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White collar crimes are a grouping of offenses that encompass nonviolent crimes, often involving financial transactions, frequently committed by people in a position of trust or with a fiduciary responsibility to the victim. The white collar designation evolved from the fact that perpetrators usually wore shirts with white collars. These offenses are pursued aggressively by both state and federal prosecutors and many white collar crimes are charged as felonies with lengthy prison sentences attached. If you have been arrested and charged with a white collar crime, or if you have learned that you are being investigated for such an offense, retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney is imperative. White collar crimes often are committed by individuals who have had no experience being on the wrong side of the criminal justice system, which may impact the speed with which they seek experienced help.
White Collar Crimes under Illinois Law
White collar crime investigations are long, complex, and far-reaching. Frequently, an investigation will commence with one person as the target and the fact-gathering will change the focus in another direction entirely. There usually are grand jury inquiries and it is important not to participate in any interview or provide any testimony without consulting an attorney to ensure that a person does not transform from witness to defendant.
The Illinois State Statute for White Collar Crime (720 ILCS 5/33 et seq.) sets forth the crimes that are included as white collar crimes as well as the elements of the offenses. White collar crimes are those where deceit or concealment is used to obtain money, property, services, or some other benefit or advantage.
Oftentimes, those white collar crimes involving allegations of fraud involve breaches of fiduciary duty and insider trading. Federal prosecutors handle many white collar fraud cases; therefore, a defense attorney must be knowledgeable about the nuances of both the State and federal court system and recognize the focus and resources that will be brought to bear against the defendant.
White collar crimes carry with them a significant stigma. Conviction of this type of crime will be used by potential employers to deny employment. There is particular prejudice in social circles resulting from being accused and sentenced in a crime involving dishonesty and concealment. Taking an aggressive stance in defending against these charges is crucial for the accused’s future.
For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact Ettinger & Besbekos, today at (847) 278-8657 to speak with an experienced divorce, family or child custody lawyer on this topic.