Houston White Collar Crime Lawyers
Paul Darrow White Collar Crimes Attorney Serving Houston, TX
White Collar crimes can be extremely complex cases and include those such as bank fraud, visa and other charge card fraud, mail and wire fraud, embezzlement, accounting fraud, federal mortgage fraud, and money laundering. Most white collar crimes are federal crimes that are often considered felonies that are prosecuted in federal court. They are extremely serious and require the skill of our experienced Houston white collar crime lawyers.
Federal Mortgage Fraud
Federal Mortgage Fraud occurs when someone misrepresents, intentionally omits, lies, or confuses important information during the mortgage application and approval processes. Mortgage fraud can be committed by either a lender or a borrower. For example, a mortgage broker, home buyer, and/or a real estate professional may submit untrue W-2 forms or obtain an inflated property appraisal in order to obtain approval on a loan that might not otherwise be received. If this is the case, that individual has committed mortgage fraud.
Federal Mortgage Fraud cases may take months, even years, to develop and investigate. Investigating these crimes can include agencies such as the Secret Service, FBI, and U.S. Postal Service Inspectors. Frequently, under the direction of a United States Attorney General, a grand jury may investigate these crimes for prosecution. Effective defense is essential; therefore, early contact with a Houston criminal defense attorney is imperative.
This type of fraud involves the housing and banking system. It occurs when an individual or a group intentionally omits, obscures or lies about important information concerning a mortgage. The fraud may be perpetrated at the application or approval process and can be committed by either lender or borrower. For instance, a lender could commit fraud by approving a mortgage on a property with artificially inflated value. Our Houston white collar crime lawyers are here to help those who find themselves in trouble legally and are in need of assistance.
Bank Fraud is the use of potentially illegal means to obtain assets, money, or other property owned or under the custody or control of a financial institution. Bank fraud may also be considered the attempt to obtain money from depositors by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, such as posing as a bank or other financial institution official.
The hallmark of bank fraud is its alleged perpetration from within the ‘four walls’ of a financial institution. It is the use of potentially illegal means to obtain assets, money or other property within the custody or control of the financial institution.
When fraud is targeted at a property belonging to depositors by means of false or fraudulent pretenses or targeted at the property owned by the financial institution itself, the accused can face detrimental repercussions. One common instance of bank fraud involves contacting bank customers with deceitful emails or messages, with an aim to recover sensitive financial information.
Mail and Wire Fraud
Mail and Wire Fraud is an intentionally fraudulent scheme to deprive another of honest services or property via mail or wire communication. Mail fraud is most likely committed for the purpose of wrongful financial gain. This crime can be committed against businesses, individuals, financial institutions, and/or the government.
Just as the name implies, mail and wire fraud anticipate fraudulent deprivation of property through mail or wire communication. When fraud is committed against private individuals, businesses, companies or the government, the accused could spend up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $250,000.
As far as white collar crimes go, mail and wire fraud are very common. This is because most white collar crimes will involve some sort of mail or wire communication, which then brings the crimes within this offense as well.
In most states, embezzlement is defined as the theft of assets (either money or property) by someone in a position of trust or responsibility. This crime occurs in both corporate and employment settings. Accounting embezzle is a common form of this crime. This occurs when accounting records are manipulated in order to hide the theft of funds by those who have access to them.
Other common examples of embezzlement might include clerks who handle customer funds or bank tellers who have access to money of depositors during bank transactions. Employees who have been given access to company property, such as computers, cars, or other valuable property might also fall into this category. It will be imperative to contact our Houston white collar crime lawyers right away to defend your rights.
Embezzlement could result in 5-10 years in prison, depending on the severity of the crime. For instance, when an accountant trusted with the books of a corporation begins to skim off the top of the corporation’s profits or assets. The sentence here differs from that of a payroll clerk creating fake employees and pays those fake employees creating illegal asset diversion.
One of the most common forms of embezzlement is accounting embezzlement. It occurs when those trusted with the books of the business manipulate its records to hide unsanctioned withdrawal or theft of funds.
Money Laundering is the process by which criminals disguise the original control and ownership of the proceeds of criminal actions by making such proceeds appear to have originated from a legitimate source. Those involved in such practices typically transfer funds from illegitimate or illegal sources and hide them in those under the cover of foreign banks or legitimate businesses.
The FBI defines money laundering as the process through which ‘dirty’ money is turned into ‘clean’ money. It occurs when money is moved from its original source in illegal activities and made to seem legitimate by taking it through a process called ‘integration’.
Individuals and corporations that routinely involve in this act help cover money made from the trafficking of humans and drugs, organized crime and similar illegal activities. However, it will often be necessary to prove intent in this sort of offense. Attorney Paul Darrow can help you disprove an intent to launder money on behalf of these enterprises.
What Should I Do If Involved In A White Collar Crime?
White collar crimes are unlike the vast majority of criminal offenses. Mostly targeted at business professionals in upwardly mobile industries, they are incredibly complex and often difficult to prove.
This is why when a person has become the subject of a white collar crime investigation, they should know that things are quite serious. Most of these investigations take place over the course of years, and when law enforcement brings formal charges against a person, it’s usually because they believe there is cast-iron evidence.
If you have become the subject of a white collar crime investigation in Texas, you should contact a Houston white collar crime lawyers immediately. There is usually no time to waste and if you wait till you are charged, it might even be too late. In defending against white collar crime cases, you need an attorney that understands how to expertly defend your case.
Darrow Law Firm PC has helped hundreds of clients just like you. The firm’s principal counsel, Attorney Paul Darrow, worked as a prosecutor for several years. His wealth of knowledge and experience make him an important member of your team. He can help you get the charges reduced, dismissed or create the defense strategy you need to succeed.
Common white collar offenses
White collar crimes are mostly distinguished by the absence of violence. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), they are offenses characterized by deceit, concealment or violation of trust. They are not dependent on the use or threat of physical force or violence.
It is often essential to prove intent in most of these cases too, as they are offenses that are usually carried out in the course of business. The specific intent is often required to show the criminal nature of the alleged actions. When you contact a skilled Houston white collar crime lawyers, they will immediately start work on finding facts that disprove any specific or general intent.
Most white collar crimes are federal offenses and are often considered felonies that are prosecuted in federal court. As such, they can be very complex and there are significant differences between them and facing charges in state court.
Defendants in these cases usually include business owners and executives, politicians, public figures, board members and companies. While these cases often involve a wide array of allegations under different statutes, some of the most common include the following:
Other White Collar Crimes
Apart from these crimes listed above, there are also several other white collar crimes including:
- Health care fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Securities fraud
- Intellectual property theft
- Public corruption and bribery
- Tax evasion
- Theft of government property
- Drug crimes
Potential Penalties For White Collar Crimes
Although white collar crimes do not involve the threat or use of violence, they do not carry less punishment than other violent crimes. In many ways, these penalties can be worse than others because they may permanently disrupt and take away the livelihood of those convicted of them.
Being felonies, these white collar crimes come with minimum jail sentences. What that means is that a person convicted of such a crime must serve time in jail; the judge cannot sentence him or her to probation only. Additionally, restitution may be required as well for the offense. This means that the government will then have the option of taking your home, automobiles, or any other unprotected assets you have in lieu of restitution. Attorney Paul Darrow can help you keep your assets.
Apart from this, the majority of white collar offenses are considered felonies and come with minimum sentences. This means that there is much less room to plead sentences lower of conviction occurs. These penalties include:
- Imprisonment: Most white collar crimes come with minimum jail sentences. There are various factors that can increase those minimum sentences even further and when multiple charges are on the cards, things can get very serious. Attorney Paul Darrow will help you fight these charges and get them dismissed or reduced to probation at least.
- Probation: When a court agrees to probation, the jail sentence will be suspended in whole or in part. The suspended portion will only be served when there is evidence of further bad behavior. Only a very skilled white collar criminal lawyer Houston can help you plead down a serious case to probation.
- Fines: It is very common in these offenses to impose fines on individual offenders and companies. Due to the gravity of the offenses though, these fines are usually hefty and often surpass what people, or even companies, can afford to pay.
- Restitution: When restitution is also required, it may mean that the government can take your home or unprotected assets in lieu of restitution. Attorney Paul Darrow can help you keep your assets.
Other statutory penalties: In some cases, defendants can also face additional statutory penalties. In health care fraud cases, for instance, Medicaid and Medicare exclusion can be imposed in addition to other penalties. Loss of eligibility for SEC registration is routinely imposed for securities-related offenses.
Contact Our Experienced Houston White Collar Crime Lawyers Today!
If you are being investigated or charged with committing any of these crimes, you need an attorney that can expertly defend you. As a former prosecutor, Attorney Paul Darrow is very familiar with all the tactics that will be used to try your case. He keenly understands how the system works can bring this knowledge to bear in your case.
Being accused of any type of crime of this type, you need a white collar crimes attorney who understands how to expertly defend your case. Paul Darrow is a former prosecutor who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his criminal law practice. When it comes to understanding how the system works, Paul’s experience makes him an important part of your team. If you are considered a target of an investigation involving embezzlement, money laundering, or fraud, involving an experienced Houston federal crimes lawyer is the most important choice you can make.
Make the choice to get an experienced and skilled white collar crimes lawyer Houston on your case today. Contact us to schedule a free and confidential assessment of your case. We are available 24/7 on (713) 641-5300.