The FBI refers to white-collar crimes in a nutshell as lying, cheating, and stealing. The term; however, was coined in 1939 by a sociologist of the symbolic interactionist school. The word was first used in a December 27, 1939 speech to the American Sociological Association.
In 1949, Edwin H. Sutherland defined white-collar crime, “approximately as a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.”
Investigations of financial crimes are usually lengthy and involve some very complex forensic financial investigations/analyses. Successful folks with no criminal record and NO experience with the criminal justice system often allegedly commit white-collar crimes.
Hence, some may believe that they are smarter than those investigating them, and will attempt to resolve the issue alone. DO NOT TRY. Most of the time, white-collar crime cases get filed solely based upon statement(s) made by the defendant.
Don’t make statements. Don’t sign anything.
Call Morgan & Barbary’s experienced criminal defense attorney, Darrell Sedgwick, in Melbourne, Florida for a FREE telephone consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation: 321-951-3400. See our Arrest Tips and answers to other Frequently Asked Questions if you’ve been taken into custody.
If any agency has made inquiries or has communicated with you in a way that leads you to believe that you MAY be under investigation, it is critical that you immediately invoke your 5th Amendment right to remain silent and visit with a criminal defense attorney. DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF SPEAKING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, AS IT WILL NEVER HELP YOUR CASE.
Remember Martha Stewart? Her only crime: mishandling an interview with a governmental agency — having a conversation which she had the constitutional right to refuse. It was not what she allegedly did which sent her to prison, but rather her alleged lies to law enforcement.
Penalties for white-collar crimes can vary from criminal forfeiture, fines, court costs, probation, community supervision, restitution, and/or some lengthy imprisonment.
A white-collar criminal case can also be triggered by a civil lawsuit. If you are involved in a civil lawsuit, which may have criminal ramifications, ALWAYS consult with a criminal defense attorney before it is too late.