While criminologist and sociologist Edwin Sutherland originally defined white-collar crime in 1939 as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation," the term is now generally used to describe most any criminal offense committed for financial gain. Most people believe that white-collar offenses only apply to high-level executives accused of multi-million dollar wrongdoing, but the truth is that a wide variety of acts committed by alleged offenders of various positions can fall under the umbrella of white-collar crime.
Another common misconception about people accused of these offenses is that alleged offenders typically walk away with little more than a slap on the wrist. Prosecutors in Florida aggressively seek harsh criminal penalties in these cases, and alleged offenders can be ordered to pay several thousands of dollars in fines and restitution to alleged victims.
Were you arrested or do you think that you could possibly be under investigation for allegedly committing a white-collar offense in Florida? Make sure that you have legal counsel before you say anything to the investigators handling your case.
John Terrezza of Terrezza Law is a criminal defense attorney in Pensacola who represents clients in Milton, Pensacola Beach, Gulf Breeze, and many other surrounding areas. Call (850) 764-5291 or complete an online contact form right now to receive a complete review of your case during a free, confidential consultation.
Several different kinds of economic fraud or theft crimes are considered white-collar offenses in Florida. Many of these criminal actions involve alleged offenders obtaining money, property, or other items of value by misleading alleged victims.
Some of the types of white-collar offenses that Terrezza Law handles include:
The possible imprisonment and fines associated with a conviction in criminal court are not the only concern of people accused of white-collar offenses in Florida. In addition to the criminal penalties sought by state prosecutors, some of the other ways that fraud or other economic crime allegations can affect an alleged offender include:
White-Collar Crime Victim Protection Act — In response to the “frequency with which victims, particularly elderly victims, are deceived and cheated by criminals who commit nonviolent frauds and swindles, frequently through the use of the Internet and other electronic technology,” the Florida Legislature enacted the White-Collar Crime Victim Protection Act in 2013. The act not only establishes enhanced penalties for alleged offenders convicted of certain offenses involving certain victims, but it also provides restitution to victims of those white-collar crimes. Under the act, the three groups of victims of aggravated white-collar crime includes groups of 10 or more elderly persons, groups of 20 or more individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, or all other groups or combinations, and the state of Florida, any state agency, any of the state’s political subdivisions, or any agency of the state’s political subdivisions.
Florida Attorney General | Protecting Yourself from Consumer Fraud — The attorney general of Florida is elected to be the state’s chief legal officer. On this section of the attorney general website, you can find a list of 83 types of common scams and scenarios in which residents are victims of fraud. Each clickable link provides an overview of the subject as well as tips and tools to avoid becoming the victim of fraud.
If you were arrested or believe that you might be the target of an investigation for alleged fraud or economic crimes in Florida, you will want to immediately seek legal representation. Terrezza Law defends clients in communities throughout Escambia County and Santa Rosa County.
Pensacola criminal defense attorney John Terrezza not only fights to get criminal charges reduced or dismissed, but he helps clients with appeals, expunction, and other forms of post-conviction relief. You can have our lawyer evaluate your case by calling (850) 764-5291 today to schedule a free consultation.