Often when people think about criminals or crimes in Hawaii, they do not picture people who appear to be successful in business. They may think about drug crimes, assaults, murders and other types of crimes. However, people also can commit what are referred to as white-collar crimes. These usually are crimes based in theft and fraud involving more complicated schemes that appear on their face to be legitimate to the outside observer.
To carry out these types of crimes, people have to use sophisticated methods of not only fooling the victims involved but also a sophisticated way of hiding it through what may be a complex series of accounts and even businesses set up by the people perpetrating the crime.
Some examples of white-collar crimes are:
- Bank fraud
- Healthcare fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Mail fraud
- Tax evasion
- Insider trading
- Anti-trust violations
- Ponzi schemes
These are common ones, but there are other types of fraud and theft that are also considered white-collar crimes.
These crimes can have serious consequences as they normally involve large sums of money and can affect many people as well. White-collar crimes can also have consequences at both the state level and the federal level, but many times, they are charged in federal court, especially if they involve actions across state lines.
People convicted of white-collar crimes can face significant prison sentences, fines, be ordered to pay restitution for the money they may have obtained illegally, they may have their property seized through forfeiture actions and other potential penalties, depending on the circumstances.
It is important for people in Hawaii who have been charged with white-collar crimes to know that being charged does not automatically mean that they are guilty. It is the prosecution’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they are guilty of the crime. They may have defenses available to them to prove their innocence. There also may be ways to mitigate their punishments through an effective defense strategy. The consequences can be severe though and consulting with experienced attorneys who understand the complexities of white-collar crimes could be helpful.