24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

How the FBI Cracks Down on White Collar Crime Rings


How the FBI Cracks Down on White Collar Crime Rings

White collar crime is a big problem in America. Lots of people commit fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and other financial crimes that hurt regular folks. The FBI has special agents who investigate these complex cases. They use cool spy tools and follow money trails to take down criminal enterprises. This article will explain how the FBI cracks down on white collar crime rings.

Following the Money

Most white collar crimes involve money somehow. Criminals try to hide money they stole or made illegally. The FBI has forensic accountants who comb through financial records looking for suspicious transactions. They follow money trails to connect crooks to their crimes. FBI agents subpoena bank records, tax returns, and business documents. They look for big cash deposits, wire transfers overseas, and fake companies. Unraveling complex financial schemes takes skill, but the money always leaves a trail.

For example, in a recent Medicare fraud case, the FBI followed payments to sham medical clinics. Patients got kickbacks for bogus prescriptions that clinics billed to Medicare. By analyzing payment records, agents uncovered the $2 billion fraud scheme. Likewise, in investment frauds like Ponzi schemes, the FBI traces cash from new investors to old ones. This shows funds aren’t invested legitimately but used to pay off earlier victims.

Flipping Insiders

Turning insiders is key to busting white collar rings. Conspirators know the schemes inside-out. FBI agents identify weak links and get them to flip. Usually lower-level employees or business partners know the most dirt. FBI agents approach them, detail the evidence, and convince them to cooperate. This often starts a domino effect where one insider confesses and implicates higher-ups. Wiretaps, surveillance, and raids keep insiders from tipping off the targets.

For instance, in the recent investment fraud case, an analyst gave tips on mergers to a banker who traded on the info. When caught, the analyst cooperated right away and recorded calls with the banker. This helped take down the whole insider trading ring. Flipping insiders lets the FBI dismantle complex schemes from the inside-out.

Following the Emails

Emails provide a paper trail for white collar crimes. Conspirators often communicate by email to share secrets. The FBI accesses accounts with warrants or subpoenas. Emails detail the who, what, when of schemes. Messages show relationships between players and spell out the schemes step-by-step.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

For instance, Enron executives used emails to manipulate energy markets in California. Messages laid out schemes to create false shortages and jack up prices. Emails were key evidence to convict Enron’s top brass. Likewise, emails showed how Martin Shkreli and his cronies conspired to fix drug prices. Emails provided a blueprint of their illegal scheme.

Getting Creative with Charges

Since white collar crimes often have gray areas, the FBI gets creative with charges. They pile on charges to pressure suspects to plead out. Tax crimes, false statements, conspiracy, and obstruction are common extras. These charges create leverage for plea deals on the main crime.

For example, Martha Stewart went to prison for lying to federal agents about a stock sale, not insider trading itself. Scooter Libby got convicted of perjury and obstruction related to leaking a CIA agent’s name. Layering on charges allows the FBI to nail slippery white collar suspects. Even if the main charge doesn’t stick, the extras can put criminals behind bars.

Following the Lifestyle

Illicit wealth funds lavish lifestyles. FBI agents follow the money to target conspicuous consumption. Suspicious wealth from unknown means is a red flag. Unexplained vacations, sports cars, and mansions signal financial crimes. IRS reporting requirements help identify unreported income. FBI forensic accountants analyze bank records, taxes, and expenses to estimate hidden wealth.

For instance, agents busted investment advisor Bernie Madoff after questioning his lavish lifestyle. His wealth seemed too good to be true, so they investigated and unraveled his giant Ponzi scheme. The FBI watches for shady characters living beyond their means. Flashy lifestyles often result from financial foolery that agents can unravel.

Vanity Often Undoes Schemers

Greed and ego fuel financial crimes. White collar criminals sometimes boast about schemes or leave obvious trails. Lavish gifts for mistresses, fake names on yachts, vanity plates like “10BQuit” — seeming invincibility makes crooks cocky. FBI agents exploit this hubris to crack cases.

For example, Jordan Belfort of “Wolf of Wall Street” fame bragged extensively about his schemes. This helped the FBI prove securities fraud and stock manipulation that cost investors $200 million. Likewise, “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli flaunted his wealth and trolled critics online. This brought scrutiny that helped convict him of fraud.

Getting Creative with Surveillance

White collar suspects often have resources to evade monitoring. So FBI agents get creative with surveillance. They tap phones, hack computers, and monitor emails for evidence. Agents pose as corrupt accountants, shady investors, or money launderers to secretly record conversations. Informants wear wires too.

For instance, the FBI posed as Arab sheiks offering bribes to Congressmen in the Abscam scandal. This clever ruse induced incriminating conversations that helped convict several dirty lawmakers. Tricks like this allow agents to outsmart savvy white collar suspects.

Following Social Connections

White collar schemes depend on networks of enablers. FBI agents map out connections between players – accountants, lawyers, investors, etc. This helps identify the scope of criminal organizations. Diagrams reveal key figures and connections. Fringe players often know schemes and provide evidence against kingpins.

For example, mapping links between Bernie Madoff and feeder funds that supplied his Ponzi scheme helped identify the extent of his fraud. Diagrams showed that Madoff didn’t work alone but relied on a web of enablers. Social network analysis helps agents unravel complex white collar conspiracies.

Turning Family Members

Criminals often trust family most. Spouses may handle finances; kids could work at the company. Turning family members provides inside information. Spouses leverage community property laws to share documents. FBI agents approach family with evidence and play on emotions. Fear, resentment, or guilt can convince them to cooperate.

For instance, Bernie Madoff’s sons turned him in after confessing his scheme to them. Sammy “the Bull” Gravano’s wife gave key testimony about mob murders. White collar criminals assume family will protect them, so flipping relatives delivers a double-cross that can cripple the defense.

Following Political Donations

Illicit funds often flow into politics. FBI forensic accountants check records for straw donors and shell companies hiding illegal donations. This can reveal new conspirators and leverage to flip them. Information from political consultants provides leads too.

For example, the FBI probed Russian money flowing to the NRA and Trump campaign. This suggested potential influence-peddling schemes to investigate. Likewise, tracing dark money donations helped convict powerful lobbyist Imaad Zuberi of illegal foreign influence campaigns.

Getting Help from Whistleblowers

Insiders often report corporate crimes to the FBI. Whistleblowers provide detailed information to launch investigations. Company emails, recordings, and documents prove invaluable. FBI agents protect whistleblower identities to prevent retaliation.

For instance, a UBS whistleblower helped the IRS recover $20 billion in unpaid taxes from Americans hiding money abroad. Likewise, Enron and Worldcom whistleblowers exposed massive accounting frauds. Insider tips generate leads for agents to unravel complex schemes.

Following Cryptocurrency Transactions

Virtual currencies help hide illicit funds but leave traceable records. The FBI analyzes blockchain ledgers to trace payments. Agents subpoena cryptocurrency exchanges for account records and use blockchain analysis tools to track transfers.

For example, seizing BitConnect’s digital wallet let agents return $56 million to victims of the cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme. Likewise, agents busted opioid dealers using Bitcoin for payments. The blockchain provides transparency to follow dirty virtual money.

Getting Suspects to Lie

Even if agents lack evidence to convict on the main crime, catching suspects in lies provides leverage. The FBI baits suspects into lying during voluntary interviews. This gives prosecutors an easier-to-prove false statements or obstruction case.

For instance, Martha Stewart claimed she had a pre-existing agreement to sell stock when agents questioned her. But this was a lie, which they used to prosecute her for obstruction. Likewise, Scooter Libby falsely denied leaking a CIA agent’s name, leading to his conviction. Lies provide an avenue to hold slippery suspects accountable.

Following Foreign Accounts

Criminals often stash illicit funds abroad. The FBI follows the money across borders. Information sharing agreements allow agents to get records from foreign banks, tax authorities, and law enforcement. FBI legal attachés facilitate this cooperation.

For example, Paul Manafort’s use of Cyprus bank accounts helped convict him of financial crimes and obstruction. And FBI agents busted Credit Suisse bankers who helped Americans hide money in Swiss accounts. Globalized banking requires the FBI to follow the money worldwide.


Taking down complex white collar schemes requires top-notch investigative skills. FBI agents aggressively track down dirty money, flip conspirators, and leverage surveillance tools. They piece together evidence from emails, records, informants, and whistleblowers to unravel webs of corruption. It’s challenging but important work to hold wealthy and sophisticated criminals accountable.

Schedule Your Consultation Now