White Collar Crimes in Pennsylvania
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White collar crimes used to be viewed less seriously than many other offenses. In the past decade, those views have changed and white collar crime is receiving more serious attention from judges and prosecutors. Our analytical skills and courtroom expertise make us a unique choice for the defense of white collar cases.
What Are White Collar Crimes?
"White Collar Crimes" can cover a broad range of topics from insurance fraud to securities fraud to embezzlement to the notorious Ponzi scheme. Since the types of cases involved vary so widely, the possible penalties also vary widely.
It is more typical to see White Collar Cases prosecuted in federal court although they are sometimes prosecuted in state court. The cases are more likely to be prosecuted in federal court when they involve large amounts of money, and they almost exclusively proceed in federal court if they involve anything related to the stock market, investments, or corporate malfeasance.
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White Collar Crimes & Federal Courts
In federal court, the exposure you face tends to depend on the amount of the loss alleged as a result of the fraud. In other words, if the government claims $10,000.00 in fraud loss, then the guidelines will recommend a certain sentence should the defendant be found guilty, and if the government claims $250,000.00 in fraud loss then the guidelines will recommend a higher sentence.
A large scale fraud, such as the one perpetrated by Bernie Madoff, can result in what is effectively a life sentence. Often the exposure, or possible prison time, is a substantial number of years, but a seasoned lawyer can accomplish a more mitigated sentence by an in-depth review of the sentencing guidelines and preparation of a compelling case for mitigation, or avoid prosecution altogether.
State Court Cases of White Collar Crimes
In state court, exposure will typically vary with the charge that is brought against the defendant and will also depend, to some degree, on the amount of loss alleged.
State prosecutors can also bring a RICO charge if they think the defendant is running a corrupt organization, which can result in substantially higher penalties if he is found guilty.
Penalties for White Collar Crimes
While these cases can be daunting because they can mean significant penalties and because they often involve complex subject matter, our attorneys have faced cases carrying the highest penalties and have defended some of the most complicated cases in the system.
Our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers have successfully represented clients who:
- Were accused of large scale mortgage fraud. Lawyers from Krasner & Long were able to avoid indictment due to careful review of the government's evidence and analysis of legal issues.
- Had an insurance fraud conviction reversed and the case ended with no conviction. Krasner & Long attorneys successfully argued for a reversal based on ineffective prior trial counsel. Krasner & Long attorneys then represented the client at a new trial and were able to obtain a result that ended without a conviction.
- Were facing guidelines recommending a sentence of approximately three years but received a sentence of half as long, well below the guidelines and what the prosecutor sought, in large part thanks to aggressive litigation of the sentencing guidelines that applied and a strong mitigation case presented to the sentencing judge.
- Faced approximately 10 years in federal prison under the applicable sentencing guidelines, but received a sentence half as long due to persistent negotiation that led to a favorable sentence.
Get Our Attorneys' Experience on Your Side
We have lawyers with strong academic backgrounds and substantial courtroom experience, which directly advances our boutique law firm’s goals of effective client representation. Together we have tried hundreds of cases before judges and juries in federal and state courts. We have appeared before judges and argued more motions than we can remember. By comparison, many large law firm lawyers have tried maybe 2-5 cases by the time they reach senior partner status and a significant portion have tried none. We have been defending individuals for decades.
Sentencing Guidelines for White Collar Crimes
In most white collar crimes, a major component in calculating sentencing guidelines is fraud loss. A table is used which compares the seriousness of the offense (in fraud cases, largely defined by fraud loss) and the prior criminal history of the defendant to yield a recommended sentencing range. If a defendant has a history of criminal convictions, he is in danger of falling into a category which recommends a higher standard range sentence. Besides fraud loss, sometimes the government will seek other enhancements.
To fully understand your potential sentencing guidelines, it is best for you to consult with your attorney who will usually start by evaluating the government's plea offer to see which enhancements they seek and what they claim for the fraud loss. Remember, you do not have to accept the government's plea offer. You and your attorney should carefully analyze whether the fraud loss is accurately reflected and whether any enhancements should apply.
Get Our Team on Your Side
Our Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys have successfully challenged the government's application of sentencing enhancements and their value of economic loss. You can potentially reduce your prison exposure by aggressively fighting the guidelines.
Get a case evaluation from skilled and experienced attorneys today!