What is Corporate Fraud?
Corporate fraud is one of the most aggressively investigated and prosecuted white collar crimes. This is largely due to concerns over the effect of such activity on the overall well-being of the national economy. Unfortunately, this also means that in their zeal to identify and prosecute offenders, the government can and does mistakenly charge innocent parties with corporate fraud. This can have devastating consequences for a person’s reputation even if he or she is later exonerated, so if you are being investigated for your alleged involvement in a corporate fraud scheme, you should speak with an experienced white collar crime attorney who may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed.
Defining Corporate Fraud
The goal of corporate fraud schemes is to mislead investors, stakeholders, and auditors about the financial status of a company and are usually achieved through the manipulation of company data or the falsification of financial records. Because it is so broadly defined, a wide range of conduct falls under the category of corporate fraud, including:
- Payment fraud, which involves falsely diverting or creating payments and often takes the form of the creation of false financial records or bank accounts, making fraudulent payments, and altering payee details in order to submit false claims for payment;
- Ponzi or pyramid schemes, which require the use of a business model in which investments from third parties are used to pay earlier investors, which in turn makes it appear as though the investments of initial participants increased in value over a short period of time;
- Long and short-term fraud, which occurs when a business that appears legitimate defrauds customers and suppliers; and
- Insolvency fraud, which occurs when a business makes fraudulent trades prior to the company’s insolvency.
While these are some of the most common large-scale examples of corporate fraud, it is not uncommon for defendants to be charged with this offense for much less serious behavior, such as the destruction of corporate records. Fortunately, before a person can be convicted of this crime in court, prosecutors must prove not only that he or she actually committed the alleged act, but that he or she also intended to deceive the company or its investors.
Call Today to Speak with an Experienced White Collar Crime Attorney
White collar crimes, and corporate fraud cases in particular, are investigated by a number of different federal agencies, including the FBI, so those who come under scrutiny for their potential involvement in a corporate fraud scheme may need to deal with accusations from a variety of agencies. In these situations, it is especially crucial for the accused to retain an attorney who can help defend their rights and if necessary, begin formulating a defense.
For help with your own pending corporate fraud charges, please contact a member of the dedicated white collar crime legal team at Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. Criminal Defense Attorneys in Miami by calling 305-670-9919. And remember, initial consultations are conducted free of charge, so don’t hesitate to call or contact us online to set up an appointment today.