White-collar crime in Norfolk County refers to the nonviolent crime perpetrated by government professionals and businesses for financial gain. Certain crimes are categorized as white-collar crimes because the perpetrators are professionals with office jobs, and the crimes are committed within a corporate environment. The different types of white-collar crimes include:
- Mortgage fraud involves obtaining a mortgage loan through intentional deception or misrepresentation on the loan application.
- Health care fraud occurs when a person, group of people or company knowingly misrepresent anything about the type, scope, or nature of the medical treatment or service provided in order to make a profit, For instance, requiring a cash payment for treatment already covered by the state’s Medicaid Program.
- Insurance fraud is deliberate deception committed by or against an insurance company or agent for financial gain.
- Corporate fraud refers to illegal or unethical and deceptive activities that an individual or company undertakes to mislead the public for profit.
- Mail fraud and wire fraud involve defrauding or attempting to defraud a person of their property or money by using some form of interstate communication, either by mail, telecommunications, or the internet. In 2019, Norfolk County recorded 180 incidents of wire fraud.
- Embezzlement is the misappropriation of funds by an employee. There were 32 incidents of embezzlements in Norfolk County in 2019.
- Tax fraud entails willfully falsifying information on a tax return in an attempt to pay lower taxes or avoid meeting the entire tax obligation. Perpetrators of this crime may be individuals, businesses, or healthcare companies.
- Credit card fraud. An individual would be charged for credit card fraud if they used credit card information for someone else to make unauthorized purchases. In 2019, there were 318 incidents of credit card fraud in Norfolk County. It is one of the most common types of white-collar crimes in Norfolk County.
- Money laundering involves concealing income obtained illegally with the intent to make the funds appear to be legitimate.
What are White Collar Crime Punishments in Norfolk County?
The penalties for white-collar crimes in Norfolk County vary, depending on the actual crime committed. Certain white-collar crimes may be prosecuted under federal laws and may carry stiff sentences such as
- Imprisonment in a house of correction for up to 2½ years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both for Credit card fraud.
- Imprisonment in the state prison for up to 5 years, or a maximum fine of $25,000, and imprisonment in jail for up to 2½ years for larceny by embezzlement over $250.
- Imprisonment in jail for not more than 1 year or by a fine of up to $1,500 for larceny by embezzlement under $250.
- Imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years, or a maximum fine of $50,000, or imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2½ years, or both such fine and imprisonment for larceny by embezzlement over $250 from a person over the age of 60 or with a disability.
- Imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2½ years, or a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both the fine and imprisonment for larceny by embezzlement under $250 from a person over 60 or with a disability.
- Imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 2½ years, or a fine not exceeding $25,000, and imprisonment in jail for no more than 2 years for embezzlement of trade secrets.
- Imprisonment for no more than 10 years, or a fine, or both the fine and imprisonment for health care fraud not resulting in serious bodily injury.
- Imprisonment for no more than 20 years, or a fine, or both the fine and imprisonment for health care fraud resulting in serious bodily injury.
- A fine of any amount, imprisonment for any term of years or for life, or both the fine and imprisonment for health care fraud resulting in death.
- Imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years, or in a house of correction or jail for not more than 2½ years for Homeowner’s Insurance Fraud.
- Imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years, or in the house of correction for 6 months to 2½ years, or by a fine of $1,000 to $10,000, or by both the fine and imprisonment for Automobile Insurance Fraud.
- Imprisonment for no more than 20 years, or a fine, or both the fine and imprisonment for Wire fraud.
- Imprisonment in a house of correction for no more than 2½ years, or a fine not exceeding $5,000, or both the fine and imprisonment for identity theft.
- Imprisonment in the state prison for up to 5 years, or a maximum fine of $10,000, or imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2½ years, or both such fine and imprisonment for Mortgage fraud.
- Imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or a maximum fine of $100,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations, or both the fine and imprisonment for tax evasion.
- Imprisonment in the state prison for up to 6 years, or a fine of not more than $250,000 or 2 times the value of the property executed, whichever is greater, or by both such fine and imprisonment for money laundering on the first offense.
- Imprisonment in the state prison for 2 to 8 years, or a fine of not more than $500,000 or 3 times the value of the property executed, whichever is greater, or by both such fine and imprisonment for money laundering (second or subsequent offense).
What Does a White Collar Crime Lawyer Do in Norfolk County?
The job of a white-collar crime lawyer in Norfolk County is to ensure the rights of the accused are protected throughout the investigation and trial process. White-collar crimes in Norfolk County are usually more complex compared to street crimes. The trial process can be grueling. It is possible to fight the charges with the help of a skilled attorney. Depending on available evidence and the facts of the case, an experienced white-collar crime lawyer in Norfolk County may raise defenses such as
- Defendant lacked intent: Most white-collar crimes require the prosecution to prove the defendant’s criminal intent to persuade the court to convict. The defense may successfully move for dismissal if the prosecution fails to prove intent or discredit the evidence presented by the prosecution’s evidence to show intent.
- Non-Fraudulent statements: The defense may present evidence to discredit the claim that the defendant made a fraudulent statement to mislead the accuser by showing that the accuser misinterpreted the statement and raised a complaint because their misinterpretation backfired.
- Entrapment: Entrapment happens when a law enforcement official coerces, induces, or intimidates a person into committing a crime that they otherwise would not have committed. The defense may try to prove that the defendant’s will was overpowered by the enticement of law enforcement officers.
- Incapacity: The defense may show evidence that the defendant was physically or mentally incapacitated and could not have committed the offense.
- Intoxication. Evidence that the defendant was inebriated at the time of committing the offense may raise a question of intent, weakening the prosecutor’s chance of proving their case without a doubt.
- Lack of knowledge: If there were multiple parties and organizations involved, the defense may assert that the accused was unaware that illegal activity was occurring.
- Coercion: If the accused forged a document after being forced or coerced by another individual, the defense may be able to assert coercion to beat the charges.
- Poking holes in the prosecution’s case: White collar crimes usually involve money, businesses, and multiple transactions. This tends to require sifting through loads of evidence and documents. A defense technique is to disprove simple errors and poke holes in the prosecution’s argument.
- Plea bargain: When the evidence against the accused is overwhelming, the defense may attempt to negotiate a plea agreement. In this arrangement, the defendant agrees to plead guilty to the charges in exchange for the prosecutor’s agreement to reduce a charge to a less serious offense, drop one or more charges, or recommend to the judge a lighter sentence.
- Statute of limitations: If the alleged crime was perpetrated years earlier and the statute of limitations has run out, the accused cannot be brought to trial.
What is the FCPA in Norfolk County?
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in Norfolk County is a United States statute that prohibits firms and individuals from paying bribes to foreign officials to obtain or retain business deals. By FCPA standards, the bribe does not actually have to be paid in order to violate the law. Instead, the Act also prohibits the authorization, offer, or promise to make a corrupt payment.
This prohibition extends to publicly traded companies and their employees, officers, stockholders, directors, and agents. The FCPA also requires companies that have securities listed in the United States to make and keep accurate books and records showing their transactions.
Such companies must also have an adequate system of internal accounting controls. The essence of this is to prevent accounting practices created to hide corrupt payments and ensure that the SEC and shareholders have an accurate picture of a company's finances.
The Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice are jointly responsible for enforcing the FCPA. The SEC may bring civil actions against issuers and their officers, employees, directors, stockholders, and agents for violating any of the provisions of the FCPA.
Individuals and companies who violate the FCPA may have to relinquish any illicit gains and pay prejudgment interest as well as substantial civil penalties. Corporations may also be subject to oversight by an independent consultant.
How to Find a White Collar Crime Lawyer in Norfolk County
The traditional way to find a white-collar crime lawyer in Norfolk County is by word of mouth. A local general practice lawyer may refer a person to an attorney that specializes in white-collar crimes. The Norfolk County Bar Association also offers a lawyer referral service to assist individuals who need legal advice or representation.
The referral service is a full fee program. The Association does not make referrals to attorneys that take cases on a pro bono basis. The internet is also another resource for finding white-collar crime lawyers in Norfolk County. Before choosing a lawyer, the defendant may gather relevant information about different lawyers’
- Competence: Most white-collar crimes fall under federal jurisdiction. As such, the attorney needs to understand federal law and should be familiar with the federal rules on civil, criminal procedure, and evidence.
- Experience: The lawyer or law firm should focus primarily on white-collar crimes. White-collar offenses are complex and an accused’s best bet at beating the charges is to have an attorney with many years of experience in handling them. Some defense lawyers also have prior experience as prosecutors. Although this experience is not a requirement, it might be an additional asset to consult with a lawyer that has been on both sides.
Generally, an attorney’s fees are a flat rate ranging from $2,000 to $4,000. The exact cost varies depending on the lawyer’s reputation and experience. Some factors that may also influence the cost include:
- How long the lawyer will work on the case
- Filing motions
- Potential trial
- Likelihood of an agreement being reached
- Number of court appearances
- Preliminary hearings
A white-collar crime attorney may charge an hourly fee instead of a flat rate. In such cases, clients can expect to pay $400, less or more per hour.