If you have been charged with or are being investigated for a federal financial crime, the outcome of your case will impact your career, reputation and freedom for the rest of your life. You need a lawyer to defend you in federal court, and not just any lawyer is effective in this venue. Federal cases are much different from state cases, featuring their own nuances and idiosyncrasies. Not to mention, federal judges are known to be the toughest in the country, handing out stiff sentences and offering little leniency.
For the best chance of a successful outcome to your federal criminal case, you need a defense lawyer who has a strong track record of winning in federal court. Our team has the knowledge and experience to defend you aggressively and help you move on with your life.
Financial crimes are prosecuted by federal authorities when they involve alleged misuse of the national financial system. Historically, federal judges were actually known for being soft on white-collar financial crimes, particularly when the accused had money and connections. However, that all changed after the financial crisis of 2008, when public opinion of financial malfeasants turned sour, and judges adjusted their sentencing practices accordingly.
No matter the charge you are facing, you need an aggressive and competent attorney to fight for your freedom. Here are a few of the most common federal financial crimes:
Money laundering is the process of making ill-begotten cash appear legitimate by “laundering” it through a series of ostensibly above-board bank or business transactions. It often involves the setup of one or more businesses that appear legitimate but serve as a front for criminal activity.
Tax evasion is the willful avoidance of paying federal income taxes, either as an individual or as a business.
Bank fraud is any process by which one illegally obtains money or assets held by a financial institution. It can also involve the use of unscrupulous means to defraud depositors at a financial institution or bank.
Securities fraud happens when a stockbroker or securities broker deceives clients into making bad investments, typically ones that lose money for the client but enrich the broker.
Insider trading is using knowledge not available to the general public to gain an advantage in the trading of securities, such as buying stock in a company ahead of a merger that has not been publicly announced.
Racketeering is a catch-all term to describe dishonest or fraudulent financial dealings. Because it typically involves the use of banks or security brokerages, it is generally prosecuted as a federal crime.
Most federal financial crimes are punished by prison time, fines and retribution. Even for a specific crime, the penalty can range based on the circumstances and the amount of money involved.
Some of the penalties you can expect if convicted of one of the above crimes include:
The best defense for your federal criminal charge depends on the circumstances of the case. To get an acquittal, your attorney is not required to prove your innocence but to create enough doubt to prevent the prosecution from proving your guilt.
Examples of defense strategies that might be effective include:
Conviction of a federal financial crime requires proof that you intended to commit the crime and weren’t acting in good faith. If your attorney can cast doubt on your intent, they might use this strategy.
In the event of a bank fraud charge, your lawyer might be able to prove that the incident was immaterial to the bank, meaning it had no effect on the bank’s financial position or business decisions.
If your lawyer can demonstrate that you were acting under coercion or distress — for instance, someone was threatening your life — they can often get an acquittal.
To learn more, and to set up a consultation with a federal criminal defense attorney, call our office today!
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