“There is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man equal of am Einstein, and an ignorant man equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court”. (Lawyer Atticus Finch, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Harper Lee).
In recent years the term “white collar crime” has become a usual concept in criminal law. The expression “white collar or white glove crimes” includes a long line of crimes perpetrated by suspects / defendants belonging to a high social and economic class. Often these are normative persons, without criminal records, who never dealt with the terms “imputation”, “conviction” or “arrest”.
Many of our clients, at the Gross Epelman Law Firm that provides professional white collar lawyer services, turn to us when for the first time in their lives they face criminal investigations, let alone prosecutions (which means being dangerously exposed to large fine, dismissal and even imprisonment behind bars). Unfortunately, white collar crimes have a well-known Achilles heel; when the suspect / accused is a layman in criminal law and, in many cases, is even convinced that he has not committed any crime (“justice will prevail”), and thus lays the foundation for making critical mistakes. This particularly occurs in Israel, where the percentage of convictions exceeds 95%.
In everything related to white collar crime, the weapon that appears in the first act could certainly shoot in the last one. This will occur as long as the suspect / accused is not sagacious enough to contact a white collar attorney as soon as possible and without delay.
What are white collar crimes?
The term “white collar crimes” is not explicitly included in the legislation and is a “generic name” for a long list of crimes committed by top executives (businessmen, shareholders, managers, high-ranking employees, etc.) or within the frame of crimes considered as being “white collar” items, such as high-tech companies, bank corporations, insurance companies, financial and investment firms, etc.
We classify these crimes into several recurrent types. A frequent type is that of fiscal and economic crimes; this definition includes, for example, income tax, VAT, money laundering, etc. Other crimes characterize the public sector and / or the dynamic existing between the last and the private sector; for example, fraud, breach of trust, bribery, bias in bidding, false registration in corporate documents, etc.
In recent years, with the growth of technology, computer and Internet crimes have also been included as white collar crimes. Whether it is a “normal” crime committed by technological means (such as pedophilia or theft), or a computer-centered crime, such as hacking and hacking. Whether it is a “common” crime perpetrated by technological means (such as pedophilia or theft) or a crime centered on the computer, such as intrusion and hacking. The above list is not a closed list; white collar crimes include a very wide range of crimes, and the page is too short to contain them all.
Lawyers’ services for white collar offenses
Due to the special nature of white collar crimes, and particularly in view of the special nature of the “criminals” (who are not “classic criminal offenders”), lawyers’ services for white collar offenses require a balance between several planes.
At the Gross Epelman Law Firm, specialized in representation in the white collar field, we approach the subject from all possible angles. We are aware that a criminal trial can cause much harm to the accused / suspect, much more than a fine or – God forbid – arrest / imprisonment. A conviction due to white collar crimes can impose an indelible stain and can cause fatal damage to the professional life of the convicted person.
Secondly, because in most cases we are dealing with normative people, who in many situations do not even think they have committed any crime (and they are probably right), we accompany the client throughout the entire process; even in the preliminary steps and even before an investigation was opened or an indictment filed.
In one way or another, to adequately face such a circumstance, the legal services of a lawyer specialized in white collar crimes should be requested as soon as possible in order to analyze thoroughly and broadly the relevant circumstances, to cross them against the relevant precise legislation, investigate the latest jurisprudence and to elaborate a holistic legal strategy from edge to edge.
As a law firm that has been involved in this area for many years and has also been involved in complex and challenging cases, we will have the ability to present the client with the full range of options available. What are the chances of an acquittal, is it possible to change the indictment to a less serious one, is it advisable to negotiate a fair agreement with the prosecution, what does it imply for the accused / suspect in a future sentence, etc.?