Theft and fraud crimes occur in a wide variety of situations in California and across the United States; as such, California laws set up various regulations and penalties based on the circumstances of the crime, the amount taken, and how it was taken. While many theft crimes involve single instances and small amounts of money, white collar crimes often feature a person or group of people taking a large sum of money from many people over a longer span of time, usually with an in-depth plan created for the crime.
As such, California prosecutors (and in some cases federal prosecutors) pursue extremely heavy and long-lasting penalties for defendants, and those facing such charges should understand white collar crime and its possible penalties.
White collar crime is not a specific instance of crime, but rather an umbrella term covering a wide variety of crimes where a perpetrator uses his or her power, influence, prestige, and/or position in a company to illegally take others' money or valuables for his or her own gain.
Common white collar crimes include: bribery, computer fraud, embezzlement, insurance fraud, forgery, and bank fraud. What separates a white collar crime from other criminal acts is that the perpetrator does not use force, fear, or intimidation on a victim to take the money, but rather uses deception and will often never meet the victim face to face.
Since white collar crimes involve theft, they are subject to the rules and penalties concerning petty and grand theft under California Penal Code Sections 486 through 490. As white collar crimes typically involve taking money from many people and on multiple occasions, a defendant can easily face many counts of theft, adding up to decades in prison if found guilty of enough of them. Penal Code Section 186.11 sets up additional penalties for what is known as "aggravated white collar crime" that occurs when a pattern of related felony conduct based around fraud or embezzlement takes more than $100,000. This adds up to five years on a person's sentence and up to $500,000 in fines.
The Thousand Oaks white collar crime defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel Kann understand that a white collar crime charge not only has the possibility of years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines, but can ruin a defendant's professional life. For a consultation about how we can defend you from your charges, call us today at (888) 744-7730.