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White Collar Crimes

Criminal offenses where deception and deceit are involved in order to obtain a financial gain is commonly referred to as an economic offense or a white-collar crime. Under the Florida statutes, a financial or white-collar crime can include a multitude of offenses including identity theft, fraud, forgery, bad checks, embezzlement, money laundering, and more. While these crimes may have different definitions, they all share the same element of using deceit or deception to unlawfully obtain something. 

White collar crimes are usually non-violent and only the victim’s wallet is harmed during the commission of the offense. However, that doesn’t mean the penalties are light upon conviction. White collar crimes carry serious life-altering penalties including time behind hard, expensive court fines, and even restitution to the victim and their family. For these reasons and more, we highly encourage you to contact an experienced Gainesville defense attorney if you’ve been charged with a white-collar crime.

Gainesville White Collar Crime Attorney, Florida | Economic & Financial Crimes

If you or someone you know has been accused of a white-collar crime, then it’s imperative you contact Galigani Law Firm. The experienced legal team at Galigani Law Firm have decades of combined experience defending people accused of all types of crimes including forgery, embezzlement, and other financial offenses. They can utilize their knowledge, skills, and extensive resources to fight your charges and help you preserve your freedom.

Call Galigani Law Firm today at (352) 375-0812 to set up your first consultation with Alachua County criminal defense attorney Dean Galigani. Galigani Law Firm accepts clients throughout the greater Gainesville and Alachua County area including High Springs, Newberry, Hawthorne, Archer, Waldo, and Micanopy.

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What Qualifies as a White-Collar Crime?

The phrase “white collar crime” was first coined by Edwin Sutherland in 1939. The early definition at the time reflected the social class of the individual committing the crime but didn’t necessarily define the crime itself. The individuals who committed the crime were considered to be “white collar workers,” and were professionals with good standing in the community like lawyers, business owners, or bankers. Over time, the phrase became associated with professionals committing law violations by using deceit and deception in an effort to obtain some type of financial benefit.

It’s a common misconception in the United States that white collar criminals face little to no penalties. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Despite the fact the crime is usually non-violent, the state of Florida recognizes the economic, emotional, and psychological impact a white-collar crime can have on the victim and their family. Due to this fact, law enforcement will not hesitate to arrest someone for a white-collar crime at the state or federal level.

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White Collar Crime Examples in Florida

The phrase “white collar crime” is an umbrella term for a variety of financial offenses involving deceit or deception. Listed below are some examples of white-collar crimes in Florida.

  • Forgery – FL Statute Section 831.01.
    • Altering, creating a false version, or forging an official payment, instrument, public record or document with the intent to defraud is a crime known as forgery. It can range from forging a signature on a check to altering a deceased person’s will.

  • Identity Theft – FL Statute Section 817.568
    • Possessing, transferring, or defrauding another by utilizing their identifying information is known as identity theft in Florida. It’s a crime if the information was taken without the consent of the identified person, even if they’re deceased or a child younger than the age of 18.

  • Worthless Checks – FL Statute Section 832.05
    • It’s a crime in Florida to write a check that you don’t have the funds for. Even if the bank pays the recipient despite insufficient funds, you can still face charges.

  • Insurance Fraud – FL Statute Section 817.234
    • Filing a fraudulent claim or applying to a policy with misrepresented material facts is illegal in the state of Florida. Insurance fraud is usually investigated by your provider who will then make a complaint to law enforcement.

  • Embezzlement – FL Statute Section 812.0281
    • Using your position of trust with a person or entity to convert or misappropriate money or property is a crime under Florida law known as embezzlement. It can range from stealing a dollar or two from the tip jar to running an elaborate embezzlement scheme from your employer. 

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White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act

Since professionals thrive in the state of Florida, white collar crimes are relatively common here. In 2016, a study by Syracuse University found Miami ranked as number one in the U.S. for white collar crime prosecutions. In an effort to decrease financial crimes, legislators enacted the White-Collar Crime Victim Protection Act.

The Act was created to decrease the frequency at which elderly people were being victimized by white collar criminals. The statute protects victims of aggravated financial crimes, which is when an individual or group of individuals commit one or more white collar crime involving the same victims, intentions, results, accomplices, or any other specific characteristics. The statute imposes penalty enhancements to aggravated white collar criminals.

The Act includes the following offenses:

  • Forgery and Counterfeiting
  • Issuance of Worthless Checks and Drafts
  • Bribery and Misuse of Public Office
  • Offenses by Public Officers and Employees
  • Violations Under the Money Transmitter's Code
  • Theft, Robbery, and Related Crimes
  • Certain Computer Related Crimes
  • Certain Fraudulent Practices
  • Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of Elderly and Disabled Persons
  • Offenses Concerning Racketeering and Illegal Debts
  • Offenses relating to Financial Transactions

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Additional Resources

White Collar Crimes in FL – Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature and view the statutes for white collar crimes and the Victim Protection Act. Access the site to read the full statutory language of the Act, other economic offenses, restitution information, and other important answers to your questions. 

White Collar Crime Reports -- Visit the website of Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) which is a data gathering, data research, and data distribution organization system at Syracuse University. The purpose is provide the American people and institutions of oversight, such as Congress, news organizations, public interest groups, businesses, and scholars with comprehensive information about staffing, spending, and enforcement activities of the Federal government. 

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Alachua County Lawyer for White Collar Crimes | Gainesville, FL

If you or someone you know has been arrested for a white-collar crime, then it’s imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Galigani Law Firm is an experienced premier law firm with decades of experience handling all types of financial crimes ranging from bad checks to elaborate money laundering schemes. Call us to learn your legal options and start planning your defense today.

Call Galigani Law Firm at (352) 375-0812 to set up your first consultation today.

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