Experienced White Collar Criminal Attorney in New York and New Jersey

White collar crime is an umbrella term that covers a broad range of crimes. The cases are often highly complex and regularly go beyond the criminal courthouse and into civil litigation. Due to the intricacy of white collar crimes, it it imperative to retain an experienced and proven white collar criminal attorney.


What is white collar crime?


The term “white collar crime” originated in 1939 and refers to a range of frauds committed by both government professionals, businesses, and individuals. The term was first made popular by Edward H. Sutherland, who grew frustrated that the majority of criminal cases focused on low level offenders and “street crimes.”


The exact definition of white collar crime is hotly contested, but it can usually be broken down into three qualifiers: the type of offender (usually a powerful person with high socioeconomic status), the type of offense (financial), and the organizational class of the crimes. Some believe that white collar crime is strictly financial, while others would say that offenses such as environmental law are also included in the definition.


The FBI defines white collar crime as crimes that are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and are not dependent on the application or threat of physical force or violence. The FBI states that the motivation behind these crimes is financial—to obtain or avoid losing money, property, or services or to secure a personal or business advantage.


What specific crimes are included in white collar crime?


Although there are a multitude of crimes that could be included here, the following are some of the most frequently committed white collar crimes in New York and New Jersey.


  • Embezzlement
  • Credit card fraud
  • Insurance fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Public corruption
  • RICO Act violations/racketeering charges
  • Securities fraud
  • Bank and mortgage fraud
  • Tax fraud
  • Health care fraud including fraudulent billing of Medicare or Medicaid


What should I do if I EXPECT that I will be charged with a white collar crime?


If you have reason to believe that you may be charged with a white collar crime it is imperative that you contact a proven white collar criminal defense attorney quickly. Sometimes a skilled attorney can prevent charges from being filed in the first place.


What should I do if I’ve been charged with a white collar crime?

Initially, there are really only two things that you need to do if you’ve been charged with a white collar crime:

  1. Keep your mouth shut
  2. Find a white collar criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of success

Keep Your Mouth Shut

Typically, law enforcement will first reach out to the individual charged with a white collar financial crime and ask for comment or an explanation on the charges. Regardless of who is asking you for this information, KEEP QUIET! It is never a good idea to speak to authorities or a prosecuting attorney without legal representation. Remember that you have the right to remain silent and use it.

Find a White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney

A good white collar criminal defense attorney can make all of the difference in your case. If you have been charged with a white collar crime and you haven’t yet seeked legal representation it’s best that you do so immediately.

Robert J. DeGroot has 40 years of experience defending clients against a broad range of white collar crimes. He has the trial experience to handle even the most complex white collar criminal cases for those who need defense at the state level as well as those needing a federal white collar criminal defense attorney.

Why do respected and successful individuals engage in white collar crime?

There are a number of theories on why someone would engage in white collar criminal activity. Some people associate white collar criminals with greed, some say that they are bad apples, and others say that they are high performers who simply cannot stand to see their businesses struggle or fail.

Eugene Soltes, a Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School wrote a book entitled Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White Collar Criminal. In his book, he uses psychological research as well as interviews with over 50 convicted white collar criminals to understand why they committed their crimes. He came to the conclusion that white collar criminals are not driven by excessive greed, but make decisions the way that most of us make decisions—based upon our gut feelings and intuition. Soltes states that “the trouble is that these gut feelings are often poorly suited for the modern business world where leaders are increasingly distanced from the consequences of their decisions and the individuals they impact.”

Contact a New Jersey White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney


If you are under investigation or have been charged with any type of fraud–such as tax fraud or bank fraud–or white collar crime in New Jersey, criminal defense attorney Robert J. DeGroot is ready to meet with you. For a free initial consultation, call 866-970-0783 or contact our Newark law firm online.


If you are incarcerated, our criminal law attorney can meet with you in jail. Reach out today, because we’re here to help!