A generation ago, to most prosecutors, embezzlement, bribery, and other white-collar crimes were enhanced theft crimes and crimes of opportunity. Most nonlawyers shared that viewpoint. Large financial crimes, like Enron and Bernie Madoff, changed the environment. Now, white-collar criminal sentences are twice as long as they were in 1996.[1] Furthermore, many nonlawyers believe that white-collar criminals are “bad eggs” who are likely to commit more crimes, even violent crimes, in the future.[2}

In other words, today’s white-collar criminal defendants often pay much stiffer penalties and lose the professional or personal reputation they spent years building.

So, in a white-collar criminal case, a Rochester white-collar crime defense lawyer often fights battles on two fronts: outside and inside the courtroom. Regardless of the battlefield, the will to win and the tools to win are always the keys to victory. A compassionate attorney understands the true consequences of a white-collar crime conviction and fights to reduce or eliminate those consequences. To make that vision a reality, attorneys must have strong advocacy and negotiation skills.

Broadcasting Your Side of the Story

Major fraud and other such cases usually receive considerable media attention. 24/7/365 news channels have lots of airspace to fill. Therefore, in many cases, they basically reprint social media posts. There’s no shortage of such posts from alleged “victims.”

Online reputation management lessens the impact of negative stories. If you have weeds in your yard and you work to fertilize and water the grass, the grass chokes out the weeds. So, these companies usually post as much positive content as possible.

Most online reputation management companies promise game-changing results, but they may or may not have the will and/or the tools to make good on these promises. A Rochester white-collar crime defense lawyer, who is plugged into the professional community, makes the right partnerships with the right companies.

Online reputation management not only addresses the collateral consequences of a white-collar crime charge. These efforts also address the direct consequences. Jurors do not have to wear blinders. They’re allowed to form their own opinions. They must simply be willing to reassess those attitudes based on the evidence presented in court.

Building a Strong Defense Strategy With a White-Collar Crime Lawyer

Large financial fraud investigations usually involve multiple agencies and have many moving parts. The more steps law enforcement officers must take, the more likely they are to make a procedural mistake, like seizing financial records without a valid warrant. Additionally, investigators in these situations often take shortcuts so they can make a major arrest and justify all the resources the government poured into the investigation.

Substantive defenses might be part of a defense strategy as well. Frequently, the mens rea (criminal state of mind) is a major issue in white-collar criminal cases.

Medical coding fraud is a good example. There’s a difference between submitting a false report with criminal intent and submitting a false report without thoroughly checking it. Furthermore, the coders who translate medical procedures into codes and submit reports to insurance companies usually rely on doctor-provided information. If that information is false, the reports are false as well.

If a substantive or procedural defense might apply, a Rochester white-collar crime defense lawyer conducts plea negotiations from a position of strength.

Delaying the Case

Usually, the faster we deal with a problem, the better the outcome. But criminal defense is different. Delay hurts the party with the burden of proof, which is the state. Long delays weaken the state’s case. For example, after several months, witnesses often forget important facts, lose interest in the case, and/or move out of state.

Delay also supports online reputation management. Because of the aforementioned 24/7/365 news cycle, media outlets quickly move on to the next big story. That said, a major event in the summer of 2023 is usually an obscure footnote a year later.

Embezzlement and other such cases have direct and collateral consequences. For a free consultation with an experienced Rochester white-collar crime attorney, contact the Law Office of Frank Ciardi. Convenient payment plans are available.



[1] https://hbr.org/2016/11/understanding-white-collar-crime 

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4235672/

The information in this blog is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.

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