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Experienced, Respected White Collar Crime Defense Attorney

White collar crime refers to crimes committed by business people, entrepreneurs, public officials and professionals through mistake or deception. White collar crimes can be prosecuted at either the state or federal level, or both, depending on which jurisdiction’s law has been violated. Penalties vary, but some cases can result in hefty fines, restitution and anywhere from one to 30 years’ imprisonment.

Attorney Ann Fitz understands how the government prosecutes white collar crimes and knows how to build a strong defense against them.

The Nuts And Bolts Of Defense Of White Collar Criminal Charges

Intent plays a central role in prosecutions of white collar crimes. In fact, it is usually a key element of the charged white collar offense – whether it is conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud, health care fraud, falsifying books and records, insider trading, money laundering, or racketeering. Since charges related to white collar crimes do not require proof that you acted with force or threats of violence, prosecutors rely on proving your liability through criminal intent. If there is a legitimate reason that can be proven in your defense for why the criminal act was committed, thereby negating criminal intent, no crime has been committed.

Often, in prosecuting white collar crimes, a charge of conspiracy will be brought along with the underlying charge(s). Those facing conspiracy charges are often asked to provide the names of other people involved in criminal activity in exchange for a cooperation agreement that will result in a lower sentence.

Attorney Ann Fitz implements the most effective strategies when defending clients from many types of federal white collar criminal charges, including those involving:

No matter what type of federal white collar charges you are facing, you will have to face off against federal prosecutors who have vast powers to investigate your personal and business financial dealings. If you are charged with a federal white collar crime, you will want an experienced defense attorney who can stand take a stand against the United States government.

Ms. Fitz has 18 years of experience in federal court and a long record of favorable case outcomes for her federal white collar criminal defense clients. Out of her West Palm Beach office, she represents people who are charged with federal white collar crimes throughout Florida.

Proving Criminal Intent

To find you guilty of a white collar crime, prosecutors must prove that you intended to commit a crime with one of the following states of mind:

  • Acting purposely: The defendant had an underlying conscious object to act.
  • Acting knowingly: The defendant is practically certain that the conduct will cause a particular result.
  • Acting recklessly: The defendant consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustified risk.
  • Acting negligently: The defendant was not aware of the risk but should have been aware of the risk.

Frequently Asked Questions about Criminal Defense Law

Q: What is “white collar crime”?
A: White collar crime is a term used to describe criminal conduct involving illegal acts that use deceit and concealment to obtain money, property or services, or to secure a business or professional advantage. Another way to define white collar crime is as a “paper” crime or crime that is committed in the workplace in white collar industries as opposed to blue collar industries. White collar crimes are usually not violent, but their effects can be just as devastating.

Q: Who prosecutes white collar crimes?
A: White collar crimes may be either state or federal crimes. Because they often involve lengthy investigations that can cross state and international boundaries, the federal government is usually in a better position to investigate and prosecute white collar crimes. Usually a federal prosecutor, known as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA), will head up the prosecution.
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Estimates from analysts indicate that white collar crime cost the nation upwards of $200 billion per year. That is much more costly to society than “traditional” crimes like burglary and theft, which accounts for a fraction of that amount. As a result, prosecutors and courts are cracking down on white-collar crimes. If you have been accused of a white-collar crime, you should have an experienced advocate looking out for your interests.

At The Law Office of Ann Fitz, we represent clients facing white collar criminal charges of embezzlement, identity theft, and money laundering, as well as those charged under the RICO Act. The complexity of federal crimes of those nature creates confusion that the prosecution will exploit if you do not have the knowledge and representation from an experienced attorney. Listed below are various resources that will provide you with vital information if you are facing a federal trial.

White Collar Crime – An Overview
Crimes that do not involve physical violence, and that relate largely to financial matters, are often called white collar crimes. White collar crimes involve most of the same legal principles as do other crimes, and people charged with white collar crimes have the same rights and protections as defendants accused of other crimes. On the other hand, white collar offenses are often complex, and involve numerous complicated legal and factual issues. The possible penalties include fines, prison sentences, restitution and criminal forfeiture. If you have been charged with a white collar crime, it is essential that you seek legal counsel from an experienced white collar criminal defense attorney at once so that you can preserve your rights and protect your future.
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Black’s Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004) defines fraud as “a knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment.” The injury in fraud is usually depriving a person of money or other property that rightfully belongs to that person. Fraud crimes are classified according to the type of transaction in which the deception occurred. Fraud is a serious and broadly defined criminal offense. Criminal fraud is a charge that can be brought against a business, as well as against an individual (a business cannot be put in prison, but can be hit with substantial fines). A charge of fraud — let alone a conviction — can ruin the reputation of a person or company charged. Zealous legal representation is critical in fraud cases, as in all criminal cases. It is critical for an accused to seek help from an experienced white collar criminal defense attorney.
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Grand Jury Investigations
A grand jury is a powerful tool that federal prosecutors can use to investigate and gather information about white collar crimes. The grand jury has the power to subpoena witnesses to testify and produce documents for review in an effort to gain information about an individual’s involvement in a white collar crime and to see if there is enough evidence to indict that person. If you have been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced defense attorney
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Other Types of White Collar Crime
The term white collar crime encompasses a wide variety of criminal acts that are committed in a business or professional setting to achieve financial gain. This article provides general information about a few of the more common types of white collar crime. If you would like more information about these or other white collar crimes, contact an experienced white collar criminal defense attorney.
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Penalties for White Collar Crime
The most frightening part of being a defendant in a white collar criminal case — or any criminal case — is the potential penalties involved if convicted. Most white collar defendants have no prior experience with the criminal justice system, and the uncertainty of their future looms understandably large in their minds. In addition to criminal penalties, many white collar offenses may give rise to civil lawsuits, brought either by the federal or state government, or by the victims of the offense. Any civil liability imposed as a result of these suits is in addition to, and not a substitute for, the penalties imposed in the criminal case. An experienced white collar defense attorney can give you specific advice on the possible penalties in a particular case.
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White Collar Crime Resource Links
National White Collar Crime Center
The non-profit National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) provides information on white collar crime issues and provides a newsletter, “The Informant.”

Types and Schemes of White Collar Crime
This page from the National Check Fraud Center defines dozens of individual types of white collar crime, from bank fraud to Ponzi schemes.

White Collar Crime
Contains general information about white collar crime, provided by Cornell University Law School.

Federal Bureau of Investigation – White Collar Crime and Fraud
This site contains information about FBI programs, white collar crime, fraud and links to news and interesting cases.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
This network, organized under the federal Department of the Treasury, provides information about financial crimes, including links to laws, enforcement information and regulatory activity.
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Turn To An Accomplished Defender

To increase your chances of a successful defense in a white collar case, get an experienced attorney on your side. Attorney Ann Fitz is ready to develop a strong defense on your behalf.

Contact the Law Office of Ann Fitz by calling 561-710-3191 or sending an email inquiry.