Criminal Defense: Felonies: White Collar Crime
White collar crime is often associated with financial, economic or corporate crime, or crimes committed through the course of an individual’s business. White collar crimes can be charged as federal offenses, Ohio state offenses or both, and often lead to severe punishments, including jail or prison sentences and fines.
If you are charged with a white collar crime, contact the office of Attorney Jeffrey G. Edleman in Amherst, Ohio. We represent clients charged with all types of white collar crimes In Lorain County Common Pleas Court and in Common Pleas Courts in adjoining counties. We also handle preliminary hearings concerning such cases in all municipal courts within Lorain County (Lorain, Elyria, Vermilion, Avon Lake, Oberlin) and in some municipal courts outside Lorain County.
Some of the most common white collar offenses in Ohio include:
- Identity Fraud
- Tax Evasion
- Engaging in Corrupt Activity
- Insurance Fraud
- Medicaid Fraud
- Computer Offenses
Frequently, individuals who are prosecuted for white collar crimes may not be aware they were involved in an illegal operation, or they were not the person responsible for organizing the crime ring or enterprise. Regardless of the reason you were charged with a white collar criminal offense, it is important to hire an experienced attorney to help you develop your best defense to the allegations against you.Common Ohio White Collar Crime Offenses and Statutes
Forgery – Ohio Rev. Code § 2913.31:
A person commits this offense when they forge the writing of another person without their authority, forge any writing to make it appear genuine, forge an identification card, or sell a forged identification card for the purpose of defrauding another person or facilitating a fraud. This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree or a felony of the fifth, fourth, third or second degree, depending on the amount of loss and type of victim.
Identity Fraud – Ohio Rev. Code § 2913.49:
A person can be charged with this offense if they use, obtain or possess personally identifying information of another person, without their implied or express consent, with the intent to pretend to be the other person or represent the information as their own. This offense is punishable as a felony of the fifth, fourth, third, second or first degree, depending on the amount of loss and type of victim.
Extortion – Ohio Rev. Code § 2905.11:
An individual commits this offense when they menace, expose or threaten to expose anything that would damage a person’s personal or business reputation or credit, or threaten to commit any felony or offense of violence in order to obtain anything of value or to induce someone to commit an unlawful act. This offense is punishable as a felony of the third degree.
Engaging in Corrupt Activity – Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.32:
This offense occurs when a person is employed by, or associated with any enterprise and participates in or conducts the affairs of the enterprise through a pattern of corrupt activity. This offense is punishable as a felony of the second or first degree.
Federal White Collar Crime Charges
White collar crimes are also commonly prosecuted as federal crimes, which often lead to more serious penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines. A few of the most common federal white collar crime offenses include:
RICO, or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, is probably the most well-known white collar federal offense. According to Title 18 of the United States Code §§ 1961-1968, RICO was enacted to prosecute individuals or organizations who commit at least two criminal acts within a 10 year period that are associated with racketeering activity involving interstate commerce. Since this offense is a federal crime, a person charged with this offense will be prosecuted in Ohio’s federal courts.
According to 18 USC § 1341, Mail Fraud usually occurs when a person commits a fraud through the use of the United States Postal Service, or a private mail carrier, against someone else to obtain that person’s money or property.
Another common federal offense is Wire Fraud, which occurs when a person engages in fraudulent activity through the use of any wire, including telephones, internet or radio that crosses state lines.
A common federal white collar offense is Insider Trading, which occurs when an agent of a company discloses non-public information about the company for personal financial gain. This information usually includes stock or securities information.
Ponzi Schemes often occur when a person, often a money investment manager, takes money from investors for financial gain. Those who commit this offense are rarely caught because they take money from new investors to pay off old investors instead of investing the money as they claimed they were doing.
Ohio Penalties for White Collar Offenses
Penalties for white collar crimes under Ohio state law are generally more lenient than federal white collar crime punishments. A conviction for most white collar offenses in Ohio can result in either a misdemeanor or felony conviction, depending on the severity of the offense, the age of the victim, and the amount of the loss. Certain white collar offenses in Ohio require mandatory prison sentences, payment of court costs, criminal forfeiture of personal and real property, and payment of other additional costs.
Misdemeanors of the First Degree – Up to 180 days in jail and/or fins up to $1,000;
Felonies of the Fifth Degree – Prison sentence from six to 12 months and/or fines up to $2,500;
Felonies of the Fourth Degree – Prison time from six to 18 months and/or fines not more than $5,000;
Felonies of the Third Degree – Sentence ranging from one to five years in prison and/or fines not more than $10,000;
Felonies of the Second Degree –Two to eight years in prison and/or fines not exceeding $15,000; and
Felonies of the First Degree – Sentence ranging from three to 10 years in Ohio state prison and/or fines up to $20,000.
Jeffrey G. Edleman
Attorney At Law
260 S. Main St., Suite 108
Amherst, OH 44001
T: (440) 823-4077
F: (440) 984-3338