When Are Many White Collar Crimes Charged Under Federal Law?
Anyone who is facing charges for a white collar criminal offense should understand that these charges must be taken extremely seriously even though they do not involve allegations of any kind of violent act. To be sure, many white collar crimes are charged under federal law, and the penalties for a conviction can be much more severe than the penalties for many types of misdemeanor and even felony offenses that involve acts of violence. While white collar criminal offenses can be charged under state law in Florida, many of these offenses are charged under federal law. Accordingly, it is often necessary for a person facing white collar criminal charges to seek assistance from a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney with experience handling defenses for charges involving wire fraud, bank fraud, and other types of fraud.
Why are so many white collar crimes charged under federal law? Here is some information to help clarify some of the reasons for federal criminal charges when charges can also be filed under state law by a state or local prosecutor.
Agency or Authority Conducting the Investigation
Many white collar crimes are investigated by federal investigative agencies. As a result, many of these offenses end up being charged under federal law. Which federal agencies are commonly tasked with investigating white collar crimes? While the answer to that question will depend upon the specific actions alleged to have occur, some of the following agencies can be associated with white collar fraud investigations and other related criminal investigations:
- Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the FBI, in a wide variety of white collar crimes that can be charged under federal law;
- Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, and often in cases involving Medicare or Medicaid fraud, or other types of health care fraud;
- Internal Revenue Services, or IRS, in cases involving tax fraud;
- S. Postal Inspection Service, especially in cases involving mail fraud; and
- S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, in cases involving securities fraud and other types of corporate fraud.
Interstate Commerce and White Collar Crime
Any alleged criminal act involving interstate commerce can trigger a federal investigation, or can result in an offense being charged at the federal level. What is interstate commerce? According to the Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII), it is “the general term for transacting or transportation of products, services, or money across state borders.” There are many different ways of engaging in interstate commerce, from physically traveling across borders with goods to using goods or services that have crossed state lines (such as a computer) to using the internet.
Many forms of federal fraud involve interstate commerce, such as bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, securities fraud, and various types of computer crimes like identity theft or credit card fraud. Any engagement in interstate commerce can result in federal charges being brought against you.
Contact a West Palm Beach Federal White Collar Crimes Defense Lawyer
If you are facing any kind of white collar crime charges, whether you have been charged under state or federal law, an aggressive West Palm Beach white collar crime defense attorney can begin working on your defense strategy with you today. Contact William Wallshein, P.A. to learn more about how our firm can assist you.