Author: White Collar Crimes Attorney Marianne S. Rantala
If you watched or read the national news this past weekend you probably heard about the shocking charges of fraud and corruption that are rocking the United States Navy. Senior officers were allegedly involved in an overbilling scheme with a military contractor.
Recent scandals like this one and high profile cases like that of Bernard Madoff have made white collar crimes—insider trading, tax evasion, securities fraud, bribery, embezzlement, and so forth— part of our national vernacular. Crimes that used to seem like the stuff of television dramas are now commonplace on the daily news. Public outrage has, in part, led to much longer and harsher sentences for white collar criminals than ever before, mainly due to the extremely high financial losses involved.
But many judges and lawyers, including the American Bar Association, are asking the United States government to review the guidelines, arguing that the existing sentencing guidelines are “fundamentally flawed” and often “shockingly high.”Opponents of the guidelines argue that too much focus is on the losses, and sometimes merely potential losses, and not enough attention is given to other factors, like the defendant’s intent or the actual harm caused by the scheme or crime. Some critics have noted that imprisonment might not be a suitable punishment for “someone…that doesn’t impose a threat to safety for the purpose of deterrence.” Even proponents of the current sentencing guidelines are open to some revisions, in order to reduce sentences.
The outcome of white collar crime cases often hinges on obtaining trusted legal advice and guidance at the outset. If you have been accused of a white collar crime, you are entitled to representation by an experienced, knowledgeable attorney, regardless of how much money is involved. Whether you suspect that you are under investigation or charges have been filed against you, call our office at 631-543-7667 to arrange a confidential consultation.