A white collar crime is one that doesn't necessarily have a violent or physical nature. However, a white collar crime can still result in serious federal penalties. Did you know that penalties for federal crimes generally start with at least a year in prison upon conviction? For cases of fraud, insider trading and embezzlement, you could face decades behind bars.
Knowing the penalties is what the government hopes will prevent people from violating the laws. For instance, insider trading convictions have minimum sentences of between 15 and 21 months that go up to 20 years. Fines can range from $5 million upward, a significant pill to swallow if you did not financially benefit from the alleged crime.
Other crimes, like embezzlement and insurance fraud, have heavy sentences, too. Insurance fraud has two categories, soft and hard. For a soft crime, like exaggerating your car insurance claim, you could face a year in jail. For hard crimes, like fabricating losses, you could face up to 20 years in prison. This distinction is vital in insurance fraud cases.
Federal embezzlement is another issue some people have to face. Stealing from the government in any way could lead to serious fines and anywhere from a year in jail to 10 years in prison.
Why are penalties so harsh for these nonviolent crimes?
Although these crimes are nonviolent, there is a risk that they could negatively impact many people. Stealing and manipulating others is looked down on, and the government takes any violation of the law that leads to the loss of government money extremely seriously. With any white collar crime charge, a strong defense is your best chance at reduced penalties.