The Department of Justice investigates and prosecutes cases where large amounts of money is alleged to have been taken. Examples of white collar crimes are money laundering, bank, wire and mail fraud, tax evasion, insider trading, insurance fraud, mortgage fraud, bribery and embezzlement. Of course Homeland Security, the FBI, the IRS, Customs and Border Patrol and SEC can also investigate and prosecute cases of fraud as well.
The government has a special United States Guideline Chapter dedicated to “basic” economic offenses. For purposes of this blog, this chapter will be discussed in more detail below. As with anything involving federal criminal litigation, nothing is crystal clear in the law. Therefore, there is also a chapter in the United States Guidelines dedicated to tax offenses, election fraud, gambling, and money laundering in the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
This USSG chapter DOES cover extortion, bribery, kickbacks, counterfeiting, embezzlement, health care fraud, computer fraud, insurance fraud, securities fraud, mortgage fraud, identity fraud, bankruptcy fraud, etc. What is most important in this chapter is the loss amount. All charges start off with a base offense level of 6 or 7 depending on the statutory max of the offense charged. Then, you look at what the “loss amount” is using the below table.
|Loss (apply the greatest)||Increase in Level|
|(A) $6,500 or less||no increase|
|(B) More than $6,500||add 2|
|(C) More than $15,000||add 4|
|(D) More than $40,000||add 6|
|(E) More than $95,000||add 8|
|(F) More than $150,000||add 10|
|(G) More than $250,000||add 12|
|(H) More than $550,000||add 14|
|(I) More than $1,500,000||add 16|
|(J) More than $3,500,000||add 18|
|(K) More than $9,500,000||add 20|
|(L) More than $25,000,000||add 22|
|(M) More than $65,000,000||add 24|
|(N) More than $150,000,000||add 26|
|(O) More than $250,000,000||add 28|
|(P) More than $550,000,000||add 30.|
To further make things complicated, there are enhancements in this section that permit the government to add levels for things such as the use of sophisticated means, role in the offense, number of victims, a defrauding a charity, mass marketing, among others.
Navigating the federal criminal system is a task that should not be endured alone. Contact our team today for more information about we can protect your rights and your freedom.