Whether you are under investigation or have been charged with a white-collar crime, you need aggressive representation. At The Law Office of Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., our criminal defense lawyer has over two decades of experience defending clients accused of white-collar crimes. Although white-collar offenses are generally not violent crimes, they are prosecuted just as harshly. If you have been charged with or believe white-collar crime charges are forthcoming, contact Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C, today.
A conviction for any white-collar crime can have devastating consequences on your life. You could face significant prison time, fines, restitution, or a combination of the three. A criminal conviction can tarnish your reputation and make applying for a job or mortgage difficult.
Depending on the specific circumstances and investigating agency, white-collar crimes can be charged at the state or federal level. Today, we’ll take a look at some white-collar crimes and what they might mean to your future.
Fraud is a broad term that encompasses many different types of crimes. Generally, fraud is defined as the intentional deception of another for personal financial gain. Many crimes fall under the umbrella of fraud. The government can bring fraud charges against an individual or a company.
Are you under investigation, or have you been charged with insurance fraud? Allegations of insurance fraud are investigated rigorously. Insurance fraud occurs when an individual intentionally falsifies information on an insurance application, policy, or claim to receive payments to which they are not rightfully entitled. Insurance fraud can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony—either of which can carry potential jail time. The offense degree depends on the amount of money involved.
Under Colorado law, insurance fraud can be committed by individuals, insurance agents, or adjusters and is often associated with organized crime. Any type of insurance is susceptible to fraud, including:
- Health insurance,
- Auto insurance,
- Workers’ compensation, and
- Homeowners insurance,
Any allegation of insurance fraud is serious and requires a serious defense strategy. Don’t wait to speak with a lawyer. Call The Law Office of Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C, today to discuss your options.
Mortgage fraud usually involves the misrepresentation of income or omitting or falsifying documents in order to obtain a loan. However, mortgage fraud is not limited to the potential buyer or mortgagee but can include other individuals in the process, including the following:
- Mortgage broker,
- The title company, and more.
If you are in any of these positions and facing mortgage fraud allegations, you should seek the advice of a white-collar crime defense lawyer. As with any other fraud charges, mortgage fraud is a serious offense with significant penalties.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud is the unauthorized use or possession of a credit card. You may be charged with credit card fraud under several different scenarios. The two most common situations involve using a stolen credit card or obtaining a credit card in someone else’s name.
In Colorado, you may be charged with criminal possession of a financial device, unauthorized use of a financial device, purchase on credit to defraud, or even identity theft.
Under Colorado law, a credit card is considered a financial device.
An individual commits criminal possession of a financial device if they have a financial device in their possession they reasonably should know is lost, stolen, or delivered by mistake. If you find a credit card that is not yours and you keep the card, this is criminal possession of a financial device. The same is true if a credit card is mistakenly delivered to your address and you keep it.
If an individual takes it a step further and uses the credit card, they commit unauthorized use of a financial device.
Possible defenses to credit card fraud include:
- You had the authority to possess the credit card,
- You had permission to use the credit card,
- You did not have the intent to defraud, and
- You were unaware you were in possession of the credit card.
An experienced white-collar crime defense lawyer will be able to spot any potential defenses.
Denver Fraud Attorney
Any allegation of fraud can involve complex legal concepts, a multitude of evidence, and months of investigation. It is important to speak with an experienced defense lawyer to discuss the specific charges against you and potential defenses. Contact The Law Office of Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C, to discuss your case.
Other Types of White-Collar Crimes
Forgery is the act of falsifying a document with the intent to defraud an individual, financial institution, the government, or a private corporation. Specifically, it involves the alteration or falsifying of a legal or financial document. A common example is forging a check.
Embezzlement is the intentional misappropriation of money or assets by an individual entrusted with its care. The crime itself often occurs over an extended period of time. Embezzlement is a crime regardless of the dollar amount taken. However, the amount of money stolen will determine if you will be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
Extortion, otherwise known as blackmail, is a serious offense.
Under Colorado law, a person commits criminal extortion if they threaten another person or their property or reputation to induce that person to perform an act against their will or refrain from performing a lawful act.
A “racket” is an organized criminal activity involving anything from fraud to money laundering. Racketeering occurs either by or on behalf of a criminal organization or enterprise. Racketeering activities can include violent and non-violent crimes.
In Colorado, racketeering is a Class 2 felony. A conviction can result in up to 24 years in prison and can include thousands of dollars in fines or a combination of the two.
The Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA) is a set of statutes that prohibits the type of criminal activity engaged in by organized criminal enterprises. These include, among many others:
- Money laundering,
- Drug crimes, and
Under the statute, any level of participation in racketeering activity is prohibited. COCCA outlines several prohibited activities. Specifically, it is unlawful for any person to:
- Knowingly receive or derive proceeds from a pattern of racketeering activity or through the collection of an unlawful debt;
- Knowingly acquire or maintain, directly or indirectly from a pattern of racketeering activity, any interest in or control of any enterprise or real property;
- Knowingly conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in any enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity or the collection of an unlawful debt; or
- Conspire to violate any of these racketeering provisions.
You can be charged with a racketeering offense on the state or federal level. The federal equivalent to COCCA is known as RICO: Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
If your case proceeds to trial, the prosecutor is required to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. With the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you stand the best chance of defeating white-collar criminal charges.
For any fraud crime, the prosecutor must prove you had the intent to defraud. If your lawyer can prove you did not have the necessary intent, you could defeat the charge. You might also be able to prove you had permission to possess the funds or documents in question. Or the case could simply be an issue of mistaken identity if you did not commit the alleged crime.
Lastly, under certain circumstances, you may be able to assert the defense of entrapment. Entrapment happens when a government agent induces a person to commit a crime they otherwise would not have committed.
Ultimately, any potential defense will be specific to the charges against you. It is best to meet with a lawyer to discuss the specific allegations and possible defenses.
Are White-Collar Crimes Felonies?
A white-collar crime in Colorado can be classified as a felony or a misdemeanor. It depends on the specific crime and the amount of money in question. Typically, most white-collar crimes are felony offenses.
How Do I Choose the Right Lawyer?
If you have been charged with a State or Federal white-collar crime, it is important to choose the right white-collar defense attorney for you.
You will want to consider several factors:
- Whether the attorney has experience in criminal defense, specifically white-collar criminal defense;
- Track record of success;
- Accessibility to the attorney; and
- Who will be handling the case—the attorney, a team of attorneys, paralegals, or other legal staff.
Having a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney could make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
What Should I Do if I Have Been Contacted by the Authorities?
The first thing you should do is seek the immediate assistance of a criminal defense attorney. Collect any documents or information you may need in your defense, and bring such information to your first attorney meeting.
Will I Be Charged with a State or Federal Offense?
Whether you are charged on the state or federal level will depend on the crime and the investigating agency involved.
Contact a Skilled Denver White-Collar Crimes Attorney Today
If you have been charged with any of these white-collar crimes or others such as identity theft, counterfeiting, money laundering, or check fraud—contact The Law Office of Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., for a confidential consultation. With over two decades of experience and knowledge you can trust, we will be here for you every step of the way. From investigation through trial, we will fight on your behalf.