What constitutes white-collar crime in Texas?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Being subject to a criminal investigation in Texas doesn’t necessarily mean you will face arrest or charges or, if you do, that you will incur a conviction. The type of defense strategy you employ (if you are facing charges) may have a significant impact on the ultimate outcome of your case. Some people make the mistake of heading to court without even really understanding the criminal charges they’re facing, especially when hearing phrases like “white-collar crime.”

A white-collar crime is not one specific thing. It’s a colloquial term coined in the 1930s, referring to numerous types of crime, which typically all have one thing in common: they are non-violent. In most cases, such crimes are also committed for the purpose of financial gain.

Issues associated with white-collar crime

The following list includes several types of illegal activity that may constitute white-collar crime in Texas:

  • Falsifying corporate financial records
  • Conducting fraud by convincing people to invest in a non-existent enterprise — otherwise known as a “Ponzi” scheme
  • Insider trading
  • Tax fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Money laundering
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Financial institution fraud
  • Intellectual property theft
  • Healthcare fraud

There are many more types of white-collar crimes, which carry stiff penalties under conviction. In some cases, one can mistake clerical errors or oversights and other issues for illegal activity. This is why it’s important to know what your rights are and how to defend them in court.

Federal agents often investigate white-collar crimes

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the primary agency that conducts white-collar crime investigations. If you are a suspect, it’s possible that government agents believe you have a connection to an organized crime circuit. These types of investigations often intersect local, national or international regions. It’s not uncommon for an individual white-collar crime case to involve hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.

The same rules apply when you are under investigation for a white-collar crime as with any other type of criminal allegation in Texas. You don’t have to consent to a search, and you don’t have to answer questions without the benefit of legal counsel. It’s true that anything you say or do can be used to incriminate you if you wind up facing criminal charges in court. If that happens, the court must grant you due process, meaning respect given to all legal rights owed to you as a person.