Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer For Fraud, Financial Crimes
Crimes involving defrauding the government and financial improprieties may not involve violence but can still result in criminal charges and civil penalties. Because the federal government focuses on identifying and aggressively prosecuting individuals who commit them, being accused of one of these crimes will plunge you into a morass of legal maneuvering, technicalities, and life-changing accusations you must defend against.
Whether the allegations fall under Michigan law or Federal law, George Law specializes in representing clients charged with fraud or financial crimes and understands the challenges and possible consequences you face. If you find yourself in the situation of facing fraud or financial crime charges, contact our office today to see out how we can help.
“White-collar crimes” refer to non-violent actions that steal money or assets, often without the victim’s knowledge. Typically associated with educated, wealthier individuals in the context of taking financial advantage of the less fortunate or knowledgeable, white-collar crimes carry a heavy social stigma and can be complicated and confusing to the average person. The government will scrutinize your financial documents, bank accounts, investment records, business records, tax returns, and any other document reflecting financial transactions.
Retaining a savvy and experienced criminal defense attorney specializing in white collar crime to assist you in recognizing potential issues quickly and taking steps to get ahead of the investigation and charges is important for a favorable resolution. Prosecutors often aggressively pursue white-collar crime charges and can quickly make your life miserable by freezing or seizing assets, ruining your reputation, and spinning a narrative that puts you on the defensive and scrambling.
A good criminal defense lawyer, such as those at George Law, will help you take steps to try and get ahead of the deluge and impugnment, assess your specific situation, and guide you in choosing a path forward. Some of our specialties include defending you against charges of:
- Blackmail and Extortion
- Identity theft
- Money Laundering
- Insurance Fraud
- Mortgage Fraud
- Securities Fraud
- Workers Compensation Fraud
- Rico violations
If you are being investigated for a white-collar crime or have already been charged, immediately
Blackmail And Extortion
People often confuse blackmail and extortion or think they are two words for the same crime. However, the two crimes feature one significant difference – the nature of the threat being used to coerce the victim.
Michigan law considers blackmail as using malicious threats to force the victim to pay money, perform an act, or provide favors. Often this involves a threat to reveal damaging information – for example, an affair, paternity, malfeasance – to the victim’s family, employer, or the police. A person committing an act of blackmail will threaten to reveal some embarrassing or incriminating information to force the victim to cooperate.
In contrast, extortion occurs when you threaten violence or harm to coerce the victim into paying money, performing an act, or providing favors. A person committing an act of extortion will threaten to commit violence on a person (or their loved one) or their property to force the victim to cooperate.
A Federal court charge of blackmail can be filed if you threaten to inform authorities of a criminal act and demand money or some other item of value to refrain from doing so. A Federal court charge of extortion arises if your communication of the threat to harm occurred via “interstate commerce” – which means, if it was sent from one state to another (via email, for example), or if it was sent via any service which does business in more than one state.
At both the state and federal levels, these charges can carry significant fines, jail time, and restitution (money paid to the victim as compensation for loss or damages). Retaining an experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer who can assess the facts and circumstances of your case and guide your defense can limit your punishment. Call George Law at (248) 973-6097 or send us a message today to speak with a skilled attorney.
Offering, giving, or accepting money or some other gift of value in return for an action – especially to or by public officials – can lead to a charge of bribery. With both State and Federal consequences, bribery charges can lead to felony convictions, incarceration, fines, and a permanent criminal record.
Michigan and Federal law especially harshly regard the bribing of public officials such as elected officials, judges, or law enforcement. Offering or providing anything of value to solicit favorable treatment or affect decisions, votes, or other acts of a public official can lead to bribery charges. The laws extend to include attempting to influence people with decision-making authority in the legal system, such as jurors, arbitrators, and executors.
It is essential to understand that you may be committing a crime if you bribe non-elected individuals, including businesses, employees, and even athletes. In addition to money, anything of value can qualify as a bribe if offered to influence a decision or obtain an outcome such as business contracts or employment. Even providing free tickets to a local event can rise to the level of a crime if done so to influence the recipient.
The crime of embezzlement occurs when you are in a position of control over the money or property of a business, organization, or individual, and you steal or misuse the money or property. One of the most common types of embezzlement occurs when an employee takes money from an employer. Embezzlement can be as simple as taking money from the cash register or as complicated as fraudulent accounting systems and asset diversions. It can occur even in conservatorship or guardianship for a wealthy individual.
If you face embezzlement charges or may soon face such charges, discussing your situation with an experienced, savvy criminal defense lawyer can help you decrease the penalties or avoid charges altogether. Because embezzlement cases often involve financial complexities, you should immediately retain counsel to navigate the confusing details. Please call George Law at (248) 973-6097 or send us a message today to learn how we can help.
The crime of identity theft encompasses a variety of actions, all of which involve some form of using the personal information of another. You could be charged with identity theft if you intentionally or accidentally use someone else’s:
- social security number
- credit card
- or other financial information
- tax refunds
- credit cards
- confidential records
- or make purchases
Using the information to obtain healthcare services or medications could lead to charges. Penalties for identity theft can be harsh and include significant fines and prison time. If you have been or may be charged with any form of identity theft, please call George Law at (248) 973-6097 or send us a message today to consult on your defense.
Money laundering occurs when you obtain money illegally (for example, by selling drugs) and then take steps to hide the source of the money. You take “dirty” money and make it “clean” by appearing to have come from a legitimate source. This can occur in almost any manner that provides a way to convert illegally obtained money into seemingly legitimate – even using dirty money to purchase a house and selling it to make the cash-out appear clean, or depositing dirty money into a bank account and using it to purchase stocks or other assets.
Money laundering is a very serious charge at both the state and federal level because it often is associated with more serious crimes and allegations, and a guilty verdict can carry consequences including lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, and the forfeiture of any asset purchased with the laundered money. If you are facing charges or find yourself in a questionable situation, it is imperative that you retain experienced and creative counsel immediately. Call George Law at (248) 973-6097 or send us a message today to discuss your concerns.
If you knowingly lie to an insurance company or representative (or help someone do so) to obtain a benefit, you may be committing insurance fraud. This includes:
- intentionally providing false or misleading information OR
- leaving relevant facts or information out of claims and paperwork.
Deception on an insurance claim can carry significant consequences if you are, for example:
- a patient
- a healthcare provider
- an administrator
- an attorney
- an investigator
Insurance fraud can occur for all types of coverage, including:
Even simply planning to commit insurance fraud can result in criminal charges. Using another person’s insurance card to obtain prescriptions or healthcare also falls under the law, as does faking an injury.
You may have accidentally omitted or exaggerated some details or, in some other way, find yourself facing insurance fraud charges. Talking to an attorney with detailed knowledge of the insurance laws can help you present your defense in a way that could lessen the consequences. Call George Law at (248) 973-6097 or send us a message today to learn how we can help.
Mortgage fraud involves intentionally providing inaccurate or incomplete information that influences a bank’s decision to loan you money or make changes to an existing loan. Simply making a mistake generally does not rise to the level of a crime – courts look at whether you intentionally misled the bank.
Although no federal law specifically targets mortgage fraud, you can be prosecuted under the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, which also covers:
- illegal property flipping/inflated appraisals
- straw buyers (using another person’s identity to secure a loan and purchase the property)
- silent second loans taken out to cover the down payment for the property being mortgaged
State and Federal laws make allegations of mortgage fraud a very serious issue. You could be facing massive fines and a severe prison sentence. Deceptive acts extending back to ten years can be prosecuted against you. If you have been or may be facing charges involving mortgage fraud, immediately call George Law at (248) 973-6097 or send us a message today to begin discussing your defense.
Securities fraud can lead to federal charges involving complicated and lengthy cases. If you are a stockbroker or financial advisor and you deceive investors for your financial gain, you could be targeted. You could also be charged if you work for a company and sell stock based on information you have learned that is not available to the general public (insider trading).
Securities fraud charges can be filed for a variety of actions, including:
- theft or embezzlement of client funds
- falsifying records
- lying to auditors
- misrepresenting the value of an investment
- “Ponzi schemes” (where new investors’ money is diverted to pay old investors instead of invested) can elicit securities fraud charges
An accusation of “market manipulation” by an individual or corporation, where misleading or untrue information is used to influence the stock price, can also expose you to scrutiny and potential charges.
Securities fraud charges lead to a complex, often convoluted investigation and require legal guidance from an experienced, tenacious attorney. When you are facing massive fines, restitution, and criminal convictions carrying lengthy sentences, the right lawyer can advocate on your behalf. Call George Law at (248) 973-6097 or send us a message today to learn more.
Workers’ Compensation Fraud
Workers’ compensation fraud occurs when you misrepresent, conceal, or deceive about a workplace injury. Both employees and medical professionals can be charged. Some examples of how an employee can commit workers’ compensation fraud include:
- filing multiple claims for the same injury
- claiming an injury as a workplace injury that occurred outside of work
- working another job while receiving workers’ compensation benefits
- claiming the injury is worse than it is or claiming you cannot perform your work duties when you still can
- intentionally injuring yourself or faking an injury to get benefits
Medical professionals also can be accused of committing workers compensation fraud for:
- falsely diagnosing or exaggerating the severity of the injury
- providing unnecessary treatment or billing for treatment that is not performed
If your employer suspects you may be committing workers’ compensation fraud, an investigator will likely begin looking into every aspect of your life, activities, and medical care. George Law can help you navigate that scrutiny. If you have already been charged with workers’ compensation fraud, you should speak with George Law at (248) 973-6097 or send us a message today to assist you in mounting your defense and trying to limit penalties.
Both Michigan and federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Acts (RICO) make an organization or group’s involvement with an illegal enterprise a prosecutable crime. Racketeering charges require a prosecutor to demonstrate that a defendant owns or operates an organization that engages in illegal activity, and RICO encompasses a lengthy list of illegal actions related to that activity, including:
- drug offenses
Originally intended to address organizations like the Mafia, federal prosecutors also invoke RICO to prosecute a variety of white-collar crimes, including:
- insurance fraud
- tax fraud
- credit card fraud
- money laundering
RICO charges can be brought against an organization you work for. If the organization is found liable, you can also be charged – even for crimes you did not personally commit. Prosecutors can aggressively pursue charges against individuals who had no knowledge of or accidentally committed an action covered by RICO. In addition to criminal charges, prosecutors can seek asset and property forfeiture and damages several times the actual amount identified.
If you face charges stemming from the complicated and far-reaching RICO laws, immediately speaking confidentially to an experienced attorney can give you the knowledge you need to defend yourself and your assets. Call George Law at (248) 973-6097 or send us a message today to begin building your defense.
Charges encompassing financial crimes and fraud against the government present incredibly challenging situations requiring refined tactics to defend against. Penalties for these crimes depend on the facts and circumstances of the accusations but can be severe and can include a combination of jail time, restitution, and hefty fines. The social, financial, and professional costs of even being accused can be significant to you, your family, or your business.
If you are under investigation, think you may soon be charged, or have already been charged, speaking immediately with an aggressive, knowledgeable attorney can provide you with a plan and a defense. Call George Law at (248) 973-6097 or send us a message today to arrange a time to discuss your situation.