Nebraska White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyer
Every year, numerous individuals and companies are charged with white collar crimes in Nebraska. Each of these defendants will face substantial prison time, massive fines and restitution payments, strict probationary terms, and the collateral consequences that will be an obstacle for decades after they have completed their sentence.
The white collar defense lawyers at The Criminal Defense Firm have legally represented hundreds of white collar defendants against both state and federal charges of financial crimes, including in Nebraska. With the legal advice and advocacy of our lawyers, many defendants have gotten their charges dismissed or have been acquitted by Nebraska juries. Many others have seen the penalties of their conviction whittled down to a fraction of what they had faced at their case’s outset.
White Collar Crimes Defined
A white collar crime is one that is both non-violent and financially motivated. They include everything from simple theft all the way up to organized criminal enterprises that violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Law.
Most of these offenses have one thing in common, though: Fraudulent or deceitful conduct that coerces a victim to part with their property, assets, or money.
What amounts to fraud or deception, though, differs between people. What one person thinks is deceptive, another person might not. As a result, whenever Congress or the Nebraska state legislature passes a law that forbids fraudulent activity, it opens the floodgates for law enforcement agencies to press charges against anyone who may possibly have acted in ways that were not completely up front or transparent. This puts lots of innocent people and companies at risk of facing a serious but groundless criminal charge in Nebraska.
Overlapping Jurisdiction for White Collar Offenses
Both Nebraska and the United States have very similar criminal statutes covering white collar offenses. While this is not unique in and of itself, the circumstances surrounding a white collar offense are far more likely to trigger federal jurisdiction than other types of crimes. While the law on this issue is very nuanced and complex, federal jurisdiction can generally happen when:
- The fraud impacted a source of federal funding, like the Food Stamp program or Medicare
- A bank covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was targeted
- There are a lot of victims of the alleged white collar offense outside Nebraska
Federal jurisdiction is not a small issue in a white collar case. If there is federal jurisdiction, your case could be prosecuted by the following agencies:
- U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- Office of Inspector General: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG)
These are some of the most powerful law enforcement agencies in the world. Investigations that they conduct can tap into resources that are far beyond what the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office or your local district attorney’s office can use. Preventing federal intervention in your white collar case is a huge step in the right direction that can often be taken at a very preliminary stage.
Even where federal law enforcement agencies do have the power to intervene, though, they do not necessarily have to exercise it. Particularly when the alleged offense was a low-profile one that involves relatively low amounts – often under $100,000 – federal prosecutors may decline and let Nebraska or county prosecutors handle it.
This is just one of the many reasons why people who suspect that they are under investigation for a white collar crime need to hire an experienced white collar defense lawyer as soon as possible. Steps can be taken to ensure that the case only falls under state jurisdiction or to convince federal prosecutors who are considering whether to intervene or not to let their Nebraska counterparts handle it.
Examples of Federal White Collar Offenses
There is a huge range of federal white collar offenses. They cover nearly every way of defrauding someone in a particular context or securing an unfair financial advantage over other people or businesses. Just a few of them include:
- Antitrust violations
- Bank fraud
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Computer fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Environmental crimes, like violating the Clean Air Act
- Healthcare fraud
- Insider trading
- Mail and wire fraud
- Money laundering
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud
- Securities fraud
- Tax fraud
Defendants are often surprised to learn that a single course of conduct can lead to multiple criminal charges for these offenses, each of which carrying the potential for decades behind bars.
Examples of Nebraska White Collar Crimes
A few examples of Nebraska white collar crimes that generally will not lead to federal prosecution are:
- Car insurance fraud
- Identity theft
- Unemployment insurance fraud
- Workers’ compensation fraud
These can involve state sources of funding, like Nebraska unemployment benefits, or are generally confined to isolated incidents by individuals and that do not affect more than a couple of victims, all of whom are inside the state.
The Penalties for a Conviction Can Be Extreme
If convicted for a white collar offense under either Nebraska or federal law, you could be sentenced to:
- Decades in prison
- Hundreds of thousands of dollars in criminal fines, disgorgement, forfeiture, and restitution payments
The specific penalties that you can face will depend on the criminal charge, as well as on the amount allegedly defrauded. Many white collar defendants are surprised to find that they are facing multiple substantive offenses as well as procedural offenses, each of which carries harsh penalties. For example, a common federal case involves using the internet to commit insider trading. The substantive offense of insider trading carries up to 20 years in prison, while the procedural offense of wire fraud carries another 20 years in prison.
Additionally, you will also likely face collateral consequences, most likely in the form of:
- A suspension or revocation of any professional certification or license that you used while engaged in the white collar offense
- Significant difficulties getting back into your chosen professional after serving your sentence, thanks to the blemish on your criminal background
Legal Defenses Available in White Collar Cases
Given the steep penalties of a conviction, it is even more important to raise strong legal defenses against the allegation that you have committed a white collar offense or a financial crime.
While every case is different and the specific allegations will determine which defensive strategy is the best for your circumstances, some of the most common defenses that The Criminal Defense Firm has used on behalf of its white collar defendants have included:
- Lack of intent
- Lack of knowledge
- Illegal search or seizure
We have also had success undermining the prosecutor’s factual case in many white collar cases. This generally involves advancing innocent explanations for the allegedly incriminating evidence against you.
Even when your legal defense strategy does not prevent a criminal conviction for a white collar offense, that does not mean that the case is a failure. In some of the most difficult cases, our attorneys have managed to reduce the penalties of the conviction so significantly that our clients have called it a successful defense.
Three Frequently Asked Questions About White Collar Cases in Nebraska and The Criminal Defense Firm
How Early Should I Get Legal Representation?
As early as you can.
It is highly advisable to get legal representation as soon as you learn that you may be under investigation by state or federal law enforcement. This is when the case against you is at its weakest. A skilled white collar defense lawyer may be able to open a dialogue with investigators and present exculpatory evidence that explains away their preliminary case against you. This does not just prevent a conviction; it prevents the criminal charges from ever being filed against you.
If this is not an option, a defense lawyer’s early involvement can mitigate the damages of a potential conviction and can prepare you better for the investigation that is about to continue and the charges that might follow. Your attorney can also help you if you get subpoenaed and can invoke your rights during the investigation in ways that insulate you and your company from liability.
Why Should I Consider The Criminal Defense Firm?
Because we are one of the few defense firms in Nebraska that only hires senior-level lawyers with extensive experience handling white collar cases. All of them have over a decade on the defense side, and many of them also have years of experience as prosecutors or investigators in the federal agencies that may be pursuing your case. Additionally, they have lots of experience defending cases in federal court, where many white collar cases end up going.
Why Don't You Call Yourself the Best White Collar Defense Firm in Nebraska?
White Collar Defense Attorneys at The Criminal Defense Firm in Nebraska
If you have been accused of a white collar offense in Nebraska or think that you might be under investigation for one, you need legal guidance. Call our team of white collar defense attorneys at The Criminal Defense Firm at (866) 603-4540 or contact them online for the legal representation that you need to guide you through this difficult time.