Economic Crimes in North Carolina
Not all crimes involve drugs, guns, or violence. Economic and property crimes are a form of theft that is typically non-violent. They are sometimes referred to as “financial” crimes or, more commonly, “white collar” crimes. Many of these crimes involve organized, sophisticated schemes intended to receive an improper financial benefit, and are often committed by people in positions of trust or authority. They are also aggressively prosecuted, and the charges can be incredibly complex.
If you have been charged with an economic crime, you should contact a lawyer right away. At Randall & Stump, PLLC, we have the knowledge and experience you need to get a fair result. Contact us by calling (980) 237-4579 or our online contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and how we can help.
Types of Economic Crimes
There are a wide variety of economic crimes that prosecutors can charge, and in some cases, you may be facing multiple charges. Some of the most common economic criminal charges that we handle include the following:
- Embezzlement – Embezzlement is a form of theft committed by someone in a position of trust. For example, an accounts receivable clerk who creates false invoices to steal money from their employer would be committing embezzlement. The amount of money or property embezzled will determine whether you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor.
- Fraud – Fraud can come in many different forms. Common types of fraud include credit card fraud, insurance fraud, mortgage fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud. Fraud schemes typically involve deceptive or misleading means to obtain some financial benefit. Fraud is typically charged as a felony.
- Forgery – Forgery is the falsification of a document or signature to wrongfully receive some financial gain. Forgery can include forging someone’s name on a check, creating a fake legal document such as a deed or a will, or creating a fake document that would persuade someone else to give you some financial benefit. Forgery in North Carolina is always charged as a felony.
- Extortion and blackmail – Extortion and blackmail are felonies that involve making a verbal or written threat to someone in order to coerce them to give you money or property.
- Money laundering – Money laundering can include almost any activity that is designed to hide the origin of money that was obtained through illegitimate means. Money laundering is a very serious crime under North Carolina law, and can also expose you to federal prosecution.
- Identity theft – Strictly speaking, identity theft is a form of fraud, but given its rise in recent years, it may be worth considering separately. Identity theft involves the misappropriation and use of any personal identifying information in order to achieve some financial benefit. Identity theft is a felony under North Carolina law. You should also be aware that trafficking in stolen identities (attempting to buy, sell, or transfer personal identifying information) is also a felony in North Carolina.
The Potential Penalties You Face
Most economic crimes are felonies, and therefore you will face at least one year in prison if convicted. You could face several years in prison for more serious economic crimes depending on the circumstances of your case. In addition to a lengthy prison sentence, you may be ordered to pay several thousand dollars in fines and repay any money that you misappropriated.
In addition, the consequences of your conviction could follow you for long after you have served your sentence and paid your fines. Because economic crimes often involve a violation of trust, you could have difficulty finding a job. If you have a professional license, it may be permanently suspended.
Defending You Against Economic Criminal Charges
If you’ve been charged with an economic crime, don’t lose hope. The prosecution must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that they must prove, for example, that you had the necessary criminal intent or that an actual crime was committed. Unlike robbery or other forms of theft, economic crimes are rarely overt – they can be subtle and very difficult to detect, meaning that legitimate activities can appear to be criminal. Many economic crimes are charged in cases where money has gone missing by no crime was actually committed. Here are some of the potential issues that can give rise to white collar criminal charges:
- Retaliatory accusations as a result of competitive business dealings
- Disorganized bookkeeping
- Unclear authority, policies, and procedures
- Simple mistake
- Coercion or duress
Contact a Charlotte Economic Crime Defense Lawyer
Don’t let the prosecution convince you that you’re guilty when you’re not or that you should just cooperate. You need someone on your side who will fight for your rights and make sure you get the best possible result. Let us help you protect your future – contact Randall & Stump, PLLC for a free consultation by calling (980) 237-4579 or our online contact formtoday.