The label “white collar crime” applies to a wide variety of offenses. They include everything from insurance fraud to embezzlement, and they typically have at least one thing in common: the use of deception or trickery to steal money or property. Although most white collar crime is prosecuted in federal court, Pennsylvania criminal laws also apply, with stiff penalties in some cases.
If you are facing white collar crime charges in the Pennsylvania area, call Brian Manchester, an experienced white collar crime defense attorney in Pennsylvania. Call today. It is important to start working on your defense right away.
White Collar Crime: Money Laundering and Embezzlement in Pennsylvania
The white collar crimes covered by Pennsylvania law include money laundering, embezzlement, fraud, identity theft, computer crimes and tax evasion. Money laundering may be the most serious: Penalties for using financial transactions to conceal ill-gotten money or to further criminal activities are severe, including as many as 20 years in prison. Embezzlement, meanwhile, is another word for the fraudulent taking of money or property with which the taker has been entrusted (as an attorney or as a company employee, for example). There are a number of types of embezzlement, punishable by anything from probation and a small fine to as many as seven years, depending on the amount stolen, the type of property, and the degree of trust breached by the alleged offender.
White Collar Crime: Fraud in Pennsylvania
Fraud is another common type of white collar crime. Pennsylvania outlaws credit card fraud, insurance fraud and securities fraud, among other types. Credit card fraud carries penalties that range from a maximum of two years to as many as seven, depending on the amount stolen. Insurance fraud comes with a maximum sentence of between five and seven years, depending on who commits the fraud and the degree of the deception. Pennsylvania law also bans securities fraud and insider trading, though these are primarily prosecuted under federal statutes. Violators are subject to pay substantial civil penalties and may face criminal punishment as well, including as many as seven years for some violations.
White Collar Crime: Identity Theft, Computers, and Tax Evasion in Pennsylvania
Identity theft — using the identifying information of another person to commit an unlawful act — is another type of white collar crime commonly seen in Pennsylvania. Potential penalties range from a maximum of five years to as many as 10, depending both on the amount of property or money obtained using the stolen identity and on a defendant’s prior record. Computer crimes also fall under the heading of white collar offenses. These include unlawful hacking, intentional or knowing disruption of service, computer theft, unlawful duplication of software or data, computer trespass, distribution of a computer virus and the falsification or forging of email for the purpose of sending spam. All of these crimes are punishable by as many as seven years, except for duplication of software or data valued at more than $2,500, in which case a maximum sentence of 10 years applies. A final white collar crime, tax evasion, is also covered by state statute in some cases. It is a criminal offense in Pennsylvania to evade the state’s income or payroll taxes; filing a fraudulent income tax return carries a penalty of at most 30 days in jail and a fine, plus financial penalties and interest on the unpaid taxes, while filing fraudulent payroll tax documents comes with a maximum penalty of two years.
If you or a loved one are in the Pennsylvania area and have been charged with white collar crime, call Brian Manchester, an experienced white collar crime defense lawyer in Pennsylvania. He can help you build the defense you need today.