Embezzlement, Extortion & Bribery Charges in Brooklyn White Collar Cases
Navigating White Collar Criminal Charges in Brooklyn
Dealing with white collar criminal charges like embezzlement, extortion or bribery can be an incredibly stressful and confusing time. As experienced Brooklyn criminal defense attorneys, we understand how high the stakes are when your reputation, career and even freedom are on the line. This article provides an overview of common white collar crimes charged in Brooklyn, potential defenses, and practical guidance on working with a defense lawyer to build the strongest case possible.
Overview of Common White Collar Crimes in Brooklyn
Some of the most common white collar crimes we see charged in Brooklyn include:
Embezzlement – Embezzlement involves stealing money, funds or other assets that have been entrusted to you through your job or role. This could include stealing from an employer, investor funds, client accounts or non-profit organizations. Charges range from grand larceny in the hundreds of thousands to more minor thefts.
Extortion – Extortion involves threatening or intimidating someone in order to receive money or something else of value from them. This could include threats of physical harm, to damage someone’s business or career, expose damaging secrets and more. Extortion is often charged alongside racketeering or as part of organized crime operations.
Bribery – Bribery charges involve offering, giving or receiving something of value in order to influence a decision, action or outcome. This could include bribing officials, bidding processes, regulatory decisions and more. Charges can involve both sides – the person offering the bribe and the person receiving it.
Tax Evasion – Willfully underpaying taxes through illegal filings, failure to file or fraudulent returns may lead to criminal tax evasion charges. The line between civil infractions and criminal charges is not always clear.
Money Laundering – Money laundering involves hiding the true source of funds gained from criminal activity and processing them to appear legitimate. Charges often involve complex financial transactions and records.
The complexity of these cases means working with an experienced white collar criminal defense lawyer is essential from day one. Let’s explore common defenses and practical steps to build your case.
Crafting an Effective Defense Strategy
While each case will be different, some potential defenses we often investigate in white collar cases include:
- Lack of criminal intent – Many white collar crimes require prosecutors to prove you acted “willfully” or with intent to break the law. Your lawyer can argue there was a good faith misunderstanding or no intent to deceive.
- Entrapment – In some bribery and extortion cases, an aggressive undercover sting operation from officials may have crossed the line into entrapment. This occurs when you were induced into committing a crime you otherwise wouldn’t have.
- Duress – In extortion cases, arguing you only complied with threats due to immediate fear for your safety or business can be an effective defense.
- Statute of limitations – Many white collar crimes have a five year statute of limitations in New York. If charges are brought outside that window, the case may be dismissed.
An experienced white collar defense lawyer will thoroughly analyze the specifics of your case to determine which defenses deserve further investigation and build the strongest argument possible. Let’s explore the step-by-step process of building that defense case.
Working with a White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one are facing embezzlement, extortion, bribery or related white collar criminal charges, the most important first step is retaining skilled legal counsel immediately. Here is an overview of what you can expect working with a top defense lawyer on your case:
1. Initial Case Review & Defense Strategy
In your initial consultations, your defense lawyer will want to understand the full context of your case including:
- The specific charges filed
- Detailed sequence of events according to prosecutors
- Any evidence collected or witnesses lined up against you
- Full personal, employment and criminal background
- Any related civil litigation ongoing
Armed with a complete view of the case, your lawyer will then assess potential defenses and build out a comprehensive defense strategy. This could involve further investigation through interviews, financial records analysis, hiring outside experts and more.
From day one, your lawyer will also interface with prosecutors to begin mounting challenges to their argument and evidence where possible. The goal is to get charges reduced or dropped completely pre-trial if feasible.
2. Ongoing Case Investigation & Motions
While preparing for trial, your lawyer may file important motions including:
- Suppressing evidence – If evidence was obtained illegally through improper searches or seizures, your lawyer can motion to have it excluded from trial.
- Dismissing charges – If your lawyer uncovers issues like entrapment, lack of evidence or statute of limitations barriers, they may motion to dismiss charges.
- Requesting separate trials – If you are facing multiple complex charges spanning different alleged incidents, your lawyer may advocate for separate back-to-back trials.
This phase involves extensive case investigation, coordinating with forensic accountants, private investigators and other specialists as needed.
3. Plea Negotiations
Once your lawyer has built maximum leverage through investigation and motions, they will negotiate aggressively with prosecutors for a favorable plea deal if that becomes the best path forward. This could involve getting charges dropped completely, reduced to misdemeanors or limited jail time.
Your lawyer will help educate you on all options so you can decide how to proceed, but they will apply maximum pressure on prosecutors behind the scenes. Over 90% of cases end in a plea deal so these negotiations are critical.
4. Trial & Sentencing
If a plea deal cannot be reached and your lawyer believes you have a strong case, they will vigorously defend you through a highly complex white collar trial. This again involves coordinating witness testimony, introducing evidence, undermining the prosecutor’s witnesses and arguments and highlighting reasonable doubt around intent throughout the trial.
If found guilty, your lawyer will advocate powerfully on your behalf in sentencing to minimize fines and jail time and allow you to move forward with your life.
Having a top white collar defense lawyer in your corner from day one makes all the difference in reaching the best possible outcome. Let’s discuss your case in a free consultation today.
For more information on defending against white collar criminal charges, please see:
- What is White Collar Crime in New York? (Avvo)
- White Collar Crime: Embezzlement (YouTube)
- Money Laundering Charges and Penalties (FindLaw)
We also recommend speaking with a qualified white collar defense lawyer for case-specific guidance on building the strongest defense. Reach out today to discuss your case.