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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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What are the penalties for federal white collar crimes in New York?

By Spodek Law Group | October 16, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)

Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 04:56 pm

Penalties for Federal White Collar Crimes in New York

White collar crimes refer to non-violent, financially motivated criminal offenses committed by individuals, businesses, or professionals. These types of crimes are often prosecuted at the federal level when they involve defrauding the U.S. government or cross state lines. If convicted, federal white collar crimes can result in severe penalties in New York.

Common Federal White Collar Crimes

  • Securities Fraud – This involves manipulating the stock market or providing false information to investors. Examples are insider trading, Ponzi schemes, and pump-and-dump schemes.
  • Tax Evasion – Intentionally underreporting income, overstating deductions, hiding money in offshore accounts, or otherwise lying on tax returns to lower tax liability.
  • Money Laundering – Disguising the source of illegally obtained money to make it appear legitimate. This is commonly done by criminals or terrorists to hide funds.
  • Bribery – Offering anything of value to a public official in exchange for an official act or influence. Both parties can be charged.
  • Embezzlement – When someone steals money or assets from an employer or organization they have been entrusted with.
  • Bank Fraud – Knowingly executing or attempting to execute a scheme to defraud a financial institution, such as check kiting or mortgage fraud.
  • Healthcare Fraud – Defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurers through billing for unnecessary services, upcoding, kickbacks, etc.
  • Identity Theft – Stealing personal information to obtain credit cards, loans, or other goods and services in someone else’s name.

Penalties Under Federal Law

The penalties for federal white collar crimes vary based on the specific offense but can include:

  • Prison Time – Most federal white collar crimes carry potential prison sentences ranging from 1-30 years depending on severity and prior record.
  • Fines – Maximum fines range from $250,000 to $5 million for individuals, and higher for organizations. Fines are common in addition to or instead of prison time.
  • Asset Forfeiture – The government can seize property connected to criminal activity, including homes, cars, businesses and bank accounts.
  • Restitution – May be ordered to repay victims for their losses from the crime.
  • Probation – A period of court supervision from 1-5 years is common, with conditions like community service.

In addition, white collar convictions often result in being barred from working in certain industries, loss of professional licenses, reputational harm, and immigration consequences for non-citizens.

Sentencing Guidelines

Federal judges use the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines to determine appropriate sentences based on:

  • The defendant’s role in the offense
  • The amount of financial loss caused
  • Whether sophisticated means were used
  • If the defendant abused a position of trust
  • Whether the defendant obstructed justice
  • The defendant’s criminal history

The guidelines provide a sentencing range the judge usually stays within. However, judges have discretion to depart from the guidelines and can consider mitigating factors like cooperation with prosecutors.

Defense Strategies

Several legal defenses may apply in federal white collar crime cases:

  • Lack of criminal intent – Prosecutors must prove the defendant knowingly and willfully violated the law.
  • Statute of limitations – There is a 5 year limit for most federal crimes after which charges cannot be brought.
  • Entrapment – When government agents improperly induced the defendant to commit a crime they otherwise wouldn’t.
  • Jurisdictional challenges – Disputing whether the alleged crime falls under federal jurisdiction.
  • Constitutional violations – Such as issues with search warrants, self-incrimination, or right to counsel.
  • Evidentiary challenges – Contesting the validity and admissibility of the prosecution’s evidence.

An experienced federal criminal defense attorney can evaluate the evidence and build the strongest defense to avoid harsh penalties.

Recent Federal White Collar Cases in New York

Here are some notable recent federal white collar prosecutions in New York:

  • In 2022, the CEO of a network of charter schools was sentenced to 46 months in prison for embezzling over $200,000.
  • The former CFO of Buffalo-based pizza chain La Nova was sentenced to 2 years in 2021 for tax evasion totaling over $500,000.
  • A group of defendants perpetrated a $50 million investment fraud selling fraudulent tribal bonds and were sentenced to between 1-6 years in prison.
  • The founder of a biopharmaceutical company was convicted in 2021 for defrauding investors out of over $100 million through false claims about the company’s cancer drug.

Federal prosecutors in New York aggressively pursue white collar crimes and leverage harsh penalties allowed under federal law. Those facing charges should engage experienced defense counsel to mitigate penalties. The costs of simply pleading guilty are too steep. With an in-depth understanding of federal sentencing guidelines and a strategic legal defense, positive case outcomes are possible.

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