A Florida man was recently convicted of wire fraud and tax evasion after stealing millions of dollars from his wife and father-in-law using his father’s North Carolina company.
The man told his wife and father-in-law that he was investing their money conservatively in US Treasury bills, but was actually using the money to make risky trades in futures and commodities.
He also used $1.6 million for his own personal expenses, including an oceanfront condo in Florida. Eventually, he even mortgaged his father’s real estate holdings to conceal his investment losses.
He has now been sentenced to nearly 27 years in federal prison and was ordered to pay $7.3 million in restitution to his victims and $7.3 million in forfeiture to the government.
White-collar crimes like these can result in life-changing prison sentences and financial consequences. Learn more about common types of North Carolina white-collar crime, how these charges are prosecuted, and what to do if you find yourself under investigation.
White-Collar Crime in North Carolina
White collar crimes encompass many types of illegal activity and are generally non-violent crimes of a financial nature. They can be committed by individuals, but also by corporations.
Common examples of white collar crime include:
The penalties for white-collar crime depend on the type of alleged offense, and also the total monetary value of the offense in question.
You may also face separate charges for each individual offense. For example, if you are accused of identity theft, you will face separate charges for each identity allegedly stolen.
White-Collar Crime in NC: State or Federal Charges?
White-collar crimes can be prosecuted at either the state or federal level, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged defense, and in some cases the discretion of federal courts.
White-Collar Crimes Likely to Peak Federal Interest
Certain circumstances and offenses are more likely to be of federal interest:
- Financial crimes that involve interstate commerce, such as the example we touched on above
- Tax evasion, which involves the IRS, a federal agency
- Financial crimes that involve banks, which are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), federal agencies
- Fraud crimes that involve the use of the mail or Internet
Why You’d Rather Face State Prosecution
Federal prosecution is never good news, for a host of reasons:
- Federal investigative agencies (for example, the FBI), have greater investigative resources, making the case against you stronger
- Federal prosecutors are more likely to seek the maximum possible sentence, and in some cases, mandatory minimums apply.
- Federal inmates are ineligible for parole, meaning that you will serve the duration of your prison sentence behind bars
Under Investigation for a White Collar Crime in North Carolina?
If you find out that you’re under investigation for a white-collar crime, or think that you could be under investigation soon, your actions could very well determine the outcome of your case, or even whether you end up being brought up on charges at all.
Bring in an experienced North Carolina white-collar crime defense team sooner rather than later. Your attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected during the investigative process.
Your defense attorney can also help you avoid common mistakes, like giving federal investigators more access to potential evidence than the law allows, attempting to destroy evidence, or talking to law enforcement about the investigation when you’re not required to do so.