Although they are typically non-violent crimes, white-collar crimes are serious offenses in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Depending on the value of the property taken, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony that carries stiff penalties if you are convicted.
You would be making a big mistake to ignore the charges or just plead guilty and accept your punishment. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney who can explain your options and mount an aggressive defense strategy.
Common White-Collar Crimes in Virginia
White-collar crimes are financial crimes, and they often involve fraud, theft, and deceit. In some cases, the evidence against an accused can include thousands of complicated financial documents. Hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney who understands these documents and will take the time to analyze them is essential to achieving a good outcome in these cases.
There are many crimes in our state that fall under the umbrella of white-collar crimes. Some common ones that our knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers handle include the following.
Embezzlement is a larceny crime involving the theft of property by an employee who is in a position of trust by their employer. While CEOs and other high-ranking employees are frequently charged with these offenses, others that are arrested for embezzlement include bank tellers, retail store cashiers, accountants, treasurers, money managers, and more. A few examples of activities that are considered embezzlement include:
- Taking money from a cash register
- Using a business credit card to charge purchases for personal use
- Writing checks from a company account to pay for services an employee did not provide or for their personal bills and other expenses
- Taking gift cards
- Stealing company property, such as laptops or other electronic devices
If the property stolen is worth less than $1,000, the crime is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor. When the value is more than $1,000, the crime is a Class U felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
An individual can be charged with money laundering for using money obtained through illegal purposes for legal purposes. Money obtained through drug dealing and illegal gun sales are a few of the ways that money is acquired illegally and then funneled into a legal enterprise. If convicted, an individual could face a 40-year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine.
Forgery is a Class 5 felony offense that involves creating a false document or altering an existing one. If convicted, the punishment is a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $100,000.
Identity theft is a serious felony offense committed by stealing someone’s identity or other personal information without their consent to obtain a loan, property, or the victim’s financial accounts or money. This is often charged as a felony with penalties similar to forgery.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud is the use of another’s credit card without their permission or using a credit card that has expired or was revoked. It is also credit card fraud to use credit above the credit limit with the intent to defraud. This crime can be a misdemeanor or felony offense with punishments of up to five years in prison and a fine not to exceed $2,500.
Bank fraud encompasses many crimes, such as writing a bad check, real estate fraud, money laundering, and obtaining fraudulent loans. This crime will be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of the property that is stolen. The penalties upon conviction can include up to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000,000.
Extortion and Bribery
Bribery is the offering of something of value with the goal of obtaining influence over someone in their official capacity for accepting a bribe. Extortion involves threats to harm a person or their property in order to obtain their money or other property. Both are felony crimes that are punishable by up to ten years in prison and a hefty fine.
Contact Us for the Legal Help You Need
Were you charged with a white-collar crime in Virginia? Our knowledgeable criminal defense legal team can mount a strong defense for you that can result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. This may be possible even if you believe you are guilty of the crime you are being charged with committing. To learn more about how we can assist you, start a live chat to schedule your free consultation today.