Crimes can be generally categorized as being of two types: violent and nonviolent. Those in the latter category, which often consist of a variety of ways of depriving others of money or property, include the kinds of crimes colloquially known as “white collar” crimes. The origin of the term may refer to the type of person who relies more on trying to deceive his victims rather than resorting to strong-arm methods.

White collar crimes often comprise variations of fraud committed against individuals, businesses and even the government. Other types of this crime include embezzlement and tax evasion schemes including money laundering. These crimes can violate Oklahoma state laws or federal laws. Examples of the latter include various frauds committed against federal programs or agencies, or that otherwise trigger federal jurisdiction, such as investor frauds, telemarketing scams, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

The types of white collar theft and fraudulent activity that comprise white collar criminal activity are limited mainly by the imagination. Just some of the behaviors that fall under the umbrella of white collar crimes include:

  • Bank, credit card, and securities fraud
  • Mail and computer fraud
  • Forgery and counterfeiting
  • Tax fraud and tax evasion
  • Money laundering
  • Identity theft

In addition to federal laws, Oklahoma has its own laws to combat white collar crimes. As an example, let’s take a look at how this state defines and treats the crime of embezzlement. The governing statute, §1451 of Title 21, includes several specific types of activities that fall under the overall definition of embezzlement but which all share one of a few basic characteristics such as fraudulent taking, conversion or use of the property of another.

Embezzlement often involves an abuse of a trust relationship by an employee or someone who acts in a fiduciary capacity. It can consist of an employee stealing money from a cash register, to diversion for personal use of property or funds meant for some other use, to misuse of a power of attorney. Oklahoma embezzlement law does not require proof of a specific act of theft, but rather only that the property of another has been fraudulently obtained, converted or otherwise used.

The penalties for the white collar crime of embezzlement depend on the value of the money or property that was taken. On the low end of the scale, if the value is less than $500, the crime is punishable as a misdemeanor. Incarceration in a county jail for up to one year and a fine of up to $1000 are possible, separately or in combination. For the most serious cases, involving a value of $25,000 or more, the crime becomes a felony and the punishment can be a combination of state penitentiary time for up to 10 years, a fine of up to $10,000 and mandatory restitution. There are two intermediate steps of punishment between the least and most severe penalties.

Despite their nonviolent nature, charges of white collar crimes can present the prospect of severe penalties at either the Oklahoma state or federal levels. Choosing a law firm to help you to defend yourself against these charges is very important as you will want aggressive lawyers that will protect your rights and freedom. That is why it is important to contact the Oklahoma White Collar Attorneys at the Hunsucker Legal Group today for your free consultation.