White-Collar Crime: Charges and Consequences in the State of Georgia
White-collar crime encompasses a full range of financially motivated, nonviolent crimes committed by individuals, businesses, and government officials. There are many different types of white-collar crimes, and depending on the circumstances, charges can be brought as either a misdemeanor or a felony. In addition, an individual convicted of a white-collar crime may face civil lawsuits from victims of the crime.
When white-collar crimes charges are brought at a federal level, sentencing can be extremely harsh, including lengthy jail sentences without parole in federal prisons. The government takes white-collar crime very seriously and punishes offenders accordingly. Hence, it is important to understand the definition of different types of white-collar crime charges, and it is imperative to secure legal representation that understands the complexities of this type of crime if you are being charged.
Some of the most common types of white-collar crimes include:
O.C.G.A. § 16-9-121 states that an individual commits identity theft when he or she willfully and fraudulently uses another person’s identifying information without their consent. This includes use of the identity of a minor of whom the individual has custodial authority, as well as the identity of deceased persons. In addition, this includes using the identity of another person to commit a crime, as well as willingly accepting identification information that a person knows to be fraudulent, stolen, or fictitious.
O.C.G.A. § 10-5-51 states that it is unlawful for a person that advises others for compensation to provide information about the value of securities that may give the individual an advantage when making decisions on the investing, purchasing, or selling of securities. When a person commits these actions, they commit the crime of insider trading. Insider trading also occurs when an executive holds inside information about the financial health of a company and chooses to purchase or sell off large portions of personal shares.
Embezzlement (O.C.G.A. § 16-8-4), or theft by conversion, occurs when a person who lawfully obtains the funds or property of another and is under an agreement or legal obligation to use the funds for a specific purpose, knowingly converts the funds for their own personal use in violation of the agreement or legal obligation. Embezzlement also occurs when an officer or employee of a government or financial institution fails to pay on an account, and upon lawful demand from the funds or property of another held by him, he is presumed to have intended to convert the funds or property to his own use.
O.C.G.A. § 48-1-6 states that it is unlawful for individuals to knowingly and willfully attempt to defraud the state by filing any return, report, protest, or claim for refund containing any information that the individual knows to be false. Individuals may not knowingly omit facts or documents that constitute misstatement, nor may they employ any trick, scheme, or device to evade any type of funds due to the state.
Money laundering occurs when an institution or individual obtains funds through illegal methods, and attempts to legitimize the finds through a series of financial transactions. O.C.G.A. § 7-1-912 cites strict requirements for Georgia’s financial institutions to comply with the filing, reporting, and record-keeping requirements provided for in federal law. In addition, financial institutions must keep a record of any currency where money laundering is suspected, and file a report of such transaction with the appropriate federal authority.
Often times, white-collar crime charges are a result of an oversight or misunderstanding, and in many cases, crimes are perpetrated by another person without the knowledge of the individual facing charges. When a charge of white-collar crime is brought against an individual, every decision he or she makes from the moment of arrest until trial can impact the outcome of their case. Therefore, it is critical to secure experienced legal representation as soon as possible.
Legal Support for White-Collar Crimes
At Andersen, Tate & Carr, our attorneys are dedicated to reaching the best possible outcome for our clients. Our criminal defense attorneys, Patrick McDonough and Trinity Hundredmark, have combined experience of more than 30 years representing clients facing criminal charges in Georgia. For more information, or to request a case evaluation, contact our law office at 1-770-822-0900.