Britt Redden Explains: White-Collar Crime
Theft in Dallas and across the great state of Texas does not always look like shop lifting or bank robbery. In many cases, theft comes in the form of after-hours transactions, missing funds, or omission of the truth. Criminal activity of this type is often displayed and romanticized on TV or in the movies. However, it is also happening in real time today.
Unlike a gun shot or stabbing, it’s not every day that white-collar crimes are televised. The reason being that catching a white-collar criminal can be quite difficult—these individuals or groups of people are parts of large corporations or complex schemes.
What’s more, white-collar crimes are most often handled at the state or federal level. Lead times on these cases are long due to the sheer volume of research and the various individuals involved in each case.
So, What Exactly is White-Collar Crime?
White-collar crime is an all-encompassing term which describes frauds typically committed by business or government officials. There are many different types of white-collar crimes. However, most are “characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and are not dependent on the application or threat of physical force or violence,” according to FBI.gov.
The term “white-collar” is important because it specifies the position from which these crimes take place. Most often, the individuals committing these crimes are respected in the business or political ecosystems (hence the white-collar reference). What’s more, white-collar criminals are usually in positions that have access to large sums of money and/or power. These criminals stand to gain riches, property, or valuable services when acting illegally.
Britt Redden is a White-Collar Defense Attorney who represents businesses and corporations as well as administrators and executives during government investigations and prosecutions. These matters require proactive and strategic planning for clients of Redden Law. Clients often go through parallel regulatory and civil proceedings—each with their own complexities and consequences. What’s more, Britt Redden of Redden Law Texas understands the ethical and strategic tactics to manage public opinion and press around these legal hearings.
What are the Various Types of White-Collar Crime?
White-collar crime comes in many different forms. In total, white-collar crimes cost the United States more than $300 billion every year, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The two most basic forms of white-collar crime that Redden Law covers are Money Laundering and Tax Evasion.
Using a criminal defense attorney is essential when dealing with these cases. These areas of crime are complicated due to the various moving parts in play. Hiding income and attempting to avoid paying taxes are serious offenses that yield life-changing consequences. However, these are crimes of intent—charges can be dropped or lessened if the alleged criminal shows their actions were the result of an oversight or lack of knowledge.
Money Laundering is a broad term which describes the process of disguising the source, amount, and/or the destination of capital.
The federal money laundering statutes are 18 U.S.C. § 1956 and 18 U.S.C. § 1957. These federal statutes make it illegal to transfer money which came from criminal activity to disguise the funds. The penalties for money laundering are often hefty. Individuals indicted for money laundering may face up to 20 years in a federal prison, large fines up to $500,000 (or twice the value of property involved in the transaction), and/or seizure of assets.
Some common examples of money laundering can be seen within organized crime like fraud, embezzlement, or drug trafficking. In these cases, the alleged criminal(s) filter money made by illegal means through a business, bank account, or cryptocurrency account to make the money appear “clean” or as legitimate income. Money laundering cases are often connected to other crimes like mortgage fraud, securities fraud, credit card fraud, brank fraud, or other similar crimes.
Tax Evasion is another broad term—this covers any person or business that intentionally underpays or fails to pay their local, state, or federal tax obligations.
The federal tax evasion statute I.R.C. § 7201 carries two potential offenses:
- The willful attempt to evade the assessment of a tax
- The willful attempt to evade the payment of a tax
The penalties for tax evasion are as follows: The guilty will be fined no more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), and/or imprisoned no more than five years, as well as on the hook for the costs of prosecution.
Some common examples of tax evasion can be seen when looking into Texas state tax fraud, for example. While Texas does not charge citizens income tax, there are cases where businesses will try to evade sales tax. For example, a business can face state fraud charges in Texas for keeping fraudulent financial records, under-reporting income, over-reporting deductions, etc.
Other Types of White-Collar Crimes that Redden Law will Defend:
White-Collar crimes like…
- Forgeries and Counterfeiting
- Consumer Fraud
- Corporate Fraud / Securities Fraud
- Identity Theft
- Wage Theft
- Insider Trading
- Labor Racketeering
- Cyber Crime
- Copyright Infringement
History of White-Collar Crime
The term “white-collar crime” was first coined in 1939 by sociologist Edwin Sutherland. Today, these sorts of fraudulent actions cost US state and federal government agencies billions each year.
The most famous white-collar crime cases include Charles Ponzi’s schemes and the actions of Bernie Madoff.
The huge cases require many government agencies to track and review evidence attained during an indictment. Any number of agencies might be involved in a white-collar crime case at any given time—including the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and even the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).
It is very difficult to fight alleged white-collar crime charges alone. Call Redden Law Texas today for a free consultation!
Britt Redden has a thorough mastery of Texas law. Prior to graduating from SMU Dedman School of Law, Britt was a Student Attorney with the SMU Criminal Justice Clinic where much of her experience focused on representing indigent clients facing criminal charges in Dallas County.
Britt has invaluable experience navigating the courtroom and counseling clients on negotiating plea bargain deals with the client’s individual needs in mind. Now, she uses that knowledge to protect the rights of people in and around Dallas, making sure they receive the strongest possible defense. Britt is an active member of the American Association for Justice, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and Dallas Association Young Lawyers.