Five Common Types Of White Collar Crimes
Most of Florida’s white collar crimes are listed in Chapter 817 of the Florida Annotated Statutes. There are various types of white collar crime. Some of the more common ones are examined below. Yet they all have a few things in common. For example, all white collar crimes are nonviolent financial crimes. However, in some cases, they edge toward violent crimes.
For this reason, most Hillsborough County prosecutors do not offer options like pretrial diversion right off the bat. That’s especially true if there were any aggravating factors or the defendant has any criminal record. So, a Tampa criminal defense lawyer must identify weaknesses in the state’s case and leverage these weaknesses during pretrial negotiations. That approach is the best way to successfully resolve these matters.
Insurance Policy Fraud
These infractions usually involve false statements on insurance forms. For example, a defendant might grossly underestimate, or grossly overestimate, the value of certain property.
Generally, the false statement must be intentional. In other words, the defendant must know the statement is false at the time it was made. So, in the property estimate case, the state must normally prove that a reasonable estimate was available and the defendant ignored it. Furthermore, the false statement must be material. In the case of sworn testimony, any false statement could mean criminal charges. But not in this situation.
Bribing a Public Official
There’s a fine line between making campaign contributions and bribing public officials. Most people expect favorable treatment when they make large donations. The official might even strongly imply that that’s the case. Usually, bribery must involve a clear quid pro quo. Even a nod-nod, wink-wink is usually insufficient.
Basically, extortion is theft by threat. The threat itself could be pretty much anything. However, the defendant must intend to threaten the alleged victim, and the threat must be a credible one. Fear alone is insufficient. Instead, the defendant must have the proven ability to make good on the threat.
Insurance Claims Fraud
This white collar crime might be the most common one in Florida. Usually, this offense involves filing a false claim or submitting a false claim. Filing a false claim could mean staging an accident or using a hammer to make the hail damage on a roof look worse than it is. Submitting a false claim might be claiming a $4,000 repair will cost $5,000. Sometimes, innocent people are wrongly targeted in insurance claim fraud dragnets.
Theft by Deception
Usually, theft by deception involves a false statement and taking property without the owner’s consent.
We examined some elements of a false statement above. Regarding theft by deception, the false statement must be a current one. For example, assume Sam knows he will stay in a subtle apartment for two months. But he only pays for one month. In this case, Sam lied to stay an extra month. However, if Sam’s job unexpectedly lasts another month and he overstays his lease, he’s probably not guilty of theft by deception. The same thing might apply if Sam thought, but did not know, that he would be staying an extra month.
Work with a Dedicated Hillsborough County Attorney
White collar criminal cases come in many forms. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, contact the OA Law Firm. We routinely handle matters in Hillsborough County and nearby jurisdictions.