While most people associate the term white collar crime with embezzlement or insider trading, few are aware that environmental schemes, in which fraud is used in such a way that the environment is jeopardized, also qualifies as a white collar offense. In most cases, these types of offenses involve allegations that a company used fraud to avoid paying for environmental measures aimed at protecting the environment. In fact, many business owners and organizations may not even be aware that they are committing a crime. Unfortunately, this may not halt an investigation or stop a person or company from being charged with fraud, so if you or your company are being investigated for violating an environmental regulation, it is critical to speak with an experienced white collar crime attorney who can help protect your interests.
Environmental protection is considered a matter of national security, which means that the federal government has the power to regulate activities that impact the environment. To this end, Congress and federal agencies have passed a series of laws and regulations related to monitoring carbon emissions and the disposal of pollutants and waste. Complying with these regulations often requires businesses to shell out a substantial amount of money. In an effort to avoid paying these additional costs, some businesses just pay fines to the government, while others look for more creative ways to save money. This can lead to charges of environmental violations, which often includes allegations of:
- Dumping hazardous waste into rivers, streams, or oceans rather than paying to have it sent to a chemical treatment plant;
- Excessive carbon emissions;
- Dumping of solid and plastic waste by the maritime industry;
- Using illegal pesticides on crops;
- Failing to clean up oil spills;
- Destroying the wetlands through construction, pollution, or dumping;
- Incinerating waste;
- Improperly disposing of asbestos;
- Destroying wildlife habitats;
- Illicitly trading in threatened species;
- Falsifying data and business documents to hide violations; and
- Trafficking in contaminated foods and pharmaceuticals.
Those who are convicted of violating an environmental regulation face hefty fines and jail time. Defendants may also be required to install expensive pollution control equipment or to pay restitution to:
- The government for the cost of clean-up;
- Anyone exposed to dangerous chemicals.
Because there is so much at stake for those who have been charged with violating an environmental regulation, it is especially important for those who are being investigated to speak with an experienced attorney who may be able to get their charges reduced or even dismissed.
Contact our Legal Team Today to Consult With an Experienced White Collar Crime Attorney
If you are a Florida business owner and are being investigated for an environmental regulation violation, please contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., Criminal Defense Attorneys by calling 305-670-9919 to schedule a free consultation with a skilled Miami white collar crime attorney. You can also reach us by completing and submitting one of our standard contact forms or by initiating a live chat with a dedicated member of our legal team.