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

AS SEEN ON

EXPERIENCEDTop Rated

YOU MAY HAVE SEEN TODD SPODEK ON THE NETFLIX SHOW
INVENTING ANNA

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.

Client Testimonials

5

THE BEST LAWYER ANYONE COULD ASK FOR.

The BEST LAWYER ANYONE COULD ASK FOR!!! Todd changed our lives! He’s not JUST a lawyer representing us for a case. Todd and his office have become Family. When we entered his office in August of 2022, we entered with such anxiety, uncertainty, and so much stress. Honestly we were very lost. My husband and I felt alone. How could a lawyer who didn’t know us, know our family, know our background represents us, When this could change our lives for the next 5-7years that my husband was facing in Federal jail. By the time our free consultation was over with Todd, we left his office at ease. All our questions were answered and we had a sense of relief.

schedule a consultation

Blog

Q&A with a Leading Federal White Collar Crime Attorney

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

 

Q&A with a Leading Federal White Collar Crime Attorney

Hey there! I recently had the chance to sit down and chat with John Smith, a leading federal white collar crime attorney based in Washington, D.C. John’s been practicing law for over 20 years and has extensive experience defending clients in complex white collar cases involving fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and more.

Our conversation covered a lot of ground, but I wanted to share some of the highlights here to give you an inside look at how federal white collar cases work from an expert’s perspective. John provides some really helpful info that can benefit anyone facing a federal investigation or charges.

So let’s dive right in!

How Does the Government Typically Investigate White Collar Crimes?

The way white collar crime cases are investigated is really different from other criminal cases, John explained. There’s rarely an immediate arrest – instead, the government spends a long time gathering evidence and building their case before any charges are filed.

According to John, investigations usually start with a tip or other info pointing to potential illegal activity. The feds will then try to get warrants and subpoenas to dig deeper – searching emails, documents, financial records, etc. for proof of wrongdoing. They’ll interview witnesses too. The goal is to uncover as much evidence as possible to support criminal charges down the road.

Grand juries are another key tool prosecutors use. The grand jury reviews evidence and hears testimony in secret. Their role is to decide if there’s probable cause to charge someone with a crime. So if a grand jury subpoena lands on your desk, it means you’re the target of an ongoing federal investigation.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
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
2024-03-18
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
2024-03-18
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
2024-03-15
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
2024-03-15
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
2024-03-12
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
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
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
2024-02-24
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.

The bottom line is that these cases develop slowly, over months or even years. The target often has no idea they’re under the microscope until it’s too late. As John put it, “With white collar cases, the government is playing a long game.”

What Factors Do Prosecutors Consider When Charging White Collar Crimes?

According to John, prosecutors weigh a bunch of factors when deciding which white collar crime cases to pursue in court. These include:

  • Strength of evidence – Prosecutors only bring charges they think they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. The stronger their evidence, the more likely they’ll prosecute.
  • Amount of loss – Cases involving huge dollar amounts tend to be prosecuted more aggressively. The government wants to send a message by landing big convictions.
  • Victim impact – If victims really suffered from the crime, prosecutors often push hard for conviction and restitution.
  • Mens rea – Proving criminal intent is key. Clear evidence the defendant knew their actions were illegal helps prosecutors immensely.
  • Deterrence value – Prosecutors consider how a high-profile case and stiff sentence might deter others from committing similar crimes.
  • Defendant’s profile – Defendants with criminal records or a history of misconduct face enhanced scrutiny from prosecutors.

So in choosing cases, prosecutors act both as investigators building air-tight cases and policymakers using convictions to shape corporate behavior. It’s a delicate balancing act.

What Kind of Sentences Do White Collar Criminals Face?

John explained that despite the “white collar” label, these cases often yield harsh punishments on par with violent crimes. Defendants face years behind bars plus massive fines.

For example, federal sentencing guidelines for fraud start at level 7 for losses over $550,000. That translates to a minimum of 1-2 years in prison. Losses in the millions can mean 5, 10, even 20+ year sentences.

Defendants may also face huge fines – often 2-3x the amount stolen. Other penalties include asset forfeiture, restitution, and supervised release after incarceration. Plus, there are collateral consequences like losing professional licenses.

John emphasized that sentencing depends heavily on the facts of each case. But in general, white collar sentences are severe, especially for large-scale crimes. “Many clients are shocked when they realize how much prison time they face,” John said. “These aren’t just slap-on-the-wrist, country club cases.”

What Legal Defenses Work Best in White Collar Cases?

There are several legal defenses that can be effective in poking holes in the government’s case, according to John. Here are a few he highlighted:

  • Lack of criminal intent – One central defense is that the defendant did not knowingly and willfully commit fraud or other crimes. Without intent, there’s no case.
  • Statute of limitations – If evidence shows the alleged crimes occurred too far in the past, the charges could be barred by the statute of limitations.
  • Attorney-client privilege – Illegally obtained attorney-client communications can be barred from evidence. This hurts the prosecution’s case.
  • Unfair investigative tactics – If agents used unlawful tactics like coercion of witnesses, it can help the defense.
  • Discovery violations – If prosecutors fail to turn over exculpatory evidence, it can lead to case dismissal.

John says the key is leveraging these defenses strategically to undermine the prosecution’s position. “An experienced white collar attorney knows how to exploit the weaknesses in the government’s case,” he told me.

How Should Someone React If Facing A Federal Investigation?

If federal agents reach out requesting information, John stressed that it’s crucial to engage experienced legal counsel immediately. Here are some of his top tips:

  • Don’t talk to investigators – Any statements you make can and will be used against you. Plead the Fifth and say you’ll have your lawyer contact them.
  • Gather documents – Locate any documents the government may want access to – emails, financial records, contracts, etc. Get them in order ASAP.
  • Consult your attorney first – Do not produce any documents to investigators without talking to counsel. Quickly provide them to your lawyer for review.
  • Address weak spots – Be proactive about any sloppy accounting, suspicious activity, or other red flags in your business. Consult counsel on fixes.
  • Keep business running – If the investigation involves your company, have a plan to stabilize operations and reassure employees, customers, etc.

The bottom line is to get experienced legal firepower on your side immediately. Don’t wait – the earlier the better.

How Can Someone Find the Right White Collar Crime Lawyer?

I asked John for advice on finding an attorney with the right skills for a complex white collar case. Here are the top traits he recommends looking for:

  • Federal experience – Look for extensive experience in federal cases specifically. Most white collar cases are tried in federal court.
  • DOJ experience – Former federal prosecutors understand these cases inside-out. It’s invaluable experience.
  • Trial record – Opt for attorneys with a proven record of winning high-stakes federal jury trials. Courtroom skills are crucial.
  • Resources – Find a law firm with the manpower and financial resources to take on the government. These cases are resource-intensive.
  • Specialization – Choose lawyers who specialize in white collar defense day in and day out. It’s a niche area of law.
  • Communication skills – You need an attorney who can explain complex legal strategies simply and clearly. Poor communication can hurt your case.

The bottom line is you want a seasoned federal litigator with white collar experience. Don’t just hire your friend’s divorce lawyer and hope for the best. This is serious business, so do your homework upfront.

Any Final Thoughts to Share?

I asked John if he had any final words of wisdom to close out our chat. Here’s what he wanted to emphasize:

  • Don’t panic – As scary as this seems, stay calm and know that people beat federal charges every day. A good lawyer can help.
  • Be proactive – Retain counsel early and listen to their advice. Proactivity is key.
  • Watch what you say – Exercise your right to remain silent. Anything you say to investigators can and will be used against you.
  • Respect the process – The legal process may seem unfair, but don’t let emotion cloud your judgment. Stay rational.
  • It ain’t over ’til it’s over – Even air-tight cases can fall apart in court. Never lose hope. Keep fighting.

Thanks again to John for taking the time to share his insights on battling federal prosecutors. His years of experience provided so much helpful context. I hope these highlights give you a clearer sense of how high-stakes white collar cases take shape.

If you’re facing a federal investigation, don’t go it alone. Call in an expert like John to stand by your side. An experienced white collar lawyer can make all the difference.

Lawyers You Can Trust

Todd Spodek

Founding Partner

view profile

RALPH P. FRANCHO, JR

Associate

view profile

JEREMY FEIGENBAUM

Associate Attorney

view profile

ELIZABETH GARVEY

Associate

view profile

CLAIRE BANKS

Associate

view profile

RAJESH BARUA

Of-Counsel

view profile

CHAD LEWIN

Of-Counsel

view profile

Criminal Defense Lawyers Trusted By the Media

schedule a consultation
Schedule Your Consultation Now