White collar crime has become a paradox in the interconnected world we live in today. On the one hand, the ways and means to inadvertently slide into many white collar scenarios have increased exponentially. On the other, penalties for those charged with a white-collar crime have been on the increase.
These days, it can be effortless to fall into committing a white-collar crime because of unprecedented access to things like trade secrets and financial accounts. Add to that the extra dimension of opportunity that the internet offers. You no longer need to be in the same city or even country to access information and assets.
Increasingly, the assets and information that are vulnerable to access are almost invisible, which makes it easier to cover up any infraction. Intangibles get obtained while initiators remain incognito.
You may think that “victimless” crimes such as looking in someone’s computer or fudging a little on financial records are highly unlikely to be prosecuted. Actually, these types of infractions, often called “white collar” crimes have seen a rise in prosecutions in recent years. Things such as check fraud, identity fraud and computer trespass get taken seriously, and surprisingly, have robust penalties.
One industry example is the healthcare system, which doubled penalties for prosecuted kickback cases. Also, the federal False Claims Act rewards whistleblowers with a percentage of the recovered proceeds, which keeps corporate personnel motivated to find new cases of fraud.
If implicated in a fraudulent scheme, you need to retain experienced and assertive representation that will help preserve your rights. Part of having great legal counsel is knowing where you stand and what could be possible in your defense on federal charges.