Every year, the Virginia Department of State Police publishes its report on Crime in Virginia, which contains a summary of all types of offenses, arrests, offender demographics, and other information on the crimes that took place in the state during that 12 month period. Though you’re probably familiar with the term “white collar crimes,” you might be surprised to learn that you won’t find it anywhere within the report. This is because white collar crimes is a colloquial, informal label that’s applied to a wide range of offenses. Most involve use of dishonesty for financial gain, often on a large-scale level that encompasses many victims.
There’s significant confusion surrounding white collar crimes, some of which comes from the assumption that only high-powered executives commit them. Because of the misconceptions, and the potential for harsh punishment if, it’s essential to retain a Virginia white collar crimes defense lawyer if you’re facing charges for:
- Fraud: There are numerous offenses listed in Virginia’s Crimes Involving Fraud, but basic underlying legal concepts are very similar. Fraud is deliberately deceiving a person or entity, through conduct or statements, with the goal to obtain money or something of value. Some of the most common types of fraud charges in Virginia include:
- Check fraud, such as where a perpetrator presents a check knowing that there aren’t funds to cover the amount;
- Insurance fraud, which is making untrue statements or misrepresentations regarding a claim;
- Credit card fraud through use of an expired or revoked card, utilizing someone’s card without their consent, or other misconduct; and,
- Securities fraud, in which a person deceptively persuades another to take certain actions regarding investments, stocks, or bonds – to the financial detriment of the victim. A Ponzi or pyramid scheme is a type of securities fraud.
- Defrauding the Government: The above description of fraud includes criminal acts against private individuals or businesses. However, it’s possible to face charges for other forms of fraud when misconduct is directed at the government or a governmental body. Some examples of defrauding the government are:
- Tax fraud to lower your tax liability or increase your refund;
- Welfare fraud to qualify for benefits;
- Bankruptcy fraud; and,
- Many others.
- Forging and Uttering: This white collar crime involves presenting a false document, creating a document with an improper signature, or otherwise imitating paperwork related to an item of value. The subject of a forgery crime is often a contract, identification, certificate, and title or deed of ownership.
- Embezzlement: Unlike the other white collar crimes mentioned above, embezzlement in Virginia presumes that funds or something of value were properly, lawfully within the possession and control of the perpetrator at some point in time. A common scenario is where the rightful owner of the item entrusts it to another person, usually with instructions to carry out. Embezzlement occurs when the second individual misappropriates the item and/or deprives the rightful owner of its use. For instance, you could be arrested for embezzlement if your boss gives you money and directs you to deposit it into a bank account – but you spend it instead.
Trust a Virginia White Collar Crimes Defense Attorney to Protect Your Rights
This list covers just a few of the offenses that fall under the umbrella of white collar crimes in Virginia, but there are many others. If you’ve been arrested, indicted, or think you will be, it’s essential to speak to an experienced lawyer right away. These cases can be extremely complicated because they often involve complicated financial transactions and business structures. Our team at Leary Law, P.C. is prepared for the challenges, so please contact our offices in Manassas or Fairfax, VA to schedule a consultation today.