Many readers of this forum’s criminal law blog posts have likely heard the lament that persons convicted of so-called “white collar” criminal offenses in Colorado and nationally secure comparatively lenient sentencing outcomes.
That is, it often seems the case that an arguably trivial offense (let’s just offer up a minor theft charge here for illustration’s sake) yields more prison time for a defendant than does a charge of corporate embezzlement.
There are certainly legions of cases from past years where persons charged with white collar crimes have arguably received mere slap-on-the-wrist outcomes that many people deem logically indefensible.
Candidly, though, such outcomes are far more singular than the norm these days. Major frauds committed in corporate settings in recent years (e.g., stock manipulation and Ponzi schemes) have netted decades-long – even lifetime – incarceration terms for defendants, coupled with huge financial penalties.
The point is this: The white collar crime realm actually spells an elevated focus for state and national law enforcers these days. A task force probing alleged wrongdoing often comprises a deep investigative team backed by a potent array of resources and zealous prosecutors eager to secure maximum penalties.
That strong spotlight on the white collar criminal sphere and deep-pocketed ability to target suspected wrongdoers equates to high numbers of ongoing investigations targeting a wide range of behaviors. That can be reasonably concerning to many targeted individuals, given that the definition of white collar crime is almost incomprehensibly expansive.
To wit: Arrested persons are often charged with crimes ranging from forgery and embezzlement to credit card and ID theft. Charges also underscore mail and wire fraud offenses, insurance fraud, Internet crime, money laundering and a host of other offenses.
Candidly, individuals ending up as defendants in white collar crime cases sometimes lacked knowledge that their activity was unlawful. Alternatively, lower-level wrongdoers often suffer convictions because they are comparatively easy to pursue.
The white collar crime universe is vast, varied and complex. Questions or concerns regarding a criminal probe or charge can be directed to a proven criminal defense legal team.