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Common Federal Charges in Washington, DC

There are numerous white collar charges that a person may face. The severity of the charges will depend on the severity of the alleged crime. When a person finds themselves charged with a white collar crime, they should contact a DC federal criminal defense lawyer to schedule a consultation, so they can better understand what is involved in the case.

Common Federal Charges in DC

In the white collar context, the government often uses mail fraud and wire fraud to prosecute a garden variety of offenses. When a person is charged with health care fraud, for example, if they used the telephone, interstate banking system, or any type of interstate communication system, oftentimes they will see a mail fraud or wire fraud charge of bribery. If there is an allegation that a high government official agreed to provide a benefit to an individual in exchange for something of value, then that may be a circumstance under which the prosecutors may bring up bribery charges.

Often in white collar cases there is a money laundering count. Essentially, the government is trying to say that an individual, a corporation, or a corporate executive used illicit money that they got through their criminal behavior and tried to keep government officials from being able to trace it back to the illicit source. In those circumstances, one could expect to see a money laundering account.

Also, there is an increasing number of cases being brought by the Department of Justice under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The FCPA is one of the areas that will experience a tremendous amount of growth in the next ten years. There will be a number of cases brought under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The Players in DC Federal Criminal Cases

In the District of Columbia and many other states, it is not uncommon for a federal judge to have served as a state court judge for many years before becoming a federal judge. In terms of the investigative agencies, there are occasions when local police bring federal cases, but that tends to be the exception rather than the rule.

Generally speaking, these cases are investigated by the FBI, the DEA or some other federal agency. Sometimes the Secret Service investigates financial fraud and human trafficking cases. Not always, but many times, the work in the federal cases is completed ahead of time, so by the time the federal authorities want to make an arrest, the individual, corporation, corporate officer, or government official has already been indicted and that indictment is unsealed.

The Government’s Drive to Prosecute White Collar Crimes

White Collar cases involve tremendous fines that can be imposed on big businesses. The government has an incentive to catch big fish and as a result, as of late, it has become something that they are more and more interested in. There is an element of prestige in bringing down a company or exposing a company like Arthur Andersen or Credit Suisse. It tends to make the news and the headlines.

People find white collar cases exciting because they are about lying, cheating, and stealing, but the defendant is not your average defendant. It is usually someone who wears a suit and tie, drives a nice car, and has degrees and titles associated with their name. Because of the allure, these cases tend to make the news.

Federal criminal cases can be very overwhelming for defendants because the government has been putting all of its ducks in a row for months and the defense has to catch up very quickly. These are scenarios in which a person really needs to have someone who understands both sides of the system as an advocate on the person’s side.