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What Is A White Collar Crime?

A white collar crime in Virginia occurs when the primary motivation is to gain financially. Most people commonly think of white collar crime as being committed by individuals who hold rank, position or power. However, these types of crimes are often found in everyday businesses or corporations, are nonviolent, and may involve individuals who seem the least likely to break the law.

Common white collar crimes include bank fraud, blackmail, cellphone fraud, counterfeiting, currency schemes, extortion, investment schemes, kickbacks, bankruptcy fraud, telemarketing fraud, welfare fraud, weights and measures, antitrust violations, computer crimes, copyright infringement, insider trading, securities fraud, odometer fraud, police impersonation, check kiting, bribery, credit card theft, identity theft, embezzlement, forgery, money laundering, tax evasion and tax fraud.

At Williams Stone, PC, we defend individuals throughout northern Virginia who are facing white collar crime charges. If you are under investigation or suspected of or have been arrested for the involvement of any one of these crimes, our attorneys can help. Call 540-643-9260 right away.

Types Of White Collar Crimes


Bribery is a white collar crime. A bribe is most easily explained as the giving of something of value with corrupt intent in exchange for some sort of act or influence. Bribery is illegal under federal law and incurs criminal charges for both parties involved. In Virginia, bribery requires the exchange of something valuable, which could be money or any useful item. Penalties for such actions are harsh, with consequences outlined in Section 201: a fine up to three times the value of the bribe or imprisonment for up to fifteen years, or both. Additionally, convicted individuals may lose the privilege to hold positions of honor or trust in the U.S. government.

Credit Card Or Identity Theft

In Virginia, credit card theft and identity theft are both fraud and a serious crime. This type of theft includes using lost or stolen credit cards and/or creating or using fake credit cards. Credit card theft also includes intercepting someone else’s credit card via mail. Each state has its own laws regarding credit card theft and the charges and penalties associated with this crime. It can be a few days in jail in one place or several years in prison in another, depending of course on the severity of the crime. Fines can be as high as $10,000 in credit card fraud penalty fees. In Virginia, prison, fines and penalties all apply. Under state law, values remaining below $200 for six months, the penalties line up as a Class 1 misdemeanor. If a stolen credit card exceeds $200 in purchases over six months time, Class 6 felony penalties will apply.

At Williams Stone, PC, we defend clients accused of identity theft or credit card theft. If you are facing charges for credit card fraud, you need to contact us today. Our attorneys will work to get these charges reduced or dismissed.


Embezzlement is considered property theft and happens when an individual who is managing or monitoring someone else’s money or property steals all or part of it for personal gain. Simply taking money or property from someone is stealing, but when you violate a position of trust, including within an organization or place of business, it is embezzlement.

Under Virginia law, the punishment for embezzlement is according to the value of the property stolen. If it’s less than $200, there is a fine of up to $2,500 or up to a year in jail or both. If the value is $200 or more, it may include the same fine and jail time as above, or a judge may sentence you to at least one year, but up to 20 years in prison.


Forgery is a crime where an individual is alleged to have falsified something in order to deceive another person or person(s). This includes forging checks, falsifying signatures on important documents, or altering or removing existing writing or signatures in an attempt to defraud another. If convicted of forgery in Virginia, you are facing possible prison time as it is considered a felony. Forgery is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and hefty fines. You may also be ordered to pay restitution.

Any criminal conviction will affect you, but a forgery conviction could possibly hurt you for the remainder of your life. Jail time is one thing, but after you’re released, you will need to overcome a forgery conviction on your background checks, employment checks and more. It can also make going back to school more difficult as the ability to obtain financial aid with this type of criminal conviction will be more difficult. Your reputation and future are on the line. If you’ve been charged with forgery in northern Virginia, call our lawyers to discuss your options.

Money Laundering

Money laundering involves the process of disguising or concealing illegally obtained money so that the government cannot seize or tax it. Money laundering is commonly associated with terrorists or drug dealers, but there are more types of money laundering including business fraud, mortgage fraud, real estate fraud, illegal wire transfers, health care fraud and insurance fraud. Different methods of money laundering include structuring deposits or “smurfing,” utilizing overseas banks or offshore accounts, underground or alternative banking, shell companies, and the general investment of the money into a legitimate business such as a brokerage firm or casino in an attempt to clean it. If you are charged and eventually convicted of money laundering in Virginia, you are facing a Class 1 misdemeanor, which for a first offense is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500 for each count. If this is a second or third offense (or more), you are likely facing up to five years in prison. If you have been charged with money laundering in northern Virginia, call Williams Stone, PC, today to discuss your situation and learn your options.

Tax Fraud And Tax Evasion

You can be charged with tax fraud or tax evasion in Virginia for a variety of reasons. Common instances include falsifying income, hiding income, failing to keep tax returns or other records, laundering money to disguise criminal activity, and working with cash only to avoid taxes. If convicted of tax fraud or tax evasion in Virginia, you are likely to face heavy fines and a criminal record, which will undoubtedly affect your future employment or educational opportunities. Do not underestimate a charge of tax fraud or evasion.

Schedule A Consultation With Williams Stone, PC, Today

When charged with a white collar crime, it is best you consult with an attorney who understands Virginia law. At Williams Stone, PC, we are recognized for the level of superior legal services we provide in all criminal law matters. We take an assertive and compassionate approach to working with clients and address the immediate and long-term issues that you might be facing. If you have been charged with a white collar crime in northern Virginia, contact us online or call us at 540-643-9260 today for a free consultation.