“White collar” crime is generally defined as diverting money or property from rightful owners without using violence, physical force or threats. Such crimes usually involve fraudulent activity and occur in a business, marketplace or government setting. Advances in communication and information technologies have resulted in a tremendous increase in white-collar crime. In fact, there are so many instances that governments cannot possibly investigate and prosecute every case. Texas focuses its prosecutorial resources on crimes that harm a large number of people and/or undermine the public’s faith in important institutions.
The white-collar crimes most often prosecuted in Texas include:
- Corporate financial fraud — This usually involves high level corporate executives who misrepresent a public company’s financial position or market outlook. Such fraud can harm company owners, investors and other stakeholders in the firm’s performance.
- Tax evasion — This occurs when organizations or individuals refuse to pay the taxes that are legally due. Evasion is where the person or group breaks the law to pay less in taxes. It is a serious crime as it deprives the state of revenue at public expense.
- Money laundering — This crime consists of a person or organization concealing the sources of illegally obtained money using a complicit financial institution or other business entity. Money laundering essentially hides the income source and makes the owners appear to be legitimate. This is a priority crime as money laundering is used to cover up even more criminal activity.
- Embezzlement — This crime involves insiders from an organization (oftentimes employees) using their positions to steal money and cover up the crime. Embezzlement is fairly prevalent in small businesses that often rely upon trusted employees to track and manage the firm’s finances. Embezzlement is a priority as the crime can wreck a company and leave the other employees jobless.
- Healthcare fraud — Individuals or organizations sometimes defraud a health insurer or government funding source to generate huge unearned profits. This type of crime includes billing for services never provided, patient identity theft and other means of obtaining undeserved benefits. Healthcare is such a large private and public expense that billions of dollars are stolen every year from the system.
These white-collar crimes carry lengthy prison sentences, substantial fines and other penalties, usually based on the value of what was wrongfully taken. Anyone accused of or under investigation for such a crime should immediately seek the advice and counsel of a highly qualified white collar crimes attorney to best protect their rights and financial interests.
Kevin L. Collins, P.C. is a full-service criminal defense law firm in San Antonio, Texas. Our attorney and support staff are highly experienced in defending both state and federal white collar criminal cases. If you have been accused of a financial crime or are under investigation for fraud or theft, feel free to contact us online or call 210-598-8629 for an initial consultation