Los Angeles Accounting Fraud Defense Lawyers
Honest accounting is essential for maintaining trust in our financial institutions. That’s why licensed certified public accountants (CPAs) are legally required to uphold high standards of professional integrity. Huge companies including Enron, Bear Stearns, Washington Mutual, and Anderson Accounting have been brought to ruin by improper accounting practices.
People may like to joke about “creative accounting” practices, but state and federal prosecutors take accounting fraud seriously. Huge fines and lengthy prison sentences are often handed out in these cases.
If you’ve been charged with accounting fraud, the entire weight of the federal government could come crashing down on you all at once. Our nationally recognized criminal defense attorneys at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, won’t back down from anybody. We’ll explore every avenue of defense and take advantage of all the nuances of the law to protect your freedom.
Call (213) 688-0460 to schedule your case evaluation today.
Fraud involves unethical practices designed to gain an unfair or undeserved benefit or to cause harm or loss to others. Accounting fraud is the deliberate manipulation of financial data in a way that purposely misleads investors, potential investors, tax collectors, or regulating agencies.
Examples of accounting fraud may include:
- Payroll fraud
- Money laundering
- Insider trading
- Falsifying sales reports
- Falsifying bank entries
- Falsifying quarterly reports
- Overstating revenue or assets
- Misreporting income or losses
- Understating expenses or liabilities
- Purchasing or selling unregistered securities
- Falsifying SEC statements or leaving out pertinent facts
- Failing to report gifts, bonuses, or any type of benefit
Accounting fraud is investigated by state and federal agencies. The California State Attorney General’s Corporate Fraud Section investigates financial wrongdoing in coordination with other sections, including those responsible for Consumer Protection, Antitrust & Business Competition, and Medi-Cal Fraud. State prosecution often involves embezzlement, theft, or misrepresentation prosecuted under the Corporations Code and other statutes.
The US Department of Justice takes an active role in prosecuting accounting fraud. Several government agencies investigate financial crimes, including the IRS, SEC, FBI, ATF, Secret Service, and DEA.
In California, many types of financial fraud are wobblers, which means they may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount of money involved and other factors. District attorneys exercise a lot of discretion in these cases and having the right white collar crime defense attorney can make a big difference in the type of sentence you receive.
In federal cases, the penalties for fraud may be extremely harsh. For examples, bank fraud carries a maximum federal prison sentence of up to 30 years, and you could also be forced to pay several million dollars in fines and restitution.
Corporate fraud prosecutions can be extremely complex. They’re often the result of lengthy government investigations involving mountains of documents and countless witness statements. In many cases, the witnesses who implicate others have already cut a deal with prosecutors, rendering their testimony suspect at best.
An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to exploit weaknesses and inconsistencies in the government’s case. Effective defenses against accounting fraud include:
- There was no intent to defraud
- Insufficient evidence that a crime has occurred
- Untrustworthy government witnesses
- Illegal government searches
- Failure to inform the suspect of their rights
- Demonstrating holes in the prosecution’s case
Federal prosecutors get promoted by putting people in jail. They’re used to just rolling over the other side. But our defense attorneys at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP have won several high-profile cases against the toughest prosecutors in the nation. Our firm’s success has been documented by major news sources such as the Los Angeles Times, Fox News, CNN, Esquire, and the BBC.
We’ll do everything we can to protect your freedom. Call (213) 688-0460 to learn more today.
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.