White Collar Crime in Miami
Introduction to White Collar Crime in Miami
White Collar crime in Miami, as the name suggests, refers to those entrepreneurs with a high economic status who commit certain crimes at the business level; whereby they can obtain real financial benefits including properties, insurance, and other monetary means without paying for those goods/services and without using any kind of physical violence.
According to the FBI a White Collar crime is an illegal acts that consists of concealment, deceit, and any other forms of violations of trust where no physical force is used.
What are the White Collar Crime Statistics in Miami, Florida?
The department of crime investigation in the United States (FBI) in recent years has reported an increase of 3.5% in white collar crimes, in which fraud crimes stand out. Identity theft crimes are the most common, with a total of 450 billion dollars scammed. Out of these, 42% were just computer crimes, meaning that they were produced through a computer and via the internet. These cyber frauds are not only used for economic gains but also for the recruitment of individuals with terrorist motives.
What are the different Types of White Collar Crimes?
Among the different types of white collar crime, the following stand out:
- Wire fraud. This type of crime refers to people who steal credit cards, automobiles, and financial funds through the internet.
- Medical fraud. This type of crime refers to people who have ghost medical companies, which aim to defraud people who have federal medical assistance known as Medicaid or Medicare.
- Mortgage and real estate fraud. These crimes are considered federal white collar crimes and are characterized by fraudulent transfers and forgery of properties.
- Money laundering. In this type of crime, individuals try to hide money that was illegally obtained by transferring it to another person or hiding it behind a company's name. This offense can lead to very severe sentences.
- Money transfer fraud. This offense relates to fraud committed by transferring money through the internet with the purchase of a specific product.
- Tax evasion. This type of white collar crime is produced through identity theft in order to divert funds from IRS annual tax returns.
- Fraud to financial corporations.
- Public corruption. This crime consists of fraud and diversion of public funds for personal interests.
- Insurance fraud. They are ghost companies that offer any type of insurance in order to defraud people who trust these companies with their money.
- Organized crimes.
White Collar Crimes Examples in the United States
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has managed to find many people who have been committing white collar crimes. For example in 2013 a network was dismantled in the state of Missouri where criminals had set up a company selling funeral insurance to over 16 states. They managed to scam over 97,000 people and make a profit of about $450 million with the ghost company. The criminals were operating from 1992 to 2008, during this period they diverted money from the insurance to their own interests, paying for the funeral services of other people and making high-risk investments. Throughout this time they managed to deceive not only the people who were victims of the scam but also federal authorities.
Another prominent example of white collar crimes in America is identity theft, whereby a person's identity is used to steal money, credit, properties, mail, and other goods. According to recent studies, over 52 million Americans have been victims of identity theft.
Another example of white collar crime is when a doctor charges Medicare or Medicaid for a procedure or service that was not performed, or when a stockbroker is involved in the process of buying and selling shares in the stock market with privileged information; in which the general public is financially affected. The government is constantly investigating those who commit While Collar crimes.
White collar crime penalties
Penalties for this offense vary, depending on whether it is being prosecuted at the state or federal level and also the amount of cash involved in the fraud; although there are no specific guidelines for the amount. State jurisdictions are often less strict in the sentencing than the maximum penalties allowed for the crime; although in both cases (state or federal) prison sentences, large monetary fines, and restitution to the victims are applied.
The average sentence for money laundering is 46.3 months, 16.2 months for bribery, 12 months for fraud,12.7 months for antitrust fraud, 16.6 months for tax offenses, 9.9 months for embezzlement and 16.2 months for bribery. Penalties for the most common white collar crimes such as electronic fraud have increased from 5 to 20 years.
Blue Collar Crimes
Unlike White Collar crime, which is produced by workers who perform professional work in their office or through the company's management; blue collar crimes are produced by workers who are required to make physical effort in order to perform the work. Thus, these types of crimes are produced at a low level in workshops and factories. These crimes are more easily identified by the police as theft and fraud.
Corporate crime and white collar criminals in the United States
One of the growing crimes today is corporate fraud, which has been increasing rapidly since the financial crisis of 2002. Because of this issue, some countries committed to the establishment of the United Nations Convention against Corporate Corruption, adopted in 2003.
An example of corporate corruption by the business sector was the case of Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling from Enron, which is the seventh largest company in the United States and is dedicated to the transportation and marketing of natural gas; it was also the innovator in the plastics industry. In this case, funds were diverted through 900 ghost companies and produced the largest private sector bankruptcy in the history of the United States.
Another case was that of Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom, who reported some alleged profits which the company did not have and led to a $3,800 million scam.
Another example was the pharmaceutical company ImClone Systems, which was dedicated to the production of drugs for cancer prevention. In this case, insider information was obtained about the selling of its shares in late 2001 where top executives of ImClone Systems sold their shares. This was investigated by the Securities Commission of the United States, and it was confirmed that many senior executives of ImClone had sold their shares at the same time.
Crimes committed by the executives or business corporations distort regional and global economies to the point that it affects the free market, at the same time deteriorating institutional quality and overall morale.
Corporate Crime vs. White Collar Crime
Before comparing Corporate and White Collar Crime we must study the definition of each separately.
What is Corporate crime?: refers to the company in general. This type of crime will benefit investors and people who have high positions in the company or corporation.
What is white collar crime?: It is done for financial motives without violence in order to obtain illegal profits. Clearly, the terms are very similar. The main difference is that White Collar Crimes usually benefit only the person involved while the Corporate Crime will benefit the entire company or corporation.
What they have in common is that they are both related to the world of financial business, and that people who make decisions or represent the interests of the company are at the same time top executives of corporations and thus are also committing White Collar Crimes.
According to Edwin Sutherland's White Collar Crime definition, it is closely related to the definition of Corporate Crime. The two can be seen under these categories of offenses:
- Incorrect application of funds in judicial administration and bankruptcy.
- Bribery of public officials, directly or indirectly.
- Commercial bribery.
- Irregularity of funds and improper usurpation of funds.
- False statements of the financial state of the company.
- Deception in advertising and salesmanship.
- Manipulation of the market.
Why is important to hire a Criminal Defense Attorney for cases of White Collar Crimes?
In Miami there is a great mix of cultures due to the immigration of citizens from all countries, some of which possess large sums of money to invest. In many cases they come to this country and create big corporations. These companies often become involved in large scale fraud and embezzlement scandals where white collar crimes are being committed. Executives, powerful businessmen, and public officials involved are carefully investigated by law enforcement and if any incriminating evidence is found the case is taken to court. In some cases this is due to the fact that these high executives are in charge of making many quick decisions, some of which end up causing issues later on. Thus, it is very important for anyone involved in a fraud investigation to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney Florida.
At Gallardo Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing legal representation for you and your case. We have extensive knowledge defending these types of cases and are fully committed to protecting your interests throughout the process. If you are involved in a White Collar Crime case, do not hesitate to contact our office for a lawyer consultation. We also have a online legal advice. Ask a lawyer today about your case before it is too late.
What is the purpose of Gallardo Law Firm's Criminal Lawyers?
Gallardo Law Firm has an office conveniently located in Miami, with criminal attorneys who have wide knowledge in the criminal process; including white collar crimes. At Gallardo you will find trustworthy attorneys who will fight in court to defend their client's rights and get the best results for the any case.
We have a great team of criminal defense lawyers with knowledge defending business executives, government officials and many others with their legal problems.
Frequently Asked Questions about White Collar and Corporate Crime in Miami
However, some crimes have been committed where large sums of money are involved and individuals implicated might have violated more than one law. In these cases, they will be judged more strictly than other White Collar cases. Even though many white collar crimes are not violent, keep in mind that there are no victimless crimes and someone from the general population is always negatively affected (mostly financially) with these violations of the law. In many cases of white collar crimes, a defendant's cooperation is essential to solving the case.
Being the target of a White Collar Crime investigation can be very threatening. For this reason, there are regulating agencies at the state and federal level, which job is to analyze certain business areas when suspicion arises.