California and federal laws encompassing white collar crime are complex. They can begin when law enforcement is tipped off by an informant, a whistleblower, or a bank that is suspicious about large cash deposits. These crimes are aggressively investigated by California’s Division of Law Enforcement’s White Collar Investigation Team (WCIT), whose goal is to build cases for prosecution.

If you believe you are being investigated for a white-collar crime, call our skilled criminal defense attorneys at once. We understand how WCIT, the Department of Justice, and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office build these cases and we also understand your distress, especially if you have never been charged with a crime. A Folsom white collar defense lawyer is your zealous advocate.

What Are White Collar Crimes?

The term “white collar crime” was coined in 1939 by a criminologist drawing attention to the collared shirts typical perpetrators wore. They were primarily businesspeople, professionals, and politicians, and their crimes were non-violent deceptions with financial gain as the benefit, such as money laundering, bribery, forgery, and fraud.

Because of technological advances, almost anyone can commit a white-collar crime. Although cybercrime, healthcare fraud, and intellectual property theft are considered white-collar crimes, some crimes are most often associated with the term:

  • Fraud: Gaining something of value using deceit or deception to harm another
  • Money laundering: Manipulating money from an unlawful source to make it appear from a legitimate one
  • Bribery: Exchanging anything of value with a public official for their influence, action, vote, or opinion connected with their official position
  • Forgery: Signing another person’s name or a fictitious person intending to defraud another
  • Counterfeiting: Reproducing or altering something such as money, a driver’s license, or a designer handbag and passing it off as authentic
  • Embezzlement: Theft of money from an employer or from someone who entrusted the money to the person

This list is not exhaustive, and other crimes can be considered white collar, along with sub-crimes under fraud, such as real estate, healthcare, securities, and fraud against the elderly. White collar crimes can be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies in state court, with prosecutors weighing the amount of financial gain involved and the accused’s criminal record. Some white-collar crimes can also be prosecuted in federal court.


Penalties for these crimes can include fines, jail time, or prison sentences. The government can force those convicted to disgorge profits from their enterprise, effectively confiscating them. If someone is charged with fraud, money laundering, bribery, forgery, or counterfeiting, they should contact a Folsom white collar crime defense attorney for immediate help.

California’s Freeze and Seize Law

California law includes a penalty enhancement for white collar crimes under certain conditions. When arguing for additional prison time, the prosecutor must show the accused committed at least two related felonies that are a pattern in their conduct, and show elements of fraud or embezzlement. At least $100,000 must have been taken by the accused or lost by the target for this to apply.

For there to be a pattern in the defendant’s conduct, either a minimum of two felonies were committed with a similar purpose or result, the victims were similar, or the defendant’s modus operandi was similar.

If found guilty of the freeze and seize law, the defendant will serve an additional consecutive prison sentence, depending on how much money is involved. For amounts between $100,000 and $500,000, one to two years will be tacked onto the original sentence with a possible fine of the greater of $100,000 or double the value of what was taken. Up to five years will be added to a sentence if $500,000 or more was taken, with a possible fine of the greater of $500,000 or double the value of what was taken.

Seek the Best Outcome With a Folsom White-Collar Defense Attorney

A white-collar crime charge is not the end of your story. Our team helps you by scrutinizing and refuting what the prosecutor says, engaging expert witnesses and witnesses for the defense, and crafting a unique defense. Much depends on your side of the story. We are here to listen to it.

Our vast experience and favorable outcomes should give you confidence that you have chosen the best advocate. Work with a Folsom white collar defense lawyer by contact us as soon as possible.