White-Collar Crime Attorneys in Los Angeles
Our Team Provides Top-Rated White-Collar Crime Defense
White-collar crime cases are rarely simple. Usually, they are mazes of financial documents, business decisions, electronic records, and more. Our experienced lawyers know how to navigate through these complex mazes. More importantly, we know how to build strong cases and get positive results for people like you. That’s why Los Angeles Magazine chose to include Mark Werksman on a list of the area’s top white-collar criminal defense attorneys.
You’re a professional. Being charged with a white-collar crime does not simply mean you are threatened with jail time or fines. If convicted, your career and reputation could be ruined.
Our firm knows how serious allegations of white-collar crime can be; we investigate every detail of your case, frequently enlisting skilled investigators, such as ex-IRS agents, FBI agents, ex-postal investigators, and former Los Angeles prosecutors. With state-of-the-art technology, we are able to scan and analyze thousands of pages of business and bank records in an amazingly short period of time.
A successful criminal defense strategy often requires finding a needle in a haystack. We leave no stone unturned in our investigations, which is why we have a strong record of success.
At Werksman Jackson Hathaway & Quinn LLP, we understand how easily white-collar crime charges can arise. We have seen them appear as the result of an honest financial mistake, of poor business agreements, or simply because of false accusations.
FAQs About White-Collar Crimes
Q: What is “white-collar crime“?
A: White-collar crime is typically thought of as an offense involving monetary losses. This may involve a business, someone’s personal finances, or even local, state, and federal agencies. A few examples of white-collar crime include bank fraud, wire fraud, tax fraud and tax evasion, Medicare and Medicaid fraud, and insurance fraud.
Q: Are all white-collar crimes prosecuted at the federal level?
A: It is often assumed (incorrectly) that white-collar crimes are prosecuted only in federal court. But in reality, it is not uncommon for state prosecutors to go after those accused of white-collar crimes.
The reasons why some white-collar offenses are prosecuted in state court while others are prosecuted in federal court are complicated. Many white-collar crimes are incredibly complex and require extensive resources to prosecute and bring to trial, but not all state agencies can afford to bring these matters to court. As an example, a particular case may require many investigative hours and a prosecutor with a certain level of expertise who is not available at the local district attorney’s office.
If the case involves a large enough monetary loss, federal authorities often become involved in the investigation and prosecute the case in federal court - assuming that a federal law has been broken.
Because of the broad reach of federal laws, many white-collar cases can be brought in either federal court or state court. Some offenses are traditionally prosecuted in federal court, even though they may also involve violations of state law. These offenses include bank fraud, securities and commodities fraud, fraud cases involving federal funds, federal income tax offenses, procurement fraud involving federal contractors, bribery involving federal officials, and more.
Q: Who investigates white-collar crimes?
A: Several government law enforcement agencies investigate white-collar offenses. Sometimes more than one agency will be involved, if the crime lies within the scope of a particular agency’s expertise. Generally, the FBI investigates bank and mortgage fraud, and other general frauds. The IRS investigates tax-related matters, but also frequently teams up with other agencies, such as the FBI, in fraud investigations. The IRS has primary responsibility for investigating money-laundering offenses, which are often charged along with fraud offenses. The Department of Defense investigates defense procurement fraud cases. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigates types of fraud involving mail. Immigration and Customs Enforcement may be involved in cases relating to imported counterfeit goods.
Q: What kind of penalties can be imposed for white-collar crimes?
A: As for financial penalties imposed with a conviction, there are several possibilities:
- Fines – A penalty with a maximum set by statute. In practice, courts will rarely impose the maximum fine.
- Restitution – A penalty that is intended to "make the victim whole." Restitution is calculated according to the victim’s loss, and is often mandatory.
- Forfeiture – A penalty that is intended to prevent the defendant from "self-enrichment." Forfeiture includes any financial gains by the defendant as a result of the crime, as well as any significant assets that were used in the course of committing the crime.
Managing Partner Mark Werksman has been named by Super Lawyers® as one of the top-rated white collar crimes attorneys in Los Angeles since 2005. Contact one of our lawyers at Werksman Jackson Hathaway & Quinn LLP for any of your white-collar defense needs.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.