Fraud and White Collar Crimes

White collar crime is a loose category of criminal conduct that typically involves the exercise of some deceit for financial gain. There are usually no physical confrontations, nor do such crimes happen in the dead of night. White collar crimes are complex, and consequently, accusations of white collar crime can be mislaid where complex facts appear to tell the tale of crime where no such crime occurred.

At the Neumann Law Group, our dedicated Traverse City criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience defending clients charged with all types of white collar crimes in both state and federal court. We attribute much of our success to our fundamental understanding of business, which enables our white collar crime defense lawyers to immediately grasp complex concepts and allegations.

What Types of Offenses Are Considered White Collar Crimes?

Typically, charges involving fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, or tax evasion fall under the category of white collar crime. Although white collar crimes do not involve the immediate risk of serious injury or death that violent crimes do, criminal convictions for white collar crimes can result in prison time and significant fines. A conviction can also permanently ruin a person’s reputation, destroy his or her business, and harm their personal relationships.


An individual may commit fraud, where he or she takes deliberate action to obtain property through the exercise of dishonest behavior. One cannot commit fraud by accident. A perpetrator must act with the specific intent to cheat the subject of a scheme. For instance, selling someone a fake diamond ring is not criminally fraudulent if the seller does not know the diamond is not real. In order to be convicted of fraud, the seller must act with the intent to deceive the buyer into believing the diamond is real.


Embezzlement is similar to fraud, as it involves the wrongful taking of another’s property through deception. However, embezzlement requires the property to arrive in the hands of the perpetrator willingly and as a matter of trust. Frequently, embezzlement occurs when an employer gives an employee possession and/or control over some asset, and the employee intentionally takes control over that property as his own. For example, if a financial planner is given a retiree’s cash assets with the understanding the planner is going to invest the money for the benefit of the retiree, and then the financial planner decides to run away to Mexico with his paramour, the planner would have committed embezzlement.

Money Laundering

Money laundering is the process of intentionally disguising the origin of money through a series of transactions and transfers. Typically, large sums of money are laundered where the funds were obtained through elicit conduct—such as drug dealing—and the holder of those funds wants to be able to use them in lawful commerce.

Tax Evasion

Tax evasion is the practice of intentionally avoiding paying taxes owed to the government. It involves deliberately misrepresenting or concealing information to reduce tax liability, such as underreporting income, inflating deductions, or hiding money and assets in offshore accounts. Unlike tax avoidance, which is the use of legal methods to minimize tax owed, tax evasion is a criminal activity with serious legal consequences, including penalties and imprisonment.

Most white collar crimes can be prosecuted by either the state or federal government, making it essential your criminal defense attorney is experienced handling cases in both state and federal court.

Are You Under Investigation for a White Collar Offense or Financial Crime?

Financial crimes require a different defense approach than traditional criminal defense work. As the matters tend to involve complex financial documentation, having a business-literate defense team is important. If you are being investigated or have been charged with a white collar crime, call the experienced attorneys at Neumann Law Group for a free consultation today. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, give the Traverse City Criminal Defense lawyers at the Neumann Law Group a call at 800-525-6386. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.

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