Benjamin, Aaronson, Edinger & Patanzo, P.A.

Criminal Defense Practice Center

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyers

Thank your for taking time to learn more about how the criminal defense attorneys of Benjamin, Aaronson, Edinger & Patanzo. P.A. can help you with felony and misdemeanor criminal defense. If you have been accused of any state or federal crime in the Fort Lauderdale or Gainesville, Florida, area, our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys can help protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome for your charges. Our criminal defense lawyers have experience with both state and federal crimes including DUI/driving while intoxicated, drug and narcotics crimes, white collar crimes, weapons crimes, domestic violence, assault, rape and murder.

Contact us for a free consultation about your charges today.

Frequently Asked Questions about White Collar Crime

Q: What is “white collar crime”?

A: White collar crime is a term originally used to describe criminal activity by members of the upper class in connection with their professions. Today, the most common definition of white collar crime no longer focuses on the social status of the offender but rather on the type of conduct involved: illegal acts using deceit and concealment to obtain money, property or services, or to secure a business or professional advantage. White collar crimes are usually not violent, but their effects can be just as devastating.

Q: Who prosecutes white collar crimes?

A: White collar crimes may be either state or federal crimes. Because they often involve lengthy investigations that can cross state or even international boundaries, the federal government is usually in a better position to investigate and prosecute white collar crimes. Usually a federal prosecutor, known as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA), will head up the prosecution.
Estimates from analysts indicate that white collar crime cost the nation upwards of $200 billion per year. That is much more costly to society than “traditional” crimes like burglary and theft, which accounts for a fraction of that amount. As a result, prosecutors and courts are cracking down on white-collar crimes. If you have been accused of a white-collar crime, you should have an experienced advocate looking out for your interests.

White Collar Crime – An Overview

Crimes that do not involve physical violence, and that relate largely to financial matters, are often called “white collar crimes.” White collar crimes involve most of the same legal principles as do other crimes, and people charged with white collar crimes have the same rights and protections as defendants accused of other crimes. On the other hand, white collar offenses are often complex, and involve numerous complicated legal and factual issues. The possible penalties include fines, prison sentences, restitution and criminal forfeiture. If you have been charged with a white collar crime, it is essential that you seek legal counsel from an experienced white collar criminal defense attorney at once so that you can preserve your rights and protect your future.


Black’s Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004) defines fraud as “a knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment.” The injury in fraud is usually depriving a person of money or other property that rightfully belongs to that person. Fraud crimes are classified according to the type of transaction in which the deception occurred. Fraud is a serious and broadly defined criminal offense. Criminal fraud is a charge that can be brought against a business, as well as against an individual (a business cannot be put in prison, but can be hit with substantial fines). A charge of fraud — let alone a conviction — can ruin the reputation of a person or company charged. Zealous legal representation is critical in fraud cases, as in all criminal cases. It is critical for an accused to seek help from an experienced white collar criminal defense attorney.

Grand Jury Investigations

A grand jury is a powerful tool that federal prosecutors can use to investigate and gather information about white collar crimes. The grand jury has the power to subpoena witnesses to testify and produce documents for review in an effort to gain information about an individual’s involvement in a white collar crime and to see if there is enough evidence to indict that person. If you have been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced defense attorney

Other Types of White Collar Crime

The term white collar crime encompasses a wide variety of criminal acts that are committed in a business or professional setting to achieve financial gain. This article provides general information about a few of the more common types of white collar crime. If you would like more information about these or other white collar crimes, contact an experienced white collar criminal defense attorney.

Penalties for White Collar Crime

The most frightening part of being a defendant in a white collar criminal case — or any criminal case — is the potential penalties involved if convicted. Most white collar defendants have no prior experience with the criminal justice system, and the uncertainty of their future looms understandably large in their minds. In addition to criminal penalties, many white collar offenses may give rise to civil lawsuits, brought either by the federal or state government, or by the victims of the offense. Any civil liability imposed as a result of these suits is in addition to, and not a substitute for, the penalties imposed in the criminal case. An experienced white collar defense attorney can give you specific advice on the possible penalties in a particular case.

White Collar Crime Resource Links

National White Collar Crime Center
The non-profit National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) provides information on white collar crime issues and provides a newsletter, “The Informant.”

Types and Schemes of White Collar Crime
This page from the National Check Fraud Center defines dozens of individual types of white collar crime, from bank fraud to Ponzi schemes.

White Collar Crime
Contains general information about white collar crime, provided by Cornell University Law School.

Federal Bureau of Investigation – White Collar Crime and Fraud
This site contains information about FBI programs, white collar crime, fraud and links to news and interesting cases.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
This network, organized under the federal Department of the Treasury, provides information about financial crimes, including links to laws, enforcement information and regulatory activity.

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