Irvine White-Collar Crimes Attorney
Experienced and Aggressive Representation
White-collar crimes are violations of laws involving theft in one form or another. The penalties for a white-collar crime conviction are serious, so it is advisable to enlist an experienced attorney on your side. Attorney Diane C. Bass has years of professional experience and has handled some of the largest cases in the history of the Central District of California. She will do her best to fight aggressively for your side in court and protect you against harsh and unfair accusations.
Securities and Investment Fraud
Crimes of securities fraud refer to deceptive or fraudulent activities involving stock or commodities markets. Note that the term “securities” broadly encompasses types of investments like municipal bonds, corporate stocks, bank notes, and investment contracts, among others. Securities fraud usually occurs when someone involved with one of these investments (e.g., professional financial analyst, securities broker, corporation) lies, cheats, or steals in an attempt to gain a financial advantage. Securities fraud is typically perpetrated through schemes inducing others to invest money or something else of value willingly. Note that a person can commit securities fraud even if they never actually profit from the activity; if they engage in fraudulent activity with the intent to profit, that is enough to be accused of the crime.
A conviction for securities fraud can lead to significant civil or criminal penalties. A convicted individual could face fines as high as $5 million, while other circumstances could warrant $10,000 or more. A conviction can also result in a 5-year federal prison sentence for every offense. Probation may also be an option, depending on the severity of the offense. For more information on investment-related white-collar crimes, visit the securities fraud page.
Wire Fraud Crimes
Wire fraud is a federal crime that occurs when someone voluntarily and intentionally uses an interstate communications device (e.g., a telephone, fax machine, e-mail) to send, receive, or otherwise transmit messages across state lines for the purpose of defrauding another of anything of value. These crimes are growing increasingly prevalent, as more and more business transactions are utilizing the Internet. Note that an individual cannot accidentally commit wire fraud; federal prosecutors must show that a defendant acted with the intent to fraudulently deprive someone of money, property, or something of value.
Be aware that a conviction for wire fraud does not require that the alleged victim actually lose money; attempting to obtain the money is enough to be convicted. Additionally, every act of wire fraud constitutes a separate offense, so if someone engaged in a scheme to defraud made 10 phone calls as part of that scheme, they could be charged with 10 separate acts of wire fraud.
The penalties for wire fraud could be fines of up to 20 years in prison, and if the scheme affects a financial institution or is connected to a presidentially declared disaster or emergency, the potential penalties could go up to $1,000,000 in fines and up to 30 years in prison. An individual accused of wire fraud could pursue a few different defense arguments, such as claiming good faith or “puffery.” Visit the wire fraud page to learn more about specific incidents of wire fraud and potential defense options.
Tax Fraud Laws
Tax fraud offenses can be civil or criminal cases. Civil cases may involve an allegation that the taxpayer made a mistake, calculation error, or acted negligently in the preparation and filing of their taxes, while criminal cases could accuse the taxpayer of taking intentional actions to avoid having to pay the taxes owed.
Some common forms of tax fraud are:
- filing a false return;
- evading taxes;
- filing false documents;
- not collecting employment taxes;
- failing to pay taxes;
- failing to file tax returns.
Note that tax fraud involves wrongdoing that was intentional, so an accident while filing does not constitute tax fraud.
Individuals committing criminal tax fraud could face serious fines determined by the state. Generally, a conviction for a single count of tax evasion can result in a prison term of up to 5 years, and fines upon conviction could go up to $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations. Other tax fraud crimes have maximum penalties of $100,000 for individuals and $250,000 for corporations. In many cases, tax fraud cases can also order restitution to repay the amount of taxes to the state or federal government.
Seek an Experienced Lawyer to Defend You
If you are facing a white-collar crime charge, seek an experienced attorney immediately for legal support. White-collar crimes are serious offenses at both the state and federal level, so it is imperative to work with a lawyer to work on your defense against harsh jail time and fines, among other penalties. Attorney Diane C. Bass is a skilled professional who will do her best to strategize a powerful defense against your charges and fight aggressively for you in court.
Over 25 Years of Criminal Defense Legal Experience
Top-Rated & Award-Winning Legal Representation
Extensive Knowledge & Experience With Federal Cases
An Outstanding Reputation Amongst Clients & Peers
Handled Some of the Largest Cases in the History of the Central District of California
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