White-Collar Lawyers DC

When facing white-collar criminal charges, you need the best white-collar lawyers DC has to offer. Scrofano Law, PC is prepared to defend your future.

White-Collar Lawyers in DC

Also known as corporate crime, white-collar crime refers to a nonviolent, financially motivated crime committed by businesses and government agencies. First defined by sociologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939, white-collar crime is committed by a person of respectability and high social status.

Typically, these crimes can be financial fraud, theft, Ponzi schemes, bribery, racketeering, securities fraud, health care fraud, insider trading, copyright infringement, congressional investigations, cybercrime, identity theft, money laundering, embezzlement, and forgery.

Modern criminology generally classifies the type of crime by the type of offense, i.e., economic crime, property crime, federal crime, or corporate crimes like environmental, health care, and safety law violations. Some crime is only possible because of the identity of the offender.

For example, money laundering requires the participation of senior banking officers. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) adopted the narrow approach, defining white-collar crimes as illegal acts that are characterized by deceit, violation of trust, and concealment, and are not dependent on the threat of physical force or violence.

Though the true extent of white-collar crimes is unknown, the FBI and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimate it to be between $300 and $660 billion annually. This type of crime can also be classified by the type of offender, their social class or high socioeconomic status, their occupation, or academic qualifications.

It is believed that the primary way one crime differs from another is in the background and characteristics of its perpetrators. Further, crime can be classified by the organizational culture rather than the offender. These characteristics make it especially difficult to defend a white-collar crime case in DC on your own.

If you are facing white-collar criminal charges in Washington, DC, or the surrounding area, contact white-collar lawyers in DC from Scrofano Law, PC, for expert advice and advocacy.

White Collar Criminal Attorney

You may believe that white-collar crimes like fraud do not matter because “everyone does it,” but the truth is that if you are found committing these crimes, you could face criminal charges. Many fraud cases are suits filed under the False Claims Act (FCA). It is a federal statute enacted in 1863. The FCA imposes harsh penalties on any person or company who knowingly submits false claims to the government.

Furthermore, if you have committed embezzlement through a federal agency, you could face serious federal embezzlement charges. Crimes such as embezzlement, tax evasion, or IRS (Internal Revenue Service) tax fraud are often prosecuted in federal court, especially if the US government is the “victim.”

In addition to the IRS, many law enforcement agencies conduct investigations of potential white-collar crimes. Those agencies also include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Labor (DOL), the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

In other words, if you are facing charges for white-collar crimes, you may need an attorney who is skilled at federal criminal defense. However, our lawyers have extensive experience defending clients accused in white-collar criminal cases. They can help you understand the federal court proceedings and protect your rights.

To avoid charges related to white-collar criminal cases, the best course of action is not to commit them. Unfortunately, the justice system has its flaws. If you face charges for these crimes, the best thing you can do is to seek out a reputable Washington, DC criminal defense attorney who has lots of experience in the practice areas of white-collar crimes. Building a strategic criminal defense with a DC criminal lawyer may protect you against a possible conviction.


White-Collar Law Firm

White-collar law is a specific area of practice that involves research, drafting, factual development, argument, and client contact. Most of this type of crime is investigated and prosecuted by federal prosecutors and agencies, so our white-collar criminal defense lawyers are prepared to go to court against the government and aid our clients through government investigations, compliance issues, and trials.

Conducting investigations makes up a substantial piece of the work performed by our white-collar lawyers. In-house and internal investigations may involve the drafting and implementation of investigation policies and the management of regulatory expectations by the government. Our legal experts also respond to whistleblower complaints. As white-collar criminal defense lawyers, most of our work involves ensuring the corporate policies and protocols are in alignment with the regulations and policies of the government.

Corporate White Collar Crime vs Other Crimes

You may be wondering what the legal difference between white-collar crimes and other similar crimes is. You may also be wondering how white-collar criminal investigations differ in the legal realm from blue-collar crimes. Quite simply, the type of crime committed depends on what is available to the potential offender. Those employed in lower-skill environments typically have fewer opportunities to exploit others than those who work where large financial transactions occur. Blue-collar crime attracts more active police attention like shoplifting or vandalism.

In contrast, white-collar employees can incorporate legitimate and criminal behavior, making it less obvious when they commit a crime. While a blue-collar crime will likely use physical force, a white-collar crime involves more confidentiality to protect shareholders. It is estimated that most white-collar crime in Washington, DC goes undetected or unreported.

You may also wonder how white-collar crime differs from corporate crime. For one, corporate crimes deal with the company as a whole. Often, the crime benefits investors or high-up individuals. White-collar crime and corporate crime are similar because they take place in the business world. While white-collar crimes benefit the individual, corporate crime benefits the corporation, typically the high-ranking individuals.

Example of a White-Collar Crime

One well-known case of white-collar crime is ImClone, the insider trading case that took place in the United States. In December 2001, top-level executives sold their shares in ImClone Systems, a company manufacturing an anti-cancer drug. The SEC, or Securities and Exchange Commission, investigated several top-level executives and Martha Stewart. A settlement was reached in 2005.


Difference of White Collar Crime & Transactional Crime

White-collar crime differs from organized transnational crime in that transnational crime takes place across national jurisdictions. With advances in transportation and information technology, law enforcement has had to respond to crime on a global scale. Examples of this are money laundering, drug smuggling, human trafficking, illegal arms dealing, cybercrimes, and terrorism. It is difficult to gauge transnational crime, but it is believed in 2009 alone that:

  • Illicit trading reached nearly $780 billion.
  • Counterfeiting and piracy topped $1 trillion.
  • The global drug trade was around $321 billion.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has been the most potent weapon used by the US government to fight fraud and bribery committed by public officials, companies, and their officers and directors.

Corporate white-collar crime also differs from occupational crime. Individuals may commit a crime during employment, from stealing a pencil to stealing furnishings or a car. Namely, theft and fraud are the two most common forms of crimes. Insider trading is also a type of white-collar fraud.

White-collar defendants have a tough time proving their innocence at trial – if they even go to trial – despite having the help of a white-collar federal criminal attorney or a Washington, DC white-collar law firm. Most federal cases – at least 97% – are settled with plea agreements. If the case does go to trial, 90% result in convictions. According to the FBI, white-collar crime costs the United States an estimated $300 billion per year.


The Severity of White-Collar Crime for Companies

Although individuals are typically charged, companies can be sanctioned. The penalties for white-collar crime include fines, home detention (house arrest), community confinement, restitution, paying for the prosecution, forfeitures, supervised release, and imprisonment. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines suggest a longer prison sentence when a victim experiences substantial financial harm. If the defendant takes responsibility for the crime and assists with the investigation, the sanctions may be lessened.

Consult With Experienced Criminal DC Attorneys


If you are facing white-collar charges, hire a DC attorney who is experienced in handling all stages of the criminal investigation, from search warrants and grand jury investigations through the filing of an indictment to the appeal.

When you consult our white-collar defense lawyers, we will explore your legal options, inform you of the rights reserved to you, and construct a comprehensive criminal defense strategy to help you get your life back on track. Contact the Washington, DC lawyers of Scrofano Law, PC today to schedule a consultation.


We Fight for Your Rights!