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CT defense lawyerMost people think that white collar crime is the province of Wall Street and the wealthy; in reality, white collar crime is the name used for a wide variety of crimes that do not involve violence, but do involve cheating or lying. It is a serious charge to lay at someone’s door, and if you have been accused of such conduct, it is imperative to have an experienced attorney on your side who understands this type of law.

An Ever-Changing Term

Because historically, the ‘white collar’ has been used to denote a richer and ostensibly less violent class of people, but also the hallmark of professionals such as lawyers and accountants, the term ‘white collar crime’ has been used to describe any crime involving dishonesty or fraud. Examples to be found in the Connecticut General Statutes include (but are not limited to) fraud (more specifically mail fraud, credit card fraud, insurance fraud, and the like), embezzlement, money laundering, bribery, identity theft, forgery, tax evasion, creating or passing counterfeit bills, and many more.

In recent years, the term has evolved yet again to include more ‘new’ crimes, such as those requiring technology to commit. Cyber crimes fall under the realm of white collar crime, even though they can at times be violent - for example, stalking can turn violent if the behavior is not stopped or the alleged perpetrator is not arrested. It is important to keep this umbrella term in mind, even if it is inexact, because sometimes judges, in particular, may try to make ‘examples’ out of ‘white collar criminals.’

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Posted on in White Collar Crimes

CT defense lawyerYou have probably heard the term “white collar crime,” but you might not know what that term actually means. A white collar crime is generally a nonviolent, financially motivated offense by a business or government professional. The classic example is an employee stealing money from his employer.

In Connecticut, white collar crimes carry stiff penalties. Contact a criminal defense attorney immediately if you have been charged with committing any type of white-collar offense.

Types of White Collar Crimes

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b2ap3_thumbnail_financial-fraud-affinity-scam-white-collar-crime.jpgThere are many types of money fraud that affect a wide variety of professions, places of work, and institutions. After the financial downturn of 2008 and front-page scandals involving prominent bankers engaged in fraudulent activity—particularly Bernie Madoff, who orchestrated a $65 billion Ponzi scheme that has since been categorized as the largest Ponzi scheme in American history—one may think that the rate of financial fraud would be decreasing. On the contrary, incidents of financial fraud continue to plague the U.S. business system, in some areas at an even higher rate than before the financial downturn and epic scams like Madoff. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission reports that there was a 62 percent increase in financial fraud claims between 2011 and 2012, with just over 1.5 million people filing such claims. Not all of these are so-called “affinity” scams, such as Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Some are much more personal, involving incidents such as one in which a person willingly hands over a personal check to a fraudulent cause.

Understanding Affinity Fraud

An affinity fraud is an investment scam that targets members of one specific subset of the population. Quite often, victims of such fraud are those involved in a religious group, for example, or an elderly community. In the most severe instances of affinity fraud, the perpetrator may actually pretend to be a part of this group. These types of scams can be particularly devastating because they erode trust and human relationships as well as bank accounts. Punishment for this type of fraud can be equally as devastating. In instances in which a person impersonated another, or alleged to have qualifications he or she in fact did not, may carry additional charges of fraud unrelated to money.

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Connecticut criminal attorney, phone fraud, telemarketing, white collar crime, Stamford white collar crime lawyer, fraud defense attorney, telemarketing fraudThis past February, a number of Connecticut residents reported being victimized by a new form of phone fraud. Residents received a call and were informed that a family member had been involved in an accident. They were then asked to fork over money or risk their family member being held hostage. Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy alerted the FBI about capturing data from these alleged phone calls in an effort to reduce fraudulent activity.

If caught, individuals involved in this type of activity could be accused of phone and telemarketing fraud, which is any scheme where a criminal communicates with a victim over the telephone. More often than not, fraudulent phone calls target the poor, immigrants, and elderly individuals. Also not all phone fraud involves demands for ransom.

However, fraudulent calls can be tied to telemarketing activity. Unfortunately it is often difficult to determine the difference between telemarketing fraud and legitimate telemarketing activities, thus making it hard to charge the individuals involved. Victims often find it  difficult to distinguish between a reputable telemarketer and a scam artist. However, if caught, violators of the law could be prosecuted under the U.S. Code for Telemarketing Fraud.

If you have been accused of participating in telemarketing or phone fraud, take your case seri ously. A criminal record could influence your future for years to come. It is in your best interest to retain legal counsel that is knowledgeable in criminal defense and phone fraud, so that your rights are represented. An increasing focus on fraudulent activity often gives law enforcement and elected officials the motivation to zealously pursue charges of phone and telemarketing fraud. Retaining an attorney will ensure that your rights are protected from start to finish and that all possible evidence and facts are explored in your case. Do not make the mistake of failing to take your case seriously. Contact a Connecticut a fraud defense attorney today.