What is White Collar Crime?
As mentioned in the “Fraud” section, the FBI rates Miami-Dade as the fraud capital in the United States. For over 35 years, I have defended clients charged with fraud in the state and federal courts. These fraud charges include Medicare Fraud, Medicaid Fraud, Insurance Fraud, Mortgage Fraud, Bank Fraud, Passport Fraud, Driver’s License Fraud, Worker’s Compensation Fraud, Tax Fraud, Credit Card Fraud, Counterfeiting, Official Misconduct, Title Fraud, Art Fraud, Contractor Fraud, and Identity Fraud. These fraud cases fall within the larger category of “White Collar” crime cases.
My representation of people charged with “white collar” criminal activity includes more than just fraud charges. I have represented politicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers, law enforcement personnel, and other professionals under criminal investigation. Above all, licensing often becomes the main issue, because my clients want to continue their profession. I have extensive experience in dealing with administrative bodies operating outside the courts. In these cases, it is very important to ensure the resolution of the criminal case will not have an adverse effect on my client’s professional license.
In fact, many times, I have been able to keep white-collar investigations from ever resulting in formal criminal charges. This involves guiding my clients through the pre-arrest stages of the investigation. I’ve obtained immunity agreements from the prosecution and helped my clients prepare for law enforcement interviews and grand jury appearances. My clients have moved on with their lives and don’t want any details of the investigation in the public domain. Consequently, many of the immunity agreements and grand jury pleadings are contained in my book Florida Criminal Trial Procedure (James Publishing).
My white-collar crime experience also includes the representation of businesses and corporations facing possible criminal charges. I have directed internal compliance audits and investigations of these companies. For example, in the case of smaller corporations, I have represented corporate officers and CEOs. Namely, the goal in these cases is to keep them in the civil or administrative realm and prevent them from becoming criminal cases with criminal consequences.
In brief, white-collar cases present a special challenge for me. It is important for a professional person to get an attorney involved at the first sign of possible criminal charges. The difference between a criminal case and a civil case is often very small and a matter of degree, while the difference between criminal and civil penalties is potentially life-changing. I am happy to say I have been very successful in locking the door to the criminal courts and keeping my white-collar clients from suffering the full effect of the law.