The term "corporate crime" refers to crimes committed either by a corporation (i.e., a business entity having a separate legal personality from the natural persons that manage its activities), or by individuals that may be identified with a corporation. Corporate crime is usually characterized as either white-collar crime, because the majority of individuals who represent the interests of the corporation are employees or professionals of a higher social class, or as organized crime, because criminals can set up corporations either for the purposes of crime or as vehicles for laundering the proceeds of crime.
Corporate crime typically falls into the following categories of white-collar crime: fraud, antitrust, financial crimes, campaign finance, obstruction of justice, bribery, public corruption, and tax evasion. Each category holds significant convictions and sentences against individuals and corporations, and corporate crime investigations and prosecutions typically involve the following activities:
• Falsification of financial information, including false accounting entries, bogus trades designed to inflate profit or hide losses, and false transactions designed to evade regulatory oversight.
• Self-dealing by corporate insiders, including insider trading, kickbacks, misuse of corporate property for personal gain, and individual tax violations related to self-dealing.
• Fraud in connection with an otherwise legitimately-operated mutual or hedge fund (including, for example, late trading, certain market timing schemes, falsification of net asset values, and other fraudulent or abusive trading practices by, within, or involving a mutual or hedge fund). Fraud can be committed through many methods, such as mail, wire, phone, and the internet. Acts that may constitute criminal fraud in a corporate setting include: (1) falsification of business records; (2) false billing; (3) forgery of documents or signatures; (4) embezzlement; (5) creation of false companies; (6) false insurance claims; (7) bankruptcy fraud; (8) investment frauds (such as Ponzi schemes); (9) tax fraud; and (10) securities fraud.
• Obstruction of justice designed to conceal criminal conduct, particularly when the obstruction impedes the inquiries of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), other regulatory agencies, and/or law enforcement agencies.
Ann Fitz has successfully represented clients charged with corporate crimes, and can help you if you are facing similar charges.