White collar crime is sometimes known as economic crime. It may not leave physical victims but it’s certainly taken seriously by the U.S. government and those of other nations.
We read about a lot of high profile federal initiatives. Investigations into companies like Enron made huge waves in the financial industry. Nevertheless, a recent international conference on white collar crime heard claims that governments are losing the war against the fraudsters.
The New York Times reported the global record of combating economic crime is so pitiful that governments need a new approach. The view was echoed by academics and legal and compliance experts at a recent conference in Cambridge, England.
Alison Levitt, a partner at Mishcon de Reya, a London law firm, said the war on economic crimes such as money laundering, fraud and insider trading was being lost.
The conference heard of the widespread involvement of senior managers at companies in white collar crime schemes.
The pessimism expressed by European experts was shared by those from the United States.
Experts Point to Losing Battle on White Collar Crime
John W. Moscow, the former chief of the frauds bureau and a deputy chief of New York County district attorney’s office, said the number of people benefiting from large-scale, white collar crimes is huge. He said declining budgets was impeding the apprehension of white collar criminals.
At Peek & Toland we are well aware of the pressures on the federal authorities. When investigators are under pressure for results, botched prosecutions can ensure. We have represented many clients who have been charged with economic crimes in Austin.
In a recent blog we wrote about five of the biggest white collar frauds in the history of the United States. They include Bernie Madoff, who was jailed for 150 years in prison and ordered to pay $170 billion in restitution. He ran a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of billions of dollars.
The FBI states the term ‘white collar crime’ was coined in 1939. It is now synonymous with a wide range of crimes committed by professionals. They are not dependent on the use of physical force, although some white collar crimes have entailed intimidation. The motivation behind these crimes is to avoid losing money or to secure a business advantage or services. The crimes are characterized by deceit of concealment. A company that falsifies its books for commercial advantage is committing a white collar offense.
The FBI states such crimes are not victimless. A scam can send a company out of business. Employees can lose their jobs and families can see their life savings wiped out.
White collar crimes are becoming more sophisticated. It remains to be seen if the federal response has kept pace.
If you have been charged with a crime like fraud or another white collar crime, you are likely to be facing a very stiff sentence. Call us for a consultation at (512) 474-4445.