White Collar Crime in Palm Beach County
Fraud – the art of deliberate deception for unlawful gain – is as old as history itself; but the term “white collar crime” is relatively new. It was coined in 1939 by Edwin Sutherland to describe a new kind of crime that was different from street crime or “blue collar crime.” Now it has become synonymous with a full range of frauds committed by businesses and government officials alike. The list of white collar crimes keeps growing each year; corporate fraud, health care fraud, bribery, insider trading, embezzlement, computer fraud, insurance fraud, hedge fund fraud, identity theft, and forgery – to name a few.
It is estimated that it costs the United States more than $300 billion annually, according to the FBI. Today’s con artists are more sophisticated than ever, engineering everything from elaborate online scams to complex stock and health care frauds. For these criminals, the potential financial rewards far outweigh the risk of being caught. Here are some common white collar crimes in Palm Beach County:
Health Care Fraud
Health care fraud includes durable medical equipment, staged auto accidents, and medical transportation services. In addition to Medicare/Medicaid and private insurers, state providers lose billions of dollars per year to blatant fraud schemes in every sector of the health care industry. As health care spending increases over the coming years with the aging of the “baby boom” generation, health care fraud is expected to increase as well.
Financial Institution Fraud
Financial institution fraud (FIF) continues to be a major white collar crime problem. Since 9/11, the FBI has refocused their FIF program and is now investigating these cases with a greater intensity. Large-scale mortgage fraud and identity theft operations also continue to plague Florida and the country.
Insurance, Telemarketing, and Investment Frauds
These crimes often operate across jurisdictional and international boundaries but many are based in Palm Beach County. When losses to individual victims are multiplied, the economic impact can be dramatic.
Defending White Collar Crime in Palm Beach County
If you have been charged with one of these crimes in Palm Beach County, it is important to hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience. Many Federal agencies can be involved in a white collar crime investigation including the FBI, SEC, IRS and U.S. Postal Service. There is no substitute for an attorney who has successfully defended clients against these government charges.
There are many defenses for a white collar crime, including entrapment or absence of intent to commit a crime. Your attorney may be able to persuade prosecutors or a judge that you had no intention to commit the crime and you didn’t know that your actions were criminal. Your attorney may argue that there are mitigating factors, such as no prior criminal history or direct connection to the crime.
Have you been charged with a white collar crime? Hire a Palm Beach County attorney with experience unless you want to trade in that white collar for prison stripes.