy. Protect yourself and your future; call (617) 367-0450 or email us directly using our online contact form.