Economic Crimes and Fraud Cases
The economic downturn over the past several years has led to an explosion of federal criminal prosecutions for fraud and other types of economic crimes. Just because someone loses money in a business, this does not mean that a federal crime took place. However, we are seeing more and more situations where a person involved in a failing business not only loses his or her money, he or she also faces the prospect of a criminal charge in federal court.
There are many different situations that can result in a federal prosecution for fraud or some other type of economic crime. In addition, the federal criminal code contains a number of provisions that prosecutors utilize in federal criminal cases involving economic crimes or fraud. For examples, federal statutes have been utilized to bring federal prosecutions for alleged accounting fraud, bank fraud, mail and wire fraud, false or fraudulent statements in connection with a bankruptcy proceeding, fraudulent acts while using a computer, credit card fraud, forgery, defrauding a government agency, health care fraud, Medicare fraud, mortgage fraud, public corruption (or honest services fraud), securities fraud, and tax fraud. In each of these scenarios, however, the Government must prove that an individual acted with "intent to defraud." Perhaps more than any other element, the element of "intent" is often strongly contested in federal fraud prosecutions.
In the past several years, federal prosecutors have begun to focus heavily on certain types of alleged fraud and supposed economic crimes. For example, the downturn in the banking industry here in Georgia and other states has resulted in many investigations that focus on bankers and those in other financial industries. The collapse of the real estate marked generated a series of mortgage-fraud prosecutions. The high cost of medical care has resulted in a veritable explosion of criminal cases being brought against doctors and other medical professionals who are alleged to have committed health care fraud in some aspect of their practice.
In addition to fraud cases, we handle matters involving other economic crimes, such as theft, embezzlement, bribery, blackmail, and intellectual property offenses. We also represent employers who are investigated for or are prosecuted with violating immigration laws. No matter whether a case is called an "economic crime" or a "fraud case," these federal prosecutions have several things in common. They can be document intensive and, quite often, extremely complicated. Since federal prosecutors usually utilize grand jury subpoenas and search warrants to gather documents in federal cases like this, it is not uncommon for these matters to involve millions of pages of documentary evidence.
Due to the complex issues that often arise in federal fraud cases, an attorney handling a case like this not only needs to be a quick study, the lawyer must also be able to be adept at identifying the need for expert testimony, locating an expert, and then working closely with an expert who possesses the specialized knowledge that a case like this often requires. We hire our own specialists when we defend our clients, including trained professionals such as accountants, auditors, retired FBI agents and the like.
In short, an individual or company dealing with a federal economic or fraud investigation or prosecution must hire an attorney who is qualified to handle these complicated cases. At Kish & Lietz, we regularly handle complex criminal matters, and we have been doing so for years. If you or a loved one is investigated for or accused of an economic crime or federal fraud offense, we would be glad to speak with you. Feel free to call (404) 588-3991, or contact us online.