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NYC White Collar Crimes Lawyers

White Collar Crimes Lawyers: Defending Clients Against Financial Fraud Charges

White collar crimes are non-violent offenses committed by business professionals or public officials that involve financial fraud or deception. These crimes can include embezzlement, money laundering, tax evasion, bribery, securities fraud, and more. White collar crimes lawyers specialize in defending individuals or companies accused of these types of financial offenses.

An Overview of White Collar Crimes

Some common examples of white collar crimes include:

  • Tax Evasion: Intentionally under-reporting income, overstating deductions, hiding money in offshore accounts, etc. to lower tax liability. Can result in fines, back taxes, and prison time.
  • Securities Fraud: Providing false or misleading information related to buying/selling of stocks. Includes insider trading, Ponzi schemes, accounting fraud, etc. Punishable by fines and imprisonment.
  • Bribery: Offering money or gifts to influence a business or government decision. Violates anti-corruption laws like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • Embezzlement: When an employee steals or misappropriates funds entrusted to them by employer. Can lead to victim restitution and jail time.
  • Money Laundering: Concealing the source of illegally obtained money by filtering through legitimate businesses. Done to hide tax evasion, fraud, etc.
  • Identity Theft: Using someone else’s personal information to obtain credit, loans, or goods and services fraudulently.
  • Mortgage Fraud: Falsifying information on mortgage applications to obtain larger loans or better terms. Can result in foreclosure, fines, and prison.

The penalties for white collar crimes can be severe, including hefty fines, victim restitution, asset forfeiture, probation, and years in federal prison. The complexity of these financial cases is why hiring an experienced white collar defense lawyer is so crucial.

The Role of a White Collar Crimes Lawyer

White collar defense attorneys have specialized expertise in the complex laws and regulations involved in financial fraud cases. Their most important responsibilities include:

  • Investigating the Charges: Thoroughly examining the prosecution’s evidence and claims to identify any weaknesses in their case. Finding exonerating evidence when possible.
  • Advising the Client: Explaining the potential penalties if convicted and likelihood of conviction based on the evidence. Providing strategic advice on best options.
  • Negotiating Plea Deals: Attempting to negotiate a favorable plea bargain with reduced charges/penalties if appropriate.
  • Filing Pretrial Motions: Seeking to have evidence thrown out or charges dismissed if there are constitutional violations or lack of evidence.
  • Defending in Court: Aggressively defending the client in trial and presenting evidence/witnesses that rebut the charges. Cross-examining the prosecution’s witnesses.
  • Appealing Convictions: Identifying grounds for appeal, such as procedural errors or insufficient evidence, if client is convicted at trial. Filing appeal briefs.
  • Avoiding Future Issues: After the case, counseling clients on compliance programs to avoid issues going forward.

The right white collar crimes attorney will thoroughly examine the prosecution’s case and the applicable laws to build the strongest defense. This can lead to dismissed or reduced charges.

Common White Collar Crimes Defenses

There are several legal defenses that skilled white collar crimes lawyers frequently use to get charges against their clients dismissed or to win pretrial motions or at trial:

  • Lack of Criminal Intent – Prosecutors must prove the defendant knowingly and willfully violated the law. Evidence showing no intent can defeat charges.
  • Statute of Limitations Expired – Most frauds have a 5-10 year time limit on bringing charges. Expired statute of limitations can nullify case.
  • Improper Government Procedures – Demonstrating constitutional violations in how evidence was obtained or defendants’ rights weren’t read. Can lead to evidence being barred.
  • Lack of Sufficient Evidence – No conviction if a reasonable doubt exists. Good defense lawyers find all reasonable doubts.
  • Coercion/Duress – Doing something illegal under threat can be a defense. Must prove no reasonable alternative.
  • Entrapment – When government induces a crime. Burden is on defense to prove no predisposition for crime.
  • Ignorance/Mistake of Fact or Law – Defendant must actually know act was illegal. Complex laws can lead to mistakes.
  • Diminished Mental Capacity – Being unable to understand criminal nature of actions can be defense. Insanity rarely used.
  • Self-Defense – Rarely used for financial crimes, but can apply if crime done under threat.
  • Whistleblower Retaliation – Proving client was targeted for properly reporting fraud by others.

A skilled white collar defense lawyer will analyze the specific circumstances to identify any viable defenses to put forth. Even technicalities like errors in warrants or procedural mistakes can get charges dismissed before trial.

Selecting the Right White Collar Crimes Attorney

Choosing the right lawyer is crucial to build an effective defense in a white collar case. Key factors to consider include:

  • Experience: Look for an attorney with extensive experience specifically in white collar criminal defense cases. Check qualifications and trial record.
  • Knowledge of Applicable Laws: Find lawyer well-versed in the complex fraud and financial crime laws like securities regulations, tax codes, etc.
  • Specialization: Avoid general practice attorneys. Hire a lawyer focused on white collar defense work full-time.
  • Resources: Opt for attorneys in firms with the investigative and accounting resources needed for financial cases.
  • Negotiation Skills: For plea deals, choose lawyer with proven ability to negotiate with prosecutors effectively.
  • Trial Skills: If case may go to trial, hire attorney with strong litigation skills and trial experience.
  • Credentials: Look for former prosecutors and SEC/IRS attorneys who know the system. Ivy league degrees also a plus.
  • Personality Fit: Find a lawyer you feel comfortable with and who will fight aggressively on your behalf.

Don’t just hire any lawyer – do in-depth research to find the right white collar defense attorney with specific experience in similar financial fraud cases and a proven record of favorable outcomes for clients. This can make all the difference in avoiding harsh penalties.

The Benefits of Hiring a White Collar Defense Lawyer

Trying to handle a white collar crime case without an attorney, even if innocent, is extremely unwise. The benefits a knowledgeable white collar defense lawyer brings include:

  • Avoiding Mistakes: Complicated laws and procedures mean mistakes by non-lawyers lead to convictions. Lawyers prevent missteps.
  • Expert Negotiations: Experienced lawyers negotiate better plea deals with prosecutors than defendants alone.
  • Stronger Defense: Lawyers know how to attack the prosecution’s case and present persuasive defenses.
  • Courtroom Presentation Skills: Lawyers are comfortable speaking in court and adept at cross-examinations.
  • Avoiding Emotional Pleas: Angry outbursts or emotional pleas by defendant can hurt cases despite innocence. Lawyers prevent this.
  • Knowledge of Sentencing Guidelines: Lawyers use sentencing guidelines to argue for leniency. Non-lawyers don’t understand complex rules.
  • Appeal Support: Lawyers identify appealable issues not obvious to non-lawyers. Also help get bail while appealing.
  • Reduced Penalties: Skilled lawyers keep charges as low as possible to reduce fines, prison time, restitution, etc.
  • Future Protection: Lawyers can negotiate deferred prosecution agreements that lead to charges eventually being dropped after compliance.

Don’t take chances – the consequences of white collar convictions are too severe. Hiring an expert white collar defense attorney is the smart choice.


Facing white collar charges like securities fraud, embezzlement, or money laundering can be an extremely frightening and confusing situation. These complex financial cases often carry harsh penalties that can destroy family, career, and reputation.Fortunately, hiring a knowledgeable white collar defense lawyer levels the playing field by aggressively defending your rights, fighting the allegations, and negotiating reduced penalties when possible. Don’t go it alone against experienced prosecutors – retain top legal counsel to protect your future. The right lawyer can make all the difference.


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