White collar crimes are typically those that involve non-violent offenses committed by people in the professional community and those holding high-level positions. They often have to do with fraud or theft crimes, in which a person uses their power to advantage. There has never been much sympathy for these types of crimes but a slew of new, public cases has people even more outraged. In these situations, it is important to have an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney on your side to avoid a criminal conviction along with the professional damage you are likely to face.
Recent White Collar Crimes Make Headlines
According to a June 2019 report by the Huffington Post, legal proceedings continue for those involved in a college admissions scandal which made headlines earlier in the spring of this year. The public was outraged when it was reported that rich and famous actresses, fashion designers, and people throughout the professional community were accused of bribing college officials and committing other acts of fraud to get their children into high ranking universities.
The perception was that these people already had numerous privileges. The idea that they used their money and power to flaunt admissions policies, potentially depriving more worthy and qualified students from gaining entry, resulted in a massive outpouring of scorn. In addition to the potential criminal penalties all of those involved now face, their careers are in tatters and they have exposed their family members to public disgrace.
This is just one of several very public scandals to make headline news recently. Another involves the wealthy Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma who make the prescription drug Oxycontin. According to National Public Radio, the family now faces numerous lawsuits and potential criminal charges for deceptive marketing practices. They are being publicly blamed for pushing the drug that has resulted in so many accidental overdose deaths.
White Collar Crimes Now Focus on Privilege
White collar crimes have been traditionally centered around illegal stock market activity, Ponzi schemes, embezzlement, and other deceptive practices. These often occur among professionals at the corporate level. A May 2019 Forbes report states that white collar crimes typically include the following elements:
- Pressure to obtain more money, property, or power;
- Rationalization of certain types of practices, such as skimming money or misrepresenting facts;
- Opportunity, in which lax federal regulations and an overall lack of oversight allow certain types of white collar crimes to occur.
While all of the recent cases include these elements, there is also a perceived factor of privilege among the alleged perpetrators. As a result, juries may be more inclined to ‘make an example’ of these people when handing out criminal penalties.
In terms of public trust and being able to return to their prior positions, this may prove more difficult, as well. In the past, being accused, convicted, and even serving a prison sentence for white collar crimes did not necessarily end your career. Think of Martha Stewart’s comeback after being released from jail for conspiracy, obstruction, and making false statements to federal investigators. For people charged and convicted in today’s contentious social climate, putting the past behind them may not be so easy.
Let Our Middlesex County Criminal Defense Attorney Assist You
Make no mistake: White collar crimes are a serious matter which can have lasting ramifications for both you and your family members. At the Law Office of Jordan B. Rickards, Esq. we provide the trusted guidance and aggressive legal representation you need in these situations. To discuss your case, call or contact our Milltown criminal defense attorney and request a consultation today.