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White Collar Crime

White collar crimes in Marvin North Carolina generally involve an element of organized financial theft by someone in a position of trust or power. This sets white collar crimes apart from general theft charges, which are also referred to as larceny in North Carolina. White-collar theft is financially motivated and often non-violent. That being said, extortion and blackmail can be exceptions to this rule.

Even though white-collar crime is non-violent, it does not mean that the penalties for those charged with the crime are not serious in nature. The federal government is specifically interested in white-collar crimes due to the threat the more sophisticated crimes pose to law enforcement, financial institutions, and other government entities. Such sophisticated white-collar crimes include fraud and embezzlement, among others, and are often charged at the federal level with stiff penalties that are much harsher than those imposed by North Carolina state law.

North Carolina White-Collar Crime Charges

While white-collar crimes are often charged at the federal level, there are still state-level charges for these crimes. These include:

  • Financial transaction card theft: Under state law, a person may be found guilty of debit or credit card theft if the accused takes, obtains, or withholds a card without the rightful holder’s consent with the intent to transfer, sell, or use the person’s card. Theft of a credit and/or debit card is a Class I felony. Attempting to use the illegally-obtained card is fraud. If fraudulent card activity within any six-month period is a combined $500 or less, the fraud is a Class 2 misdemeanor. If the value within that time period exceeds $500, the fraud is a Class I felony.
  • Financial identity fraud: Knowingly possessing, obtaining, or using the identifying information of another – whether they are dead or still living – with the intent to fraudulently represent yourself as that person for your own benefit is a Class G felony. If the victim of identity theft is arrested, was detained, or is convicted of a crime as a result of the fraud, it is a Class F felony. The fraud is also a Class F felony if the defrauder possesses identifying information of three or more victims, such as a tax identification or social security number, driver’s license or passport number, financial accounts, digital signatures, passwords, fingerprints, and legal surname prior to marriage.
  • Trafficking in stolen identities: This crime is the transfer, sale, or purchase of another person’s identifying information as defined above. Under North Carolina law, trafficking in stolen identities is a Class E felony.
  • Extortion and blackmail: These fall under the umbrella of fraud. Extortion is the communication of a threat with the intention to wrongfully obtain something of value – whether it is a physical item, an intangible advantage, or immunity – and is a Class F felony. Blackmail, on the other hand, is a threatening or menacing writing that demands something of value in exchange for the aggressor not following through on the threats. Blackmail is a Class I misdemeanor.
  • Forgery: This crime typically includes the forgery and counterfeiting of checks, notes, and other securities. Forgery is generally a Class I felony. If the person is found in possession of five or more counterfeit instruments with the intent to defraud, the crime is escalated to a Class G felony.
Federal White-Collar Crime Charges

Embezzlement and tax evasion are more complicated white-collar crimes and are generally prosecuted at the federal level. Beyond these, special oversight by the federal government exists for matters that include the following:

  • Financial institution fraud;
  • Identity theft;
  • Money laundering; and
  • Bankruptcy fraud.

Generally, the penalties for the above crimes when prosecuted at the federal level are harsher than those charged at the state level in North Carolina. This is because U.S. District Attorney’s offices have access to substantial resources to pursue defendants. Indeed, sentences that are handed down by federal judges for purely financial crimes (i.e., white-collar crimes) can be just as long, or even longer, than sentences that are handed down in cases involving drugs or violence.

Criminal Defense Help in Marvin, North Carolina

If you have been charged with a white-collar crime in Marvin, North Carolina or in the surrounding areas - whether at the state or federal level - it is critical that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are familiar with defending individuals against those state and federal white-collar crime charges. Do not leave your freedom to chance; contact us today for an initial consultation so we can explain your rights and obligations under applicable law.