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White collar crime: some considerations, likely government focus

Here’s an apparent dichotomy attaching to white collar criminal activity in Missouri and elsewhere: Although stories abound of individuals who have committed acts of corporate wrongdoing only unwittingly, zealous state or federal prosecution of such persons often results nonetheless in severe criminal penalties.

Coupled with that paradox -- a lengthy prison term, substantial fines and additional penalties in response to criminal activity that was unknowingly engaged in -- is the reality in most cases that white collar crime is invariably a nonviolent enterprise.

That is not to say of course that white collar defendants who face criminal charges are uniformly stalwart citizens; many persons who are tried and convicted are unquestionably guilty of the crimes they are accused of committing.

Our criminal justice system is fallible, though, and legions of stories concerning persons facing charges of business fraud who were aggressively prosecuted despite eventually being found innocent are likely sobering to a number of our readers. Such tales underscore the need for any person accused of a white collar crime to enlist diligent representation from a proven fraud defense attorney.

A recent national media article highlights the likely focus of government investigators on white collar crime across the country during 2014. Commentators point to what the Wall Street Journal calls “three familiar enforcement areas” that have been long-term targets of investigatory probes, noting that those areas will continue to receive a significant amount of attention from law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.

Insider trading investigations comprise one target area, building upon a number of convictions obtained in recent years. Accounting fraud is also cited, as is suspect hiring by American companies overseas that hints at bribery and other corrupt business practices.

Any Missouri resident with questions or concerns about a fraud-related matter can receive knowledgeable and confidential advice from a proven St. Louis white collar defense attorney.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "Law 2014: In white collar crime, it's deja vu all over again," Christopher M. Matthews, Dec. 31, 2013

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