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White Collar Crime

Finding a job after being convicted of any crime is difficult because once you’re adjudicated a felon, you’re now in a pool of potential employees that perhaps consist of people that weren’t adjudicated guilty but it’s not impossible and many people that get convicted of white collar claims are subsequently able to go on and find a job that can help them support themselves and their family.

 

Typically, white-collar crimes are prosecuted by the feds, in other words by the United States Attorney’s Office, and typically investigated by a federal agency. However, state prosecutions also occur involving white-collar criminal activity.

 

If you get indicted on a white-collar charge, one of the things that you need to do is hire, if you can afford one, an experienced criminal defense attorney who’s familiar with white-collar criminal defense work. Once you do that, then you need to work closely with your attorney and understand the evidence that the prosecution believes they have that has caused them to indict you with this white-collar crime, and you need to do the best you can to help your attorney fortify your defense.

 

If you’re the subject of a RICO investigation, and you have not yet been arrested, one of the first things you need to do is contact an attorney. You need to contact an attorney, tell them why you think you’re the subject of that investigation, and follow that attorney’s advice. On your own, you should be careful about speaking on the phones, because there may be a wiretap on your phones that’s recorded all your calls, in which law enforcement is listening in on. You need to be careful of the people that you’re associating with because you don’t know if any one of those people is working with the police in their investigation of the RICO organization. Once more, what you need to really do, is speak to a qualified attorney, so that they can guide you, and to best protect yourself, and possibly prevent you from being charged.

 

White collar crime is typically conducted by an individual that’s engaged in a business that’s considered professional, such as a banker. So a white collar criminal could be a banker who through the course of his banking business, is engaging in crimes such as wire fraud or extortion or money laundering or things of that nature. So typically that’s what a white collar crime involves.

 

RICO is racketeering. It has to do with an organization that’s engaged in a criminal pattern of conduct. If it’s a drug organization, it’s an organization that its members, through the organization are trafficking or selling drugs on certain street corners. If it’s a gambling ring, it’s the same thing. If it’s a ring that’s committing extortive practices, or they’re extorting businesses out of money for protection, that’s racketeering. So that’s what RICO has to do with racketeering.

 

Racketeering activity can be basically anything. It’s engaging in a course of conduct that is a pattern of criminal activity for an organization. For instance, they can charge as predicate acts that somebody has previously committed thefts, one of the RICO members has committed thefts, two or more acts of theft. They can do drug trafficking. They can do batteries or aggravated batteries. They can do any kind of crime that shows that the organization is using this crime to best be able to conduct its illegal activity or its illegal mission.

 

A white-collar crime typically is committed by a professional involved in their employment, and it typically involves financial gain. Things like mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, securities fraud, those are typical white-collar crimes. Tax fraud, things of that nature are typically considered white-collar crimes.

 

The RICO Act criminalizes and targets organizations that are engaged in crime. It was originally enacted by the United States Congress in the late ’60s to be able to attack crime families like the Bananno crime family or the Gotti crime family. It has now been stretched out to be able to attack drug organizations, gang activity, groups of people that are intending to defraud banks together as a scheme. It’s used to attack organizations that are engaged in criminal activity.

 

RICO is racketeering. It has to do with an organization that’s engaged in a criminal pattern of conduct. If it’s a drug organization, it’s an organization that its members, through the organization are trafficking or selling drugs on certain street corners. If it’s a gambling ring, it’s the same thing. If it’s a ring that’s committing extortive practices, or they’re extorting businesses out of money for protection, that’s racketeering. So that’s what RICO has to do with racketeering.

 

Rico charges can stem from gang activity and a common ways I’m gonna use a gang that’s known, a Latin King gang. If law enforcement is targeting or investigating the Latin Kings in their community, they can watch people that they think are Latin King gang members and what they can do is based on what crimes those individuals have committed, they can charge those crimes as predicate acts and they can be things like batteries. They can be things like petty theft. They can be things like gun sales, drug sales, all sorts of different crimes can form the basis of the Rico charge. In addition to that, if while they’re investigating, law enforcement gets any of these members and nabs them with a new charge. For instance a new drug case or a new gun case, they can include that in the Rico prosecution as well as charge those individual crimes in the same charging document as another substantive charge.

 

It depends on how they charge the RICO. Sometimes, RICO can have murders in it and, if that’s the case, you could potentially be looking at life imprisonment. Potentially and usually what you have in a RICO is, they’re usually drug RICO’s or gang activity RICO’s and, depending on how those underlying offenses are charged, you’re going to be looking at a minimum of prison sentence, depending on how the RICO is charged, you could be looking at six years, for instance, in Florida State Prison, up to a maximum of 30 years in Florida State Prison, depending once again on how the RICO is charged.

 

Most white-collar crimes involve theft or fraud, loss of money. They’re typically committed for financial gain. Therefore, the sentence of a white-collar crime is driven by what’s called the intended loss. So, depending on what that loss amount is will depend on what your sentence is. Most white-collar crimes sentence out, or guideline out, to prison time. Whether you can avoid prison will depend on the circumstances involved in your case, the amount of loss involved, and your characteristics and history as a person.

 

If you’re under investigation or you’ve received what’s called a target letter from a prosecutor’s office saying that you are a potential suspect in a white-collared crime, the first thing you need to do is contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will bring you in, discuss the matter with you, potentially reach out to the prosecution to see where they’re going with their investigation and you can begin to prepare yourself either for defense or to defend yourself against the prosecution actually bringing formal charges against you.

 

You absolutely need to hire an attorney, or at least be court appointed a qualified attorney if you’re facing RICO charges. RICO charges are very complex and they’re very serious. They carry a maximum penalty of 30 years. They carry minimum prison sentence. Just because of the nature of the crime, the bottom end of the sentencing guidelines is going to involve prison, and they’re very detailed and very law intensive, and therefore you need a qualified attorney to be able to navigate the waters of RICO.

 

You can always fire your attorney. If you are unhappy with your attorney, you don’t trust that attorney, you can’t communicate with that attorney, you can fire that attorney; however, if the attorney has been appointed to represent you by the court because you don’t have the funds to hire your own lawyer, that is going to become more difficult and you’re going to have to file a motion and establish pretty serious irreconcilable differences in order to get the judge to pull the attorney that’s been appointed to you off and assign you another attorney.

 

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