White Collar Crime Attorneys in Atlanta
White-collar crimes are deceptive offenses committed with the goal of financial gain. These offenses are often committed by people in businesses and government. They include embezzlement, identity theft, security fraud, money laundering, etc. While the crimes are nonviolent, a victim can suffer extensive financial harm. A white-collar charge can impact a person’s entire life.
In Georgia, white-collar crimes can be classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. They are serious criminal offenses with severe consequences. Additionally, defendants may face civil claims brought by the victims. Therefore, it is imperative to retain legal counsel when facing these charges.
At Farnsworth & Murphy, LLC, we are compassionate in assisting clients with legal counsel. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling white-collar crime cases in Atlanta, GA. If you are facing a charge or are under investigation, do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.
How Do White-Collar Crime Cases Work in Atlanta?
Georgia defines white-collar crimes as nonviolent offenses committed in violation of trust. They can also involve issues of public corruption and abuse of government offices. Typically, these crimes happen in corporate and government organizations. The offender’s motive is to exploit their employer or government entity financially.
Both state and federal law deals with white-collar criminal offenses. However, the U.S. Constitution tasks the federal government with regulating them.
Federal White Collar Investigations
Federal authorities, backed by law and regulatory policies, use a wide range of resources to investigate these crimes. Various federal agencies involved include, but are not limited to, the following:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Drug Enforcement Agency
U.S. Attorney Office
Department of Homeland Security
Typically, these agencies gather substantial evidence before making any arrests. Then, the government charges the suspected individuals or sanctions the offending corporations. If you suspect you are under investigation, don’t hesitate to consider hiring an attorney and begin planning your defense.
Types of Fraud
Fraud is a common type of white-collar crime. In Georgia, fraud is defined under section OCGA § 16-9-121. The law states that someone commits fraud if they unlawfully misrepresent facts for personal gain. This crime involves intentionally using deceitful actions or information, including withholding necessary information.
Although there are many types of fraud, the following are common examples.
Credit card fraud
Health care fraud
Since state and federal government laws criminalize fraud, in Georgia, a person can be convicted under state and federal courts.
The penalties include fines that are generally based on the value involved in the crime and sometimes a prison sentence. For example, federal bank fraud carries a prison sentence of up to 30 years and possible fines of up to $1,000,000.
Cyber Crimes and Computer Fraud
Cyber crimes are computer-based criminal activities intended to either harm or gain profit from an individual. A person convicted of cyber crimes will receive a fine not exceeding $50,000 and up to 15 years of imprisonment.
Fraudulent activity often leads to money laundering. That is the illegal concealment of certain funds’ ownership, source, or control. In other words, money laundering is legitimizing unlawfully obtained money.
In Atlanta, penalties for money laundering vary depending on the charge’s circumstances. The crime can carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. However, the fines are imposed depending on the value of the money involved. There may be other penalties for underlying felonies that accompany the charges.
Tax evasion is often the apparent result of fraudulent actions. It is the act of knowingly avoiding paying taxes. The IRS is in charge of handling tax evasion crimes. A tax fraud case has severe penalties; thus, involving an attorney is crucial.
Tax evasion can have a maximum fine of $100,000 for individuals. It also carries up to $500,000 for corporations. Additionally, defendants can be sentenced to up to five years in federal prison.
What Is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement is the unlawful exploitation of another person’s or company’s funds or property. A person committing embezzlement has access or trust over the funds or property. The penalties for embezzlement vary depending on the alleged stolen funds.
A misdemeanor embezzlement charge carries a maximum fine of $1,000 and 12 months in prison. In contrast, a felony charge can carry from 1 to 10 years in prison and possible fines of up to $100,000.
Sentences for White Collar Crimes
Most white-collar crimes are sentenced under Federal Sentencing Guidelines. In cases where victims suffer financial harm, convicts get longer prison sentences. However, the authorities may lessen the sanctions if the defendant atones for the crime and cooperates with the investigations.
When imposing a sentence, the federal court follows factors under 18 USC Section 3553. They base the sentence on the following:
- Circumstance and nature of the offense
- History and characteristics of the defendant
- Necessity for the sentence imposed
- Kinds of sentences applicable in that category of offense
- Any pertinent policy statement
How an Attorney Can Help You With Your White Collar Case
White-collar crime cases can have profound implications for individuals and corporate entities. These cases often involve complex legal procedures. At Farnsworth & Murphy, LLC, we have a deep understanding of criminal justice. We can analyze your case and identify specific highlights or weaknesses for your defense.
Suppose you are facing charges regarding financial and accounting transactions. Our lawyers can use an analytical approach to research the details of your case. We can use the outcome of our research to develop a strategic defense. Coupled with our negotiating ability, we will do our best to defend you based on that evidence.
If your case goes to trial, we can devise a strategic defense. We can review the prosecutor’s case to determine any flaws or loopholes. We can also answer all questions from the prosecution to get you a more favorable outcome.
We can plead for a lenient sentence if you are found guilty. We may enter a plea deal with the authorities on your behalf to get a fair sentence. We may also negotiate for them to reduce the settlement fees or fines you must pay.
We understand the statutes and regulations bearing on your case. The investigatory and prosecuting agencies have enormous resources that enable them to pursue your claim. But, our law firm has what it takes to assist you with the strongest defense possible.
Farnsworth & Murphy, LLC: Your Atlanta White Collar Crime Attorneys
Do you need help with your white-collar criminal charges in Georgia? At Farnsworth & Murphy, LLC, we have experienced and compassionate lawyers ready to help. We handle white-collar crime issues, as well as other criminal cases.
We have helped clients in the metro Atlanta area and across Georgia for years. Our legal team offers practical and personalized legal counsel. With us, each client case is unique. For legal assistance, contact us today to get started.