White Collar Defense Lawyer Montana
White collar offenses are serious allegations to face in Montana. Not only do they carry the potential for massive fines and long prison terms, but they are also frequently prosecuted by the federal government through some of the largest and most powerful law enforcement agencies in the world.
The Criminal Defense Firm is home to experienced white collar criminal defense lawyers who have a long track record of helping their clients fight against serious allegations of financial crimes. With the help and legal guidance of our lawyers, our clients have secured case dismissals, acquittals, and other favorable outcomes. Even in many cases where our clients have gotten convicted for a white collar crime, we have been able to drastically reduce the penalties during the sentencing hearing or have negotiated for more favorable terms in the plea deal.
The Many Faces of White Collar Crime in Montana
A white collar crime is a non-violent financial offense that is motivated by monetary gain. It generally involves fraudulent conduct of some sort. The context of that allegedly fraudulent conduct will shape the precise charge that gets filed against you.
However, what amounts to “fraud” is notoriously difficult to pin down. For law enforcement and legislators in Montana, this is for good reason: By keeping the definition amorphous and not precisely defining “deceitful,” it lets prosecutors pursue bad actors who use a new way to defraud victims without lawmakers having to define a new criminal offense.
Nevertheless, there are numerous different types of white collar crime that can be committed in Montana. The Criminal Defense Firm can legally represent you in any of them, including the following kinds of charges.
Healthcare professionals can get charged with healthcare fraud for a wide variety of reasons, including:
- Billing insurance companies or government programs, like Medicare or Medicaid, for services that were not provided
- Inflating the bills through a variety of means, like unpacking tests that were done together in order to bill them individually
- Upcoding, or labeling a medical service as something more expensive than what was provided
No one likes to pay their taxes. However, not all ways to reduce your tax bill are lawful. Underreporting income, valuing assets below what they are worth, and using deductions that do not apply to your circumstances can amount to tax evasion or tax fraud.
When done on federal tax returns, these white collar offenses are frequently investigated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Regulated securities professionals, like financial planners, broker-dealers, and hedge fund managers can all face scrutiny by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and allegations of securities fraud if they use deception in their business dealings. These allegations are particularly complex because of the fundamentally uncertain nature of many types of securities, like stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.
One particular type of securities fraud is insider trading, which is the act of buying or selling securities using material and non-public information. This is labeled as a type of deceptive securities trade because it puts the insider at an advantage over the rest of the public.
Mail or Wire Fraud
More of a procedural crime than a substantive one, mail or wire fraud is the act of using the U.S. mail system or a telecommunications device – including your phone or the internet – while committing another type of fraud. Charges of mail or wire fraud very commonly get filed alongside other fraud-based charges. Convictions for mail or wire fraud can carry decades behind bars, in addition to the penalties meted out by the substantive fraud underlying the charge.
Conspiracy to Commit a White Collar Offense
You do not even need to complete a white collar crime in order to be convicted for a crime in Montana. Conspiracy charges cover an agreement to commit a crime and then taking a step towards the completion of the offense.
Severe Penalties of a White Collar Conviction
The penalties for a conviction will depend on the specific offense that was charged. However, the penalties will be an assortment of the following sanctions:
- Prison time
- Criminal fines
- Paying restitution
- Revocation of any professional certifications or licenses that facilitated in the offense
- Collateral consequences of a conviction
White collar crimes are notorious for being heavy on the monetary penalties. It is not uncommon for white collar crime defendants to face multiple millions of dollars in financial penalties upon a conviction.
An often overlooked penalty of a conviction is the reputational harm that you are likely to face. When you are convicted for a crime that relied on deception, your credibility may be questioned even decades after the conviction.
There are Legal Defenses You Can Raise
A skilled white collar crime defense attorney can help you raise the legal defense that is best suited for your case. In addition to a factual-based defense that focuses on preventing the prosecutor from proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt, you have several options. Some of the most common that The Criminal Defense Firm has used in the past to protect defendants in Montana have been:
- Lack of knowledge – While it is not a defense that you did not know that what you were doing was illegal, it can be a strong defense if you unknowingly contributed to someone else’s criminal acts
- Lack of intent – Most fraud charges require a showing that you specifically intended to defraud other people with your conduct
- Entrapment – The police coerced you into committing a crime that you would not have committed on your own
- Illegal investigation – The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures, and if police violate this rule then any evidence they discover from the violation can be excluded from your case
Several Frequently Asked Questions That The Criminal Defense Firm Get Asked About White Collar Crimes in Montana
Who Prosecutes These Cases?
It depends. Most white collar offenses violate both state and federal law. However, federal prosecutors – often at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) – usually let states prosecute white collar offenses that do not involve a lot of money, a federal source of funding like Medicare, or are not high-profile cases.
However, any federal investigation that has already been underway will be forwarded to the local district attorneys’ office or to the Montana Attorney General’s Office.
Why Not Just Say I Lacked the Necessary Intent?
Most white collar offenses require proof that you acted with the specific intent to defraud others of their money. A lack of intent can be a strong defense.
However, there is an important caveat: It is only a strong defense to a criminal case. Most white collar offenses can be pursued criminally or civilly. Civil enforcement actions do not seek prison time, but still carry huge financial penalties. They also do not require a showing of any intent, at all.
If you solely utilize a lack of intent defense, you leave the factual allegations of the case unchallenged. If you succeed, it will only work in beating the criminal case against you. You can be held civilly liable easily.
Are These State or Federal Offenses?
Oftentimes they are both. Montana’s criminal laws dealing with white collar crimes generally mirror federal laws. For example, Montana Code Annotated 45-6-301(7)(c) covers embezzlement just as 18 U.S.C. § 641 does. There are a wide variety of ways to trigger federal criminal jurisdiction, in which case both of the laws would have been violated.
The charging documents will state which statute was allegedly violated. However, it is not uncommon for subsequent investigation to reveal that there is federal jurisdiction and for federal prosecutors to take the case over.
Why Should I Hire The Criminal Defense Firm?
The Criminal Defense Firm is nearly unique among law firms in that we solely employ senior-level defense attorneys: All of the lawyers on our team has at least a decade defending people against serious criminal offenses like white collar crimes.
This means two things for you.
First, it means that all of the legal work that gets done on your case is performed by a lawyer with lots of experience in cases like yours. Unlike other firms, we do not tout the skills and experience of our senior lawyers and then hand your case off to junior associates who get passed the bar exam. We think that you should get legally represented by the lawyer who drew you to the firm.
Second, it means that when you communicate with The Criminal Defense Firm, you talk directly with a senior lawyer, not a paralegal or a legal secretary. This drastically reduces the chances of your concerns not making it to the top of the chain of command in your case.
Why Doesn't The Criminal Defense Firm Call Itself the Best White Collar Defense Firm in Montana?
Because we would rather let our client testimonials say these sorts of things about The Criminal Defense Firm.
White Collar Defense in Montana at The Criminal Defense Firm
If you have been charged with a white collar crime – or even if you suspect that you are under investigation for one – you need legal representation. Reach out to The Criminal Defense Firm by calling our law office at (866) 603-4540 or contact us online to get started protecting your rights and your future.