On this page, you can find answers to common financial crime questions. In addition, here are 10 important things to know about financial crime.
The most common types of financial crimes are fraud crimes.
Financial crimes can get pursued at the state or federal level, depending on the individual situation.
Common types of fraud include bank fraud, wire fraud, healthcare fraud, and insurance fraud.
Money laundering constitutes another common financial crime – it can get prosecuted in four degrees, money laundering in the fourth degree being the least serious crime and money laundering in the first degree being the most serious.
All forms of money laundering constitute felonies except for money laundering in the fourth degree, which constitutes a Class A misdemeanor.
If you face a financial crime charge in the federal court, you should hire a criminal defense lawyer experienced in federal trials.
Embezzlement is another form of financial crime, and it is similar to larceny.
There are six degrees of embezzlement, embezzlement in the sixth degree being the least serious crime and embezzlement in the first degree being the most serious.
Counterfeiting U.S. currency is a federal crime and will be pursued at the federal level.
Counterfeiting things like clothing, jewelry, etc. can get pursued at a state level or federal level, depending on the circumstances.
How is Financial Crime Defined?
There are two major types of financial crime. The first is the original crime that takes place that intends to dishonestly accumulate wealth. For example, acquiring someone else’s property or using insider information for personal gain would fall under this category. The other type of financial crime occurs when someone launders the money that they have illegally acquired. If you take part in laundering money, whether you are the one who illegally acquired it or not, you will be guilty of a financial crime.
What Groups of People Commit Financial Crime?
Anyone can commit financial crime, on their own or in a group. But, there are some groups of people who are commonly charged with financial crime. These groups include:
- Organized criminal groups. Large scale fraud can be committed by organized crime groups. Generally, these groups commit financial crimes in order to fund their operations.
- Heads of state. Sometimes corrupt politicians will use their power to commit financial crimes. This tends to happen in impoverished countries.
- Employees have been known to steal company funds and assets.
- Customers and other individuals connected to organizations. For example, contractors, have also been known to commit financial crimes against the company.
- Again, anyone can commit or be accused of financial crime. They could work in a group or on their own. It depends on the individual circumstances of the situation at hand.
What is the Best Way to Fight a Financial Crime Charge?
The best way to protect yourself from a financial crime charge is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your area. You want to hire someone who has dealt with cases such as your own, and someone who will advocate aggressively for your rights. As soon as you know that you are suspected of a financial crime, you should hire a lawyer to advise you on what to say and what not to say, and to help you gather evidence in your defense.
Will I Know if the Police Suspect Me of Financial Crime?
It depends on the situation, but in many cases you will know if you are a target in an investigation. Particularly if you are the target of a federal investigation, you will receive a target letter so that you will be made aware of the investigation. At the state level, you might not know that you are being investigated until you are charged with a crime, but sometimes the police will approach you, inform you of the situation, and ask for your cooperation. It is at this time that you need a lawyer to assist you and make sure that you take the right actions.