Common White Collar Federal Crimes

There is a common idea of what a white collar crime is because of movies like Wolf of Wallstreet and The Insider. Or perhaps you only know the term “white collar crime” because of celebrities like Martha Stuart or other famous CEOs caught with their hands in the cookie jar, so to speak. These crimes, although certainly high profile, only shed light on a few crimes and fail to distinguish the line between state and federal charges.

White collar crime is defined as non-violent criminal acts in which the perpetrator deceives a victim for financial gain. These crimes, while not involving physical pain or property damage, can lead to financial ruin for victims and are taken seriously by prosecutors. White collar crime cases have a high profile because of the amount of money and people involved and are typically featured in local and national news. Due to this heightened profile, prosecutors will utilize their extensive resources to win the case.

If you have been accused of a white collar crime, you need the best federal criminal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg with The Rickman Law Firm. Your attorney will have specialized experience in dealing with white collar cases and understand the complex nature of the prosecutor’s investigation. In this article, an attorney shares the most common federal white collar crimes that happen in Florida.

Ponzi Schemes

The technical definition of a ponzi scheme is “a form of fraud in which belief in the success of a nonexistent enterprise is fostered by the payment of quick returns to the first investors from money invested by later investors.” In other words: a ponzi scheme is a pyramid scheme.

This form of fraud lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors. The scheme leads victims to believe that profits are coming from product sales or other means, and they remain unaware that other investors are the source of funds. In many instances, these schemes are veiled as legitimate businesses or “multi-level marketing” companies. Running a ponzi scheme is a federal crime and is investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

Corporate Fraud

Corporate fraud is one of the most common crimes to be investigated by the FBI because it is inherently damaging to the U.S. economy and investor confidence.

According to recent FBI reports, the majority of corporate fraud cases pursued involve accounting schemes designed to deceive investors, auditors, and analysts about the true financial condition of a corporation or business entity. Through the manipulation of financial data, the share price, or other valuation measurements of a corporation, financial performance may remain artificially inflated based on fictitious performance indicators provided to the investing public. Charges of corporate fraud are very serious and can result in major fines and long-term prison sentences. It is in your best interest to retain a federal criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg if you are approached or questioned by any federal agents due to your business dealings.

Money Laundering

According to the FBI, the definition of money laundering is the process by which criminals conceal or disguise their proceeds and make them appear to have come from legitimate sources. This allows guilty parties to hide wealth they have accumulated from untoward or illegal means and avoid taxes, prosecution, and other consequences of reporting while giving them a way to illegally increase profit and the ability to invest in other illegal activities.

Put simply, money laundering is turning “dirty” money into “clean” money.

This can be money gained from crimes which have their own serious consequences, including:

  • Complex financial crimes
  • Health care fraud
  • Human trafficking
  • International and domestic public corruption
  • Narcotics trafficking
  • Terrorism

It may have been a financial difficulty that led you down this path, but now you are facing charges for a white collar crime and, unfortunately, it’s serious. White collar crimes carry with them extensive penalties, including fines and up to 30 years in prison. It doesn’t matter if you are considered the ringleader of a white collar scheme or a cog in the machine, you are subject to the same penalties. To ensure that you are properly defended, it’s vital that you contact the best federal criminal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg to handle your case. A free consultation with Anthony Rickman is just a phone call away.

For a free consultation with the best federal criminal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.


Schedule Consultation

Case Results


The Client was cited by the Federal government for Possession of an Explosive Device which Fire Ammunition. During the Pre-Indictment stage, Attorney Anthony Rickman immediately contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office to provide them with relevant
Show More


The Client was being investigated for Battery after greeting a friend at a Super Cuts and the friend alleged that the Client touched him inappropriately. The Rickman Law Firm immediately contacted investigators and the State
Show More


The Client was charged with Driving Under the Influence. Even though the client had a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.187, Attorney Anthony Rickman was able to get the DUI charge reduced to Reckless Driving.
Show More