Charleston White Collar Crimes Lawyers
Challenging the Accusations in Charleston, Summerville, and Beyond
The term "white collar crime" describes a range of offenses that are often non-violent and financially motivated. They may not involve physical injury to others, but that does not mean the charges aren't serious. Like other offenses, an accusation for a white collar crime can potentially ruin a person's reputation. Because these offenses usually occur in a corporate setting, the allegations can seriously hurt current and future career prospects. White collar crimes can be prosecuted as either state or federal violations, and upon a conviction, the accused is exposed to a range of severe penalties, including incarceration, fines, and other sanctions.
If you're facing allegations, speak with our white collar crimes attorneys in Charleston as soon as possible. These cases are often complicated, involving complex and voluminous business documents, financial records, and other corporate information. Building a solid defense requires analyzing all of this data to identify various defenses. At Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A., we genuinely care about helping residents of Charleston, Summerville, and surrounding areas, and we will be by your side throughout your case. Our team recognizes the damaging effects a criminal accusation can have on your life, and we know discretion is important in these matters.
What Are White Collar Crimes?
Various offenses can be deemed white collar crimes. In general, they involve the use of deception or fraud to unlawfully obtain something of value. Although white collar crimes are typically associated with corporate executives, anyone who engages in unethical acts to receive money or other benefits they're not legally entitled to may face criminal charges.
A few examples of white collar crimes include:
- Bank fraud: This offense can be committed by financial institution employees, customers, or others. Generally, an offense is committed when someone engages in a scheme to defraud a financial institution out of money, property, or any other assets under the institution's control.
- Credit card fraud: This occurs when a person unlawfully obtains and/or uses another's credit card information without the cardholder's consent.
- Embezzlement: This crime is similar to theft in that it's committed when someone knowingly and unlawfully deprives another of property. It's different from theft in that the alleged offender, at one time, was lawfully given control of the property, but they breached their fiduciary duty for their own benefit.
- Identity theft: A person may be charged with this offense if they knowingly and unlawfully obtain, transfer, or use the personal identifying information of another to commit a crime.
- Insider trading: Criminal charges for this crime may arise when a person has access to important information about a company that's not yet available to the public, and they use it to affect stock buying or selling decisions.
- Health care fraud: Anyone who unlawfully obtains benefits or funds they’re not entitled to from a health care benefit program can be accused of this crime.
- Money laundering: Typically, criminal enterprises commit this offense, trying to hide the source of illegally obtained money or avoid reporting requirements. These crimes are complex, often involving multiple transactions to make funds appear legitimate.
- Tax fraud: Various types of conduct may be considered tax fraud. Generally, they involve knowingly making material misrepresentations or omissions on tax returns to evade tax obligations – either by underpaying what's owed or not paying anything at all.
- Wire fraud and mail fraud: Under federal law, these are two separate offenses, but they involve similar conduct. A person commits a crime when they use the U.S. Postal Service or electronic communication to further a fraud scheme.
At Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A., our Charleston white collar crimes lawyers have the tenacity and skill to aggressively fight charges in even the most complex cases.
What Are the Penalties for White Collar Crimes?
As noted above, white collar crimes are varied and involve a range of conduct. Just as each offense is different, so too are the potential penalties a court can impose. Additionally, the punishments will differ depending on whether the accused is prosecuted under state or federal laws.
Below are federal and state penalties for a few white collar crimes:
Credit Card Fraud:
- Federal penalties (15 U.S.C. § 1644): Up to 10 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines
- State penalties (SC Code of Laws § 16-14-60): Up to 1 year in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines
- Federal Penalties (18 U.S.C. § 1956): Up to 20 years in prison and/or up to $500,000 in fines (or double the amount of the funds involved)
- State penalties (SC Code of Laws §§ 35-11-740 and 35-11-740): The most serious offense is a Class B felony penalized by up to 25 years in prison
- Federal penalties (18 U.S.C. § 1028): Up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine
- State penalties (SC Code of Laws § 16-13-510): Up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine
Recognizing the life-altering consequences of a conviction, our white collar crimes attorneys in Charleston will do what it takes to seek an optimal result for you.
Choose Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A. for Your Defense
Being accused of a financially motivated offense can be scary and frustrating. Our white collar crimes lawyers stand up for those facing charges in Charleston, Summerville, and the surrounding communities. We help our clients understand their legal options and provide prompt, straightforward answers to their questions.