In 1939, sociologist and criminologist Edwin Sutherland defined a white collar crime as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of their occupation.” While most white collar crimes are subject to prosecution by state agencies, there are cases that may cross state lines and thus become federal matters.
A federal white collar criminal case is a much more serious matter because the agency that is handling the case typically has many more resources at their disposal than the state counterpart would have. Additionally, the nature of the penalties in federal cases is usually far more severe.
If you or your loved one were arrested or believe that you might be under investigation for an alleged federal white collar crime in the greater Fort Worth area, do not try to explain yourself to authorities without legal counsel. Make sure you contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as soon as possible.
Our firm can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. We can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.
Examples of federal white collar crimes people could be charged with in Tarrant County include, but are not limited to:
● Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961–1968 — It is illegal under 18 U.S. Code § 1962 for any person who has received any income derived, directly or indirectly, from a pattern of racketeering activity or through collection of an unlawful debt in which such person has participated as a principal to use or invest, directly or indirectly, any part of such income, or the proceeds of such income, in acquisition of any interest in, or the establishment or operation of, any enterprise which is engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce. It is not unlawful under this subsection for the purchase of securities on the open market for purposes of investment, and without the intention of controlling or participating in the control of the issuer, or of assisting another to do so, if the securities of the issuer held by the purchaser, the members of his immediate family, and his or their accomplices in any pattern or racketeering activity or the collection of an unlawful debt after such purchase do not amount in the aggregate to one percent of the outstanding securities of any one class, and do not confer, either in law or in fact, the power to elect one or more directors of the issuer. Any person is prohibited through a pattern of racketeering activity or through collection of an unlawful debt from acquiring or maintaining, directly or indirectly, any interest in or control of any enterprise which is engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce. A person is also prohibited from being employed by or associated with any enterprise engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce, to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of such enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity or collection of unlawful debt. It is also illegal to conspire to violate any of the provisions of this section.
● Mail Fraud, 18 U.S. Code § 1341 — Mail fraud involves a person devising or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, or to sell, dispose of, loan, exchange, alter, give away, distribute, supply, or furnish or procure for unlawful use any counterfeit or spurious coin, obligation, security, or other article, or anything represented to be or intimated or held out to be such counterfeit or spurious article, for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice or attempting so to do, place in any post office or authorized depository for mail matter, any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by the Postal Service, or deposit or cause to be deposited any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by any private or commercial interstate carrier, or take or receive therefrom, any such matter or thing, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail or such carrier according to the direction thereon, or at the place at which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, any such matter or thing.
● Embezzlement, 18 U.S. Code § 1341 — The officer, director, agent or employee of, or connected in any capacity with any Federal Reserve bank, member bank, depository institution holding company, national bank, insured bank, branch or agency of a foreign bank, or organization operating under section 25 or section 25(a)  of the Federal Reserve Act, or a receiver of a national bank, insured bank, branch, agency, or organization or any agent or employee of the receiver, or a Federal Reserve Agent, or an agent or employee of a Federal Reserve Agent or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, commits embezzlement if they embezzle, abstract, purloin or willfully misapply any of the moneys, funds or credits of such bank, branch, agency, or organization or holding company or any moneys, funds, assets or securities intrusted to the custody or care of such bank, branch, agency, or organization, or holding company or to the custody or care of any such agent, officer, director, employee or receiver.
● Laundering of Monetary Instruments (Money Laundering), 18 U.S. Code § 1956 — Money laundering involves a person, knowing that the property involved in a financial transaction represents the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, conduct or attempt to conduct such a financial transaction which in fact involves the proceeds of specified unlawful activity with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity or with intent to engage in conduct constituting a violation of section 7201 or 7206 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or knowing that the transaction is designed in whole or in part to conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity or to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under State or Federal law. Money laundering also invovles a person transporting, transmitting, or transferring, or attempting to transport, transmit, or transfer a monetary instrument or funds from a place in the United States to or through a place outside the United States or to a place in the United States from or through a place outside the United States with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity or knowing that the monetary instrument or funds involved in the transportation, transmission, or transfer represent the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity and knowing that such transportation, transmission, or transfer is designed in whole or in part to conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity or to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under State or Federal law. The law also criminalizes a person, with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity, to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of property believed to be the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, or to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under State or Federal law, conducting or attempting to conduct a financial transaction involving property represented to be the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, or property used to conduct or facilitate specified unlawful activity.
● Bank Fraud, 18 U.S. Code § 1344 — Bank fraud involves a person knowingly executing or attempting to execute a scheme or artifice to defraud a financial institution or to obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises.
Different white collar crimes have different penalty ranges. Specific consequences for each offense are as follows:
● RICO Act — Up to 20 years in prison (possibly life if any of the predicate acts charged permit such a punishment) and/or a fine of $250,000 or twice the proceeds of the offense.
● Mail Fraud — Up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 for individuals or $500,000 for organizations. If the violation occurs in relation to, or involving any benefit authorized, transported, transmitted, transferred, disbursed, or paid in connection with, a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency, or affects a financial institution, the offense is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million.
● Embezzlement — Up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million, but an offense involving less than $1,000 being embezzled is punishable by only one year in prison and/or a fine.
● Money Laundering — Up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater.
● Bank Fraud — Up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million.
One of the most common defenses in white collar crime cases involves an alleged offender’s criminal intent. Some people are accused of crimes when they had absolutely no knowledge of the criminal intent.
It could be possible for an alleged offender to have been an unknowing participant in certain cases, often performing criminal functions because they assumed they were doing the responsibilities of their assigned jobs. Many people are pulled into criminal charges because of their innocent connections to other major players in actual criminal acts.
White-Collar Crime | FBI.gov — On this section of the FBI website, you can learn more about white collar crimes. Health care fraud, asset forfeiture, and corporate fraud, are covered under major threats and programs. Additional information includes money laundering, identity theft, and intellectual property theft.
Federal White Collar Crime — This law school casebook covers substantive and procedural areas of importance in white-collar criminal practice. Learn more about entity liability, United States sentencing guidelines, and mens rea. The casebook also discusses false claims, false statements, and perjury,.
Were you or your loved one arrested or do you think that you could be under investigation for a federal white collar crime in Fort Worth or another area of Tarrant County? Make sure you speak to a lawyer before you speak to police.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will fight to help you achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case. Call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.