Aggravated White Collar Crimes
While many people are familiar with the term “white collar crime,” few are aware that in Florida, certain individuals can be charged with committing aggravated white collar crimes. Aside from a prison sentence, a conviction for aggravated white collar crimes may require a defendant to pay fines of up to $500,000, so if you are being investigated for a fraud-related crime, it is vital to speak with an experienced white collar crime attorney who can help protect your interests.
Elements of the Offense
A person can be charged with an aggravated white collar crime if there is evidence that he or she engaged in at least two white collar crimes that have similar results, victims, accomplices, or other distinguishing characteristics. However, a person is automatically assumed to have committed an aggravated crime when he or she victimizes:
- Ten or more elderly individuals;
- Twenty or more persons; or
- The state of Florida or any state agency and attempts to obtain $50,000 or more.
For purposes of the statute, an elderly person is defined as an individual who is at least 60 years old and who suffers from age-related infirmities to the extent that his or her ability to provide for himself or herself is impaired.
Possible Penalties and Defenses
Committing an aggravated white collar crime can be charged as a first degree felony, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. However, in addition to these penalties, a defendant convicted of an aggravated crime may also be required to pay a $500,000 fine or double the value of his or her monetary gain, whichever amount is greater. Finally, a person convicted of this type of crime will also be liable for court costs and will be required to reimburse each victim. This includes victims who were not named in the indictment, but were directly or proximately harmed as a result of the defendant’s actions. Furthermore, paying restitution will be made a condition of probation.
Because the penalties are so severe for an aggravated white collar crime conviction, it is especially important to present a strong defense, which could include any of the following arguments:
- The number of alleged victims was less than 20;
- The alleged victims do not satisfy the statutory definition of elderly;
- The accused did not have the requisite intent to sustain a conviction;
- A failure of proof;
- The accused committed the crime under duress; and
- The crime was the result of entrapment instigated by law enforcement officers.
Formulating a solid defense can make all the difference in the outcome of a case, so it is important for those who have been charged with committing a white collar crime to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a Dedicated South Florida White Collar Crime Lawyer
Being charged with committing an aggravated white collar crime is a serious matter and could lead to a lengthy prison sentence, so if you are under investigation for a fraud-related crime, please contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. Criminal Defense Attorneys by calling 305-670-9919 and we will help you set up a free consultation with an experienced white collar crime attorney.