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Common white collar crimes and associated penalties - II

Last week's blog post discussed the penalties associated with insurance fraud. Insurance fraud is a white collar crime that attracts penalties both at federal and state levels. In addition to insurance fraud, some other common white collar crimes are insider trading, tax evasion, money laundering and embezzlement. This post will discuss the penalties associated with insider trading, tax evasion and money laundering.

Insider trading is a securities fraud in which participants enter an organized scheme centered on the idea of trading confidential business information. Insider trading is considered a federal offense and can attract a prison sentence that can range from 15-21 months and up to 20 years. In addition, the court may slap a fine of up to $5 million for an individual offender and up to $25 million for an organizational offender.

The next common white collar crime is tax evasion. Evading tax that has been assessed for an individual or organization is considered a felony. Penalties for this offense include imprisonment of up to five years; or fines of up to $250,000 for individuals and up to $500,000 for corporations; or both of these. In addition, the court may also order the party convicted of this white collar crime to bear the costs of prosecution.

Money laundering involves "cleaning" of illegally obtained money through transactions that are seemingly legal. Misdemeanor money laundering offenses attract a fine of up to a few thousand dollars. However, for a federal money laundering conviction, fines can go up to $500,000 or double the amount of money laundered, whichever is higher. The person convicted can also expect a prison sentence of at least one year and, if the offense is more serious, the prison sentence can go up to 35 years.

Being accused of a white collar crime is a matter of great concern. Therefore, to make sure that one's rights are not violated while the law takes its course, it may be a wise decision to engage the services of a criminal defense attorney. The right legal intervention can go a long way, both in terms of protecting one's rights and also for reaching a solution that does not have a devastating impact on the life of the accused.

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