Being charged with a white collar crime is a serious matter that will jeopardize your freedom and your financial future. Although fraud and financial crimes may not be a threat to public safety like drug crimes or violent crimes, state and federal prosecutors pursue white-collar crime with vigor. You may not only find yourself in the crosshairs of the New York State Attorney General or state district attorneys, but federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, or the Securities and Exchange Commission as well. The best way to defend yourself against the power of the government is to consult an aggressive and efficient criminal defense attorney.
Heiferman & Associates, PLLC routinely handles white collar crimes throughout New York City, Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Founding attorney Justin Heiferman has more than 20 years of experience handling financial investigations for major money center banks coupled with his tenure as an Assistant District Attorney in the Nassau County District Attorney Economic Crimes Bureau. His extensive experience in both prosecution and criminal defense puts you at a distinct advantage when your future is at stake. Well-versed in the applicable state and federal laws, our legal team has a proven history of successfully defending clients against a wide range of white collar crimes.
What is white collar crime?
White collar crime encompasses a variety of nonviolent, financially motivated crimes, involving deceit, concealment, a violation of trust, and other elements of fraud. Common white collar crimes include:
- Bank fraud — Using illegal means to obtain money or assets from a bank or other financial institution, or attempting to obtain money from depositors by falsely pretending to be a bank
- Bankruptcy fraud — Concealing assets to avoid forfeiture, intentionally providing false information to, or withholding information from, the bankruptcy court, or filing multiple bankruptcy petitions using false information
- Credit card fraud — Fraudulently obtaining, using, selling, buying, or forging another’s credit card, debit card, or credit information, or knowingly buying goods or services with a credit or debit card that was unlawfully obtained or used without authorization
- Embezzlement — Violating a special position of trust to misappropriate another party’s assets for personal gain, typically in a business setting
- Healthcare fraud — Providing false or misleading information to a private health insurer, Medicare, or Medicaid to unlawfully recover payment for healthcare services
- Identity theft — Using another individual’s personal identifying information (e.g. name, Social Security number, credit card or debit card information) without permission for personal gain
- Insurance Fraud — Intentionally deceiving an insurance company to obtain money by knowingly presenting a false claim for payment or providing false, inaccurate or misleading information concerning an insurance claim
- Money laundering — Integrating funds gained from unlawful activities into legitimate resources (e.g. financial transactions, real estate purchases, and businesses) while concealing the identity, source, and destination of those funds
- Mortgage fraud — Using false information on mortgage documents to defraud a lending institution, such as a bank, credit union or mortgage lender
- Securities fraud — Deceptive practices and illegal activities by a broker-dealer or investment advisor (e.g. churning, pump and dump, unauthorized trades, insider trading), a state and federal crime
- Tax evasion — Deliberately misrepresenting assets in an effort to avoid paying taxes, such as failing to file tax returns, understating income and assets, overstating tax deductions, filing false tax returns, failing to pay employment withholding taxes, and sales tax fraud
- Mail fraud/wire fraud — Mail fraud involves using the U.S. postal service to commit fraud, while wire fraud involves fraudulent activity conducted through wire-based communications (e.g. the telephone, fax, television, text message, or the internet)
It is worth noting that federal prosecutors often file charges for certain white collar crimes under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), while the Patriot Act (enacted in response to 9/11) is frequently applied to white collar crimes such as a computer, internet, and cybercrimes. In any event, a conviction for a federal white-collar crime may result in lengthy imprisonment and substantial fines.
Additionally, white collar crimes laws are also vigorously prosecuted at the state level. If charges are brought under the New York Enterprise Corruption Law (the state’s equivalent of RICO), for example, a conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to 25 years, significant fines, asset forfeiture, restitution and more.
Ultimately, being convicted of a state or federal white collar crime will not only lead to a loss of your freedom but lasting harm to your reputation. Your future employment options will also be limited since you will be barred from working in financial services or in any fiduciary capacity.
Defenses Against White Collar Crimes
At Heiferman and Associates, we have the skills and resources to level the playing field and will work strategically to preserve your freedom. If you have been charged with a white collar crime, you will be going up against government prosecutors armed with vast financial resources, state-of-the-art investigative tools, and teams of powerful attorneys.
We will conduct an extensive review of the evidence to expose weaknesses in the government’s case as well as to determine if your civil rights were violated — Did law enforcement conduct unauthorized surveillance?
Nonetheless, the government must be able to prove that you intended to commit a white-collar crime. We will work to show that you lacked the necessary criminal intent in order to win an acquittal or to have the charges dropped. Additionally, we will work to demonstrate that you did not know, or were not capable of knowing, that you were involved in a crime. This defense is most effective when a white collar crime involves multiple parties, in which case we may be able to show that you were not aware of the illegal activity. At the same time, we will be upfront about the strength of the government’s case and move to have the charges reduced or negotiate a plea agreement for a more lenient sentence if that is in your best interests.
Contact Our Queens White Collar Crimes Defense Attorney
When you become a client of Heiferman and Associates, PLLC, you will benefit from attorneys who have insight into the tactics the government uses to prosecute white collar crimes. Regardless of the charges you are facing, we will stand by you every step of the way, working to preserve your future and your good name. If you have been charged with a state or federal white collar crime, you need the powerful representation we are prepared to provide. Contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.