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Roanoke White-Collar Crime Defense Lawyers

The seriousness of white-collar crimes may not be obvious. They are nonviolent offenses, yet their impact is significant and their stakes are high. A conviction can lead to severe penalties and irreversible damage to personal and professional reputations. Often, these charges risk a lengthy prison sentence and/or high-dollar penalty.

If you are facing charges or are under investigation for a white-collar crime, contact our award-winning legal team at Fishwick & Associates PLC in Roanoke. Our criminal defense lawyers have over 85 years of combined legal experience in Virginia federal courts. We understand the complexities of these cases and are ready to build a strong, effective defense.

Frequently Asked Questions For White-Collar Crime

It’s not uncommon to have questions running through your mind when facing a white-collar criminal charge. Here are answers to frequent questions we receive from our clients:

What are examples of white-collar crime?

White-collar crimes are generally characterized as nonviolent criminal activities of a financial nature involving deception or fraud. They are often federal charges, making the legal process complex and daunting.

Our criminal defense attorneys can defend you against any type of white-collar criminal offense accusation, including:

  • Embezzlement
  • Environmental crimes
  • Fraud and other crimes of deception, including:
    • Accounting fraud
    • Bank fraud
    • Corporate fraud
    • Credit card fraud
    • Health care fraud
    • Insurance fraud
    • Mortgage fraud
    • Securities fraud
    • Tax fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Public corruption
  • Racketeering (RICO violations)
  • Tax evasion

What is embezzlement?

Embezzlement is a white-collar crime characterized by the theft or misappropriation of assets, including money or property, by an individual entrusted with responsibility for those assets. Embezzlement can involve business partners, corporate executives, financial professionals and ordinary employees who have been placed in positions of trust.

It is important to remember that embezzlement is always an intentional act, not an act of negligence. For that reason, defense strategies often focus on making the prosecutor prove that there is actual evidence that the defendant acted with purpose and did not just make a mistake.

The methods employed range from simple employee theft, such as payroll manipulation, to more elaborate schemes involving fabricated employees and invoices to fictitious vendors.

Who enforces federal white-collar crime laws?

Federal white-collar crime laws are enforced primarily by several government agencies, including:

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • The Department of Justice (DOJ)

The FBI investigates various white-collar crimes, especially corporate fraud, cybercrime and corruption. The SEC focuses on securities fraud and violations of securities laws, ensuring transparency and integrity in financial markets.

Additionally, the DOJ’s Criminal Division and its various units, such as the Fraud Section, prosecute various white-collar offenses, including health care fraud and public corruption.

These agencies employ specialized teams of agents, attorneys and financial experts to detect, investigate and prosecute white-collar criminals.

What are some of the most common white-collar crime punishments?

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), common punishments for white-collar crimes include:

  • Fines: Offenders may be required to pay substantial fines for their illegal activities.
  • Home detention: In some cases, those convicted of white-collar crimes may be placed under home detention, restricting their movement outside specified hours.
  • Community confinement: Offenders might be permitted to serve their sentences in community confinement facilities instead of traditional prisons.
  • Forfeitures: This involves the confiscation of assets gained through criminal activity.
  • Restitution: Offenders may be ordered to compensate victims for financial losses incurred due to the crime.
  • Imprisonment: Serious white-collar crimes can lead to lengthy prison sentences, especially if significant financial harm has been inflicted on victims.

Defendants who assist in investigations and show remorse may receive more lenient sentences. In general, the punishment after a conviction on white-collar charges may depend on the specific circumstances of the crime, including the financial losses suffered by any victims, the defendant’s level of remorse and more.

What are the six types or levels of federal prisons?

Federal prisons are grouped into six different levels based on their security levels and the types of inmates they house:

  • Minimum security: Federal Prison Camps (FPCs) house nonviolent offenders. Inmates may have more freedom and fewer restrictions, but white-collar criminals still face significant legal challenges.
  • Low security: Federal Correctional Institutions (FCIs) are medium to high-security facilities housing different inmates, including those convicted of white-collar crimes.
  • Medium security: Administrative Facilities (ADFs) house pretrial detainees, inmates with special medical needs or those requiring protective custody.
  • High security: United States Penitentiaries (USPs) are high-security facilities for the most dangerous and violent offenders, including those convicted of serious white-collar crimes.
  • Complex security: The Administrative Maximum (ADX) Facilities, or supermax prisons, are the most secure facilities. Although they are primarily for violent offenders, some white-collar criminals may end up here due to the severity of their crimes or other factors.
  • Administrative: The Federal Detention Centers (FDCs) are short-term holding facilities for inmates awaiting trial or sentencing, often located near federal courthouses.

Individuals facing white-collar crime charges need to work with an attorney to help negotiate or avoid placement in these federal facilities. A white-collar defense lawyer understands the nuances of the legal system and can effectively advocate for their client’s rights within the system.

How An Experienced White-Collar Crime Lawyer Can Help You

A federal criminal charge may be the biggest challenge you will ever face, and our team is ready to help you. Our white-collar crime defense team is led by former U.S. Attorney John Fishwick. He has prosecuted and defended criminal cases in federal court. Fishwick is a nationally recognized legal expert who has been quoted in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox Business.

Senior Associate Carrol Ching and Associate Daniel Martin work closely with John on these cases. Our firm’s investigator is a retired FBI agent.

Do Not Try To Face Charges Alone

We work with clients from all walks of life – business executives, small business owners, managers, accountants, doctors and other medical providers, to name a few.

If you are facing white-collar crime charges, you have an important decision to make: Who will you entrust with your defense? Call our office at 540-643-9772 or send us an email to get in touch with our law firm.

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