Who Investigates and Prosecutes White Collar Crime?

State and Federal agencies have innumerable resources at their disposal to investigate and prosecute white collar crimes. This is why securing an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential if you’ve been accused of a white collar crime. 

White Collar Crime 

White-collar crime is generally non-violent in nature and includes public corruption, health care fraud, mortgage fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering, to name a few. White-collar crime is often characterized by deceit or concealment to obtain or avoid losing money or property, or to gain a personal or business advantage. 

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), white-collar crime is estimated to cost the United States more than $300 billion annually

Who Investigates & Prosecutes White Collar Crime? 

A number of federal agencies, including the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), participate in the enforcement of federal white-collar crime legislation. In addition, most states employ their own agencies to enforce white-collar crime laws at the state level.

WIth all of these resources available to investigate and prosecute white collar crime, it is imperative that if you are accused of a white collar crime, you find a capable criminal defense attorney immediately. The Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot offers over 40 years of experience in defending clients against accusations of white collar crime. 

Many white collar crimes take months or even years to investigate based on the sophisticated means by which the criminal activities are concealed. Once investigators believe they have enough to move forward with an accusation, the prosecutors are generally ready to bring charges quickly against those investigated. 

Federal Court vs. State Court 

White-collar crime is handled in both state and federal court. Which court processes a particular case depends on the type of crime, the specific circumstances regarding how the crime was committed, where it was committed, and if a federal agency was involved. 

If the offense violates state law, state prosecutors will charge the offender in state court. If the offense violates federal law, federal prosecutors will likely charge you in federal court. It is possible to be charged in both state and federal court for the same offense. 

White collar crimes do end up being prosecuted in federal court more often than many other types of crime for various reasons: 

Interstate Activity: One of the categories of cases that fall under a federal court’s jurisdiction include actions that occurred in more than one state. White collar crime tends to be a crime where state lines are crossed. The use of phone lines, the internet, and mail all trigger a federal crime investigation. 

Complexity: Many white collar crimes include complex schemes that are difficult to investigate. The intricacy of these schemes may often be too much for a state investigators office to handle based on the resources they have available, so federal investigators may step in if state offices are not equipped to handle the case. 

In the Spotlight: If a case includes a company or person that the federal government believes will attract a lot of attention, they are more likely to try the case than the state government. 

If you are accused of a white collar crime, it is necessary to find an attorney who has both state and federal white collar crime experience. The Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot can help you understand the charges against you, and defend you against them. 

What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are accused of a white collar crime, finding a lawyer who can help you is crucial. Here are some things you should look for in a criminal defense attorney: 

  1. Level of experience. You want a lawyer who has defended the crime you’re accused of before, many times, and been successful. 
  2. Availability. You want to make sure the lawyer you choose puts you first. Your life may well hang in the balance, and choosing a lawyer who will be devoted to your case is vital. 
  3. Personal factor. Make sure the attorney you choose is someone you can confide in and trust. 

The Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot is here to help you if you’ve been accused of a white collar crime. Contact us today for your confidential consultation!