White-Collar Crime Attorneys in Naples, Florida
Charged with a White-Collar Crime? Get in Touch with Musca Law!
If you have been arrested for a white-collar crime in the state of Florida, your freedom, your professional circles, and your private life is on the line. Once charges are filed, certain parts of your life will go up in smoke, burning bridges that can rarely be rebuilt. Due to the fact that white collar crimes involve large business or government corporations, representatives of these organizations have the power to negatively impact a variety of variables, not to mention that Florida courts take white-collar crimes seriously.
If you or a loved one are facing such charges, it is in your best interest to seek out qualified legal representation for the protection of your rights. Call our white-collar defense attorneys in Naples, Florida at (239) 793-5297 to get the justice you deserve.
Protect Your Rights and Your Reputation
There is no time to waste if you are facing white-collar criminal charges. Having an experienced, skilled, and relentless criminal defense team on your side should be your top priority. We at Musca Law will advocate for you and make your case our top priority. Our team of criminal defense lawyers has a combined 150+ years of legal experience and has lent an unrivaled pool of resources and strategies to each of our clients.
According to the definition provided by the Cornell University Law School, a white-collar crime constitutes a variability of crimes that occur in commercial settings, always for the financial gain of the person committing the crime. In some cases, legal officials will have a difficult time identifying these crimes due to the fact that culprits utilize intricate, secure methods for orchestrating their schemes.
If a white-collar crime takes place, some prosecutors will rely on the work of whistleblowers (employees who report criminal activity to members of law enforcement or government agencies) to provide details about malicious intentions or wrongdoing in a business.
As revealed in a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States spends $300 million on the compensation for white-collar crimes on a yearly basis.
We have experience handling white-collar crimes including:
- Embezzlement: This crime occurs when someone who is responsible for certain shared funds converts them for their own personal use.
- Money Laundering: Masking money gained through criminal activity so that it appears to have been gained through legal means.
- Real Estate Fraud: Fraud involving real estate and other properties. For example, presenting forged documents when selling property can be considered real estate fraud.
- Mortgage Fraud: A type of real estate fraud in which false information is presented on a mortgage application.
- Banking Fraud: Schemes in which funds are illegally obtained from a financial institution. For example, lying on an application for a bank loan.
- Credit Card Fraud: Using credit cards or credit card numbers obtained through identity theft or other illegal means.
- Mail Fraud: Utilizing the United States Postal Service in the process of committing a crime. Sending fraudulent documents through the mail is a kind of mail fraud.
- Healthcare Fraud: Gaining illegal funds in a healthcare setting by manipulating billing processes or patient care.
- Medicare Fraud: A type of healthcare fraud in which Medicare is incorrectly billed or false claims are made with the intention of gaining more funds through Medicare.
- Medicaid Fraud: A type of healthcare fraud in which the Medicaid system is defrauded.
- Conspiracy to Commit Fraud: Collaborating with other individuals in planning to commit fraud.
- Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO): Participating in fraud or other crimes committed with the involvement of a criminal organization.
Charges for the Embezzlement or Illegally Copying of Business Secrets
Remember that the term “trade secret” refers to a portion of or the entirety of a formula, pattern, or device (or a combination of two or all three) that is owned by businesses and used by members of that business for a professional advantage.
As dictated by Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 812.081, any person who steals or embezzles a trade secret in an attempt to use that item to his/her advantage and to deprive the rightful owners of this information from wielding power over these trade secrets will face charges of a 3rd-degree felony, punishable by a 5-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine.
Under this same statute, if the defendant returned or intended to turn in a trade secret that he/she had stolen, this person may not use this information as a defense in court (by any probable means).
Charges for Committing Acts of Money Laundering
As dictated by Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 896.101 (the Florida Money Laundering Act), people in Florida cannot (by any means):
- Take part in the illegal transaction of the illicit sales of property.
- Agree with the fact that this transaction has been designed to disguise or hide the identity of the owner, the source(s) of purchase, or proceeds in an attempt to avoid all legal requirements for reporting.
- Make any attempt to conceal some or all of the details surrounding this transaction to evade law.
- Sell property that a law enforcement officer or legal official would deem a subject of an illegal transaction.
Any person who commits any of the aforementioned acts of money laundering will face one of the following charges, depending on the property’s value and the severity of the crime overall:
- If the offense involves the transaction of finances from $300 to $20,000, the culprit will be charged with a 3rd-degree felony, punishable by a 5-year prison sentence and/or a fine that does not exceed $5,000.
- If the offense involves the transaction of finances from $20,000 to less than $100,000, the culprit will be charged with a 2nd-degree felony, punishable by a 15-year prison sentence and/or a fine that does not exceed $10,000.
- If the offense involves the transaction of finances that are greater than $100,000, the culprit will be charged with a 1st-degree felony, punishable by a 30-year prison sentence and/or a fine that does not exceed $10,000-$15,000.
Culprits charged for money laundering will also be charged with a civil penalty that does not exceed the value of any financial transactions associated with the crime or the sum of $25,000 (or potentially higher).
Charges for Committing Real Estate Fraud
Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 817.535 dictates that any person who files fraudulent or fictitious documents against any piece of property or real estate with the intention of harassing or defrauding another person involved (in an effort to change or impede the interest of the owner) will face charges of a 3rd-degree felony, punishable by a 5-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine.
Charges for Acts of Mortgage Fraud in Florida
As dictated by Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 817.545, a person who commits a crime of mortgage fraud has:
- Made any falsification or false statement of material value during the process of mortgage lending as part of an intentional act to mislead the mortgage lender.
- Used these misrepresentations and/or misstatements with the full intention of misleading the mortgage lender.
- Received funds or additional proceeds that stemmed from the fraudulent information.
- Filed the document that contains the falsification or false statement.
Furthermore, Chapter 817.545 dictates that any person who commits this crime will face charges of a 3rd-degree felony, punishable by a 5-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine. Likewise, if the culprit’s loan has been estimated to be $100,000 or more, these people will face charges of a 2nd-degree felony, punishable by a 15-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.
Charges for Acts of Fraud Involving Security Interest
Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 817.562 dictates that a person who commits an act of fraud concerning security interest has taken part in an agreement concerning security interest of personal property and:
- Rids himself/herself of the property and does not inform the owner of any proceeds.
- Disposes of the property and (subsequently) violates any of the security agreements (breach of privacy).
Any person who commits this fraudulent activity will be charged in one of the following ways, depending on the value of the property itself:
- If the property is estimated to be $300 or more, the culprit will face charges of a 3rd-degree felony, punishable by a 5-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine.
- If the property is estimated to be less than $300, the culprit will face charges of a 1st-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a 1-year prison sentence and a $1,000 fine.
Charges for Fraudulent Activity Involving Credit and/or Purchases
As dictated by Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 817.481, the act of obtaining credit or making an attempt to purchase items (including property or services) by means of a fake credit card and additional fake information (such as telephone numbers, credit numbers/devices) without the permission of the owner of this information is completely illegal. Any person who avoids, attempts to avoid, or prevents another person from paying charges set by law will also face criminal charges.
Ultimately, people will face one of the following forms of punishment, depending on the value of the property in question:
- If the property is estimated to be $300 or more, the culprit will face charges of grand larceny.
- If the property is estimated to be less than $300, the culprit will face charges of petit larceny.
Charges for Patient Brokering
As dictated in Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 817.505, any person who takes part in one or more of the following activities (or attempts to do so) has committed an act of patient brokering:
- To offer or pay a commission, kickback, bribe, bonus, or other monetary “gift” and to take part in split-fee agreements to encourage any referral of patients from healthcare facilities.
- To solicit commissions, kickbacks, or similar funds for referring patients to healthcare facilities.
- To solicit and/or receive commissions, kickbacks, or similar funds for recognizing a form of treatment conducted by a healthcare facility.
Any person who takes part in this crime (in any way) will face one of the following forms of punishment, depending on the severity of the crime:
- Any person who violates one or more sections of this code will face charges of a 3rd-degree felony, punishable by a 5-year prison sentence and/or a $5,000 fine. The court will also order the culprit to pay a $50,000 fine.
- Any person who violates one or more sections of this code and deals with a group of patients that is larger than 10 individuals but does not exceed 20 people will face charges of a 2nd-degree felony, punishable by a 15-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine. The court will also order the culprit to pay a $100,000 fine.
- Any person who violates one or more sections of this code and deals with a group of patients that exceeds 20 individuals will face charges of a 1st-degree felony, punishable by a 30-year prison sentence and a $10,000-$15,000 fine. The court will also order the culprit to pay a $500,000 fine.
Reaching a Verdict on a Fraud Case in the State of Florida
Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 817.568(2) and Criminal Jury Case 20.13 dictate that members of the court must prove (without any shred of doubt) that the defendant:
- Intentionally, willingly, and fraudulently (without the permission of authorities) possessed property or personal information related to the victim.
- He/she obtained this information without receiving the permission of the victim.
Keep in mind that the court members must also prove (without any shred of doubt) that the culprit had been fully aware of the existence of this information beforehand.
Musca Law Will Defend Your Good Name
Under Florida and national law, you are innocent until proven guilty. However, the burden of proof rests in the hands of the prosecution to prove your guilt. Our team of attorneys will support you every step of the way to combat the opposing party, and we will aggressively fight to ensure that your good name is preserved. Convictions of white-collar crimes will stain your record, leaking into your personal and professional life forever. Our criminal defense attorneys are here to make sure you can preserve your reputation. Don’t hesitate to contact our Naples office today at (239) 793-5297 to schedule a free initial case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.