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The Five Most Common White Collar Crimes

White-collar crimes are non-violent offenses committed for financial gain. They generally involve fraud, misrepresentation and/or misuse of computer and communications technology. Investigations of suspected crimes are typically wide-ranging and may implicate a host of individuals at private or public organizations, from administrative assistants to executives and directors. Depending on the situation, white collar criminal charges can be filed in federal or state court or possibly both, and penalties for conviction can include long prison sentences and heavy fines.

These are the five most common white collar offenses prosecuted by federal and state law enforcement authorities:

  1. Embezzlement — This crime occurs when a person steals money over which they have responsibility but which does not belong to them. Embezzlement often occurs in the context of an employee taking company money or assets for their own personal gain. For example, a business comptroller skims funds from a corporate account and uses the money himself. Penalties for conviction often include making restitution of amounts stolen, in addition to paying fines and serving time in jail.
  2. Money laundering — It is unlawful to make illegally obtained money seem legitimate by knowingly concealing its origins, such as through bank deposits, transfers and other complex transactions. In South Carolina, a money laundering conviction can carry a sentence of up to 25 years in prison, plus fines of up to $250,000 or double the value of the money laundered, whichever is greater.
  3. Bank fraud and mortgage fraud — These crimes consist of schemes to defraud financial institutions out of money, property or other assets. Forms of bank fraud include forgery, obtaining credit using falsified documents, check kiting, wire transfer fraud and more. Mortgage fraud can involve illegal property flips, foreclosure schemes, equity skimming and other transactions.
  4. Identity theft and other cybercrimes — Credit reporting company Experian says identity theft affects one in 20 Americans each year, causing nearly $17 billion in losses in 2019 alone. Such theft is often accomplished by cyber tactics such as phishing, pharming and deploying malware or viruses to steal information. Other cybercrimes include hacking, child pornography, online piracy and online solicitation.
  5. Insurance fraud — It is a crime to make a false claim or representation to an insurer or its agent for financial gain. Medicare fraud is one of the most common forms of insurance fraud. Also ranking high on the list, according the FBI, is premium diversion, which occurs when an insurance agent does not send premiums to the policy underwriter and instead keeps the money for themselves.

If you are under investigation or have been arrested for any white collar crime, you should act quickly to retain experienced defense counsel. Jack B. Swerling, Attorney at Law provides effective defense for individuals facing federal and state criminal charges. I offer a free initial consultation. Call my Columbia office at 800-701-0599 or contact me online today.

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Jack Swerling In The News >>

  • Jack Swerling, Derrick Mobley and Alissa Wilson were successful in having a Judge rule after an extensive hearing, that the defendant was immune from prosecution based on the “Stand Your Ground” law in a murder prosecution. The Judgment was handed down on March 29, 2021.
  • Jack Swerling, Gregory Harris and Alissa Wilson obtained a Not Guilty Verdict in Lexington County on March 3, 2022. An Orthopedic Surgeon was charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in the accidental shooting death of a friend.
  • “When Jack is on my docket, I tell my law clerks, ‘You do not want to miss this. You are seeing one of the greatest trial lawyers in the state’s history.'” -South Carolina Circuit Court Judge
  • Jack was selected to Super Lawyers Magazine Top Ten List for 2019. Each year Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in South Carolina via a selection process involving peer evaluations, independent research and professional achievement. The South Carolina lawyers who receive the highest points during this selection process are further recognized in the South Carolina Super Lawyers Top Ten List.
  • USA v. FRANK*: In a child pornography case, Swerling was successful in obtaining a 22 level variance reducing the defendant’s sentence from 8 years to 6 months.
  • STATE v. BORIS: The defendant was found not guilty by reason of insanity in a case where the defendant was involved in a shoot-out with 3 police officers.
  • STATE v. TYGER: Jack Swerling obtains a not guilty verdict in a criminal sexual conduct case in Beaufort County.
  • Pre Trial Dispositions: STATE v. DWAYNE: Mr. Swerling successfully argued for the dismissal of stalking and unlawful use of telephone charges brought against a prominent businessman in Florence County.
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