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Felony Charges and White-Collar Crime: Fraud, Embezzlement, and Insider Trading

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Which Crimes Are “White-Collar” Crimes?

In Toronto or anywhere else in Ontario, if the authorities suspect you of committing a white-collar crime, if you think that you are under investigation for such a crime, or if you are charged with a white-collar crime, retain the services of a Toronto criminal defence lawyer at once.

White-collar crimes are non-violent, financial criminal offences that include fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, insider trading, embezzlement, and forgery. White-collar crimes also include price-fixing and paying bribes and kickbacks. The most egregious of these crimes entail lengthy prison sentences for defendants who receive convictions.

If you are charged with a white-collar crime in or near the Toronto area, you must act as quickly as possible. You’ll need to contact an Ontario criminal defence lawyer who has abundant experience representing clients charged with financial crimes.

What is the Standing Up for Victims of White-Collar Crime Act?

The phrase “white-collar crime” typically refers to financial crimes usually perpetrated by someone who is working in a corporation or a financial institution and thus has the means to commit the offence. The law that directly addresses white-collar crime in Canada is the Standing Up for Victims of White-Collar Crime Act, which took effect in 2011. This law:

  1.  bars convicted offenders from having authority over the money or real property of others
  2.  allows the sentencing court to consider community impact statements from victims
  3.  requires, where possible, restitution to be paid to victims

Additionally, the Standing Up for Victims of White-Collar Crime Act does not allow the sentencing court to consider an offender’s social status, reputation, or professional background when it determines the penalties for a conviction.

What Should You Know About White-Collar Crimes?

White-collar crimes are a serious concern in Canada. Among other disturbing statistics, Criminal Intelligence Service Canada estimated in 2021 that between $45 billion and $113 billion is laundered through this nation each year.

White-collar criminals are usually quite careful about concealing their activities. They may steal only a small amount of the property or money that is available to them to reduce the chances of detection.

However, unless a victim’s bookkeeping and accounting are meticulous, a criminal may continue to commit forgery, embezzlement, or fraud and may remain undetected for years.

What Penalties May Be Imposed for White-Collar Criminal Convictions?

Although white-collar crimes are not violent, these crimes may victimize thousands of people. Depending on the details of the crime, a white-collar offence may be charged as a summary offence (roughly comparable to a misdemeanor in the U.S.) or as an indictable offence.

When the money or property value in a white-collar crime exceeds $5000, the crime is an indictable offence (comparable to a felony in the U.S.), and the convicted offender cannot serve his or her full sentence in the community but must serve at least a minimum prison sentence.

The maximum sentence for a fraud conviction in most cases is fourteen years in prison. If the fraud exceeds $1 million, a conviction requires the offender to serve a minimum of two years in prison. However, aggravating factors (such as multiple victims or the destruction of evidence) may result in an even lengthier sentence.

How Can a Defence Lawyer Help You?

White-collar crimes are often quite complicated and may take months to investigate thoroughly. Because the suspects typically pose no threat of violence to the general public, the police may take their time to gather the evidence and build a convincing case against a suspect.

Presumably as a result of the pandemic, white-collar crimes have been on the rise here in Ontario for several years. As they work to fight these crimes, prosecutors and police officers sometimes make mistakes and may accuse a person who is innocent.

If you learn that you have become the target of a police investigation related to a white-collar crime, contact a criminal defence lawyer at once. The right criminal lawyer’s early intervention can help you “get in front of” the investigation and perhaps save you months of anxiety and apprehension.

A Toronto criminal defence lawyer may even stop charges from being filed. If that’s not possible, and you’re charged with a crime, your lawyer may negotiate with the Crown prosecutor for a plea bargain agreement that’s reasonable and acceptable to all of the parties involved.

How Will Your Criminal Lawyer Defend You?

When an Ontario criminal defence lawyer goes to work on a white-collar case, the first step is examining the Crown prosecutor’s evidence. There may be flaws in the case and other ways to explain the evidence. A defendant may have been entrapped, coerced, or in some cases, framed. Your lawyer will also:

  1.  develop an aggressive and effective defence strategy on your behalf
  2.  ensure that the Crown prosecutor meets the disclosure obligations
  3.  identify errors in the criminal process such as violations of your rights
  4.  negotiate on your behalf, protect your rights, and offer the legal advice you need

To obtain a conviction for a white-collar crime, the Crown prosecutor must prove that a defendant had criminal intent. For example, if someone made an accounting or bookkeeping mistake that was genuinely a mistake and entirely unintentional, the defendant’s lack of criminal intent should prompt an acquittal by the jury or a dismissal of the case by the court.

Let William Jaksa Criminal Litigation Defend and Represent You

In or near the Toronto area, if you are charged with a white-collar crime – currently or in the future – criminal defence lawyer William Jaksa will fight for the justice you need and bring the matter to its best possible outcome.

With almost twenty years of criminal defence experience, William Jaksa and the legal team at William Jaksa Criminal Litigation have built a reputation for excellence in the Toronto legal community. If you are charged with fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, identity theft, or any other white-collar crime in the Toronto area, contact our law offices at once.

You can schedule your initial legal consultation with William Jaksa Criminal Litigation by calling 647-951-8078. If you are charged with a white-collar crime in Ontario, make the call immediately. We know what it takes to mount an effective defence on your behalf.

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