White collar crimes in Chicago are serious and often result in felony charges for the accused. Although you may have an idea of what white collar crimes are, you may not know some of the activities and sentences under this category of crime.
What is White Collar Crime?
White collar crime is a term used to describe an array of criminal acts that are committed in a professional or business setting. This type of crime mainly involves the theft of financial assets or data, which is used for financial gain. You will be surprised to learn that in most cases, the criminal does not come into contact with the victim. Some victims are unaware that the offense even took place.
Common white collar crimes include:
- Embezzlement: Embezzlement refers to the fraudulent appropriation of funds or property by someone who is entrusted to safeguard it. Under Illinois law, embezzlement is a form of theft. The federal and state governments can pursue these charges based on the facts of a given case. Embezzlement is considered a serious crime as it involves a person in a position of trust.
- Credit Card Fraud: Credit card fraud is a popular form of fraud. This can involve using a stolen card to make unauthorized purchases. Sometimes, credit card fraud can involve more than one person. Using an unissued, expired, or forged credit card is classified as a class 3 felony while the use of a credit card with intent to defraud is classified under class A misdemeanor.
Other forms of fraud in Illinois include real estate fraud, insurance fraud, wire or mail fraud, and tax fraud. Other crimes classified under white collar crime include internet crime, identity theft, forgery, and money laundering. It does not take a lot for a white collar crime to be considered a felony. It is therefore imperative to consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately if you have been accused of a white collar crime.
Penalties for White Collar Crimes in Chicago
Committing a white collar crime could mean spending serious time behind bars, getting restitution, or even being fined. These crimes can either be felony or misdemeanor offenses.
However, the sentence varies for each crime. Also, the consequences depend on whether the crime happened in more than one state and the amount of money involved.
Here is a look at some of the penalties for white collar crimes.
- Class 1 Felonies: These are crimes involving losses or theft that amounts to $100,000-$500,000. This crime is punishable by up to $25,000 in fines or a sentence of up to 15 years.
- Class 2 Felonies: A class 2 felony is a crime involving losses or theft of $10,000-$100,000. If convicted, you can pay up to $25,000 in fines or serve a prison sentence of up to seven years.
- Class 3 Felonies: These crimes can attract up to five years in prison. Class 3 felonies are crimes that involve loss or theft of $500-$10,000.
- Class A Misdemeanor: Class A misdemeanors involve a loss or theft of less than $500. This crime can attract a fine of $2,500 or a jail term of up to one year.
- Class X Felonies: If you have been charged with a Class X felony, you could spend up to 30 years in prison without parole. Also, you could be eligible for a fine not less than $25,000. This type of crime happens when there is a loss or theft of $1,000,000.
You need a criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable about Chicago criminal law and who understands the impact that white collar crimes can have on an individual. If you need help fighting these charges, contact the law offices of David Freidberg. Our team of qualified experts is dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for your case. You can schedule a complimentary consultation with us by phone at 312-560-7100 or via web.
(image courtesy of Matthew Henry)