Financial Crime in California
There are several specific forms of criminal activity that fall under the umbrella of “white collar crime” in California. The term refers simply to any number of illegal, nonviolent acts committed with the goal of financial gain in mind. Corporate crimes such as these range from misdemeanors and felonies, and all are illegal because they involve fraudulent behavior, such as withholding information from shareholders or doctoring financial records. The punishments involved for business crimes are restitutions for the original crime, as well as hefty fines and even time behind bars.
A white collar felony is punishable by state prison time in the amount of no less than one year. A white collar misdemeanor, while still considered serious, is punishable by no more than a single year, and is carried out in a county jail, usually for a matter of days or months.
Aggravated White Collar Crime Enhancement (Penal Code 186.11)
For white collar criminals who have committed repeated offenses, California carries a sentencing enhancement for aggravated white collar crime. If you are facing charges for a financial crime such as embezzlement or fraud, a judge may at their own discretion add additional years if you already have two previous similar convictions of financial crime. These additional years are served alongside the original sentence, rather than replacing it.
The additional years added to the sentence are determined by the amount of money that the alleged victim loses due to the crime. For example, if the amount of money is closer to $100,000, only one additional year may be added. If the amount is $500,000, there may be as many as five additional years added to the original sentence. However, enhancements such as these do not typically add more than five years.
Other Forms of Judgment
Besides jail time, the punishment for financial crime almost always involves restitution, or making the alleged victim whole again. Fines may be applied to the convicted person as well, usually no less than $1,000 and sometimes even greater than $10,000. Restitution and fines are not the same; they are two separate punishments and both must be paid in full. Restitution is paid to the victim, while fines are paid to the court.
Besides these, you may also be forced into asset forfeiture, which means that the court may seize any of your possessions that were used in facilitating the business crime. You may also be placed under house arrest, which prevents you from leaving your home except to work and maintain medical appointments. Should you violate this arrangement, you may spend the rest of your sentence in jail.
Gammill Law is dedicated to providing sturdy legal protection to clients in the Los Angeles area. Gammill Law is fully committed to the pursuit of justice and will work tirelessly with you to avoid conviction. If you have been accused of a financial crime, contact us today for a consultation and to get started.