The phrase white collar crime is used to describe criminal activity perpetrated by people in positions of power. Many white collar crimes can involve activity that crosses state lines and thus become matters handled by federal agencies.
When a person is suspected of being involved in a federal white collar criminal offense, the federal agency responsible for investigating the conduct will usually be armed with far greater resources than their state counterparts. In many cases, the penalties associated with federal crimes also carry more severe penalties than similar charges filed at the state level.
Were you or your loved one arrested or do you think you could be under investigation for an alleged federal white collar crime in the greater Plano area? It will be extremely important for you to not say anything to authorities until you have legal representation.
The most common kinds of federal white collar crimes people are charged with in Collin County include, but are not limited to:
● Mail Fraud, 18 U.S. Code § 1341 — A person commits mail fraud if they devise or intend 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.
● Bank Fraud, 18 U.S. Code § 1344 — A person commits bank fraud if they knowingly execute or attempt 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.
● Laundering of Monetary Instruments (Money Laundering), 18 U.S. Code §1956 — A person commits money laundering if they,knowing that the property involved in a financial transaction represents the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, conduct or attempt to conduct such 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. A person also commits money laundering if they transport, transmit, or transfer, or attempt 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 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.
● Embezzlement, 18 U.S. Code § 1341 — An 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 in trusted 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.
● Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act), 18 U.S.C.§§ 1961–1968 — Under 18 U.S. Code § 1962, it is illegal 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. A 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,shall not be unlawful under this subsection 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 inlay or in fact, the power to elect one or more directors of the issuer. It is illegal for any person through a pattern of racketeering activity or through collection of an unlawful debt to acquire or maintain, 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. It is also illegal for any person 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. Finally, it is illegal to conspire to violate any of the provisions of this section.
Consequences of federal white collar crime convictions vary depending on the crime you are charged with. Sentences in these cases may include the following:
● Mail Fraud — Punishable by 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.
● Bank Fraud — Punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million.
● Money Laundering — Punishable by 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.
● Embezzlement — Punishable by 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.
● RICO Act — Punishable by 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.
Many federal white collar crime cases are extraordinarily complex. Multiple parties could be involved in complex schemes and it is entirely possible that an alleged offender was an unknowing participant in wrongdoing.
It is extremely difficult for a prosecutor to prove the guilt of a person who did not have a clearly identified criminal intent. An experienced attorney will know how to attack federal white collar crime charges and present the strongest possible defenses for specific allegations.
Federal White Collar Crime — View a law school casebook addressing substantive and procedural areas of importance in white-collar criminal practice. Chapters discuss United States sentencing guidelines and entity liability. You can also learn more about perjury, false statements, and false claims.
White-Collar Crime | FBI.gov — Learn more about white collar crimes on this section of the FBI website. Major threats and programs include corporate fraud, asset forfeiture, and health care fraud. You can also find information about intellectual property theft, identity theft,and money laundering.
If you or your loved one were arrested or believe that you might be under investigation for a federal white collar crime in Plano or a nearby community in Collin County, you need to exercise your right to remain silent when dealing with police. Do not attempt to explain yourself until you have a criminal defense lawyer.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. We can review your case as soon as you call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.