a man in a business suit in handcuffs being charged with a white crime in bradenton & sarasota florida

Many people view white-collar crimes as harmless acts, believing that people who are convicted of these types of offenses only receive a slap on the wrist. At Van Elswyk Law in Sarasota, Florida, we treat all forms of criminal defense and securities law seriously, as they can all potentially result in people getting sentenced to decades in prison.

Therefore, if you have been charged with a white-collar crime, you should take that charge just as seriously as any other and contact our attorneys as soon as possible.

Types of White-Collar Crime

Nearly all classes of white-collar crime involve illicit gains of money or property. What differentiates them from other offenses is that white-collar crime doesn’t directly involve violence or the destruction of property.


One of the most common sorts of white-collar crime is fraud. If charged, you are being accused of using deception to obtain money or property from another party. Fraud charges are filed against anyone involved with the following heinous acts:

  • Ponzi schemes
  • Identity theft
  • Stolen tax returns
  • Bank account takeovers

Voter fraud also counts as a form of fraud, even though a vote doesn’t have financial value.


An embezzlement charge represents a specific form of theft in which you use your authority over money, property, or assets to divert some of them to yourself or another illicitly. Embezzlement, however, is often difficult for authorities to identify, as the accused can create and modify records that hide their illegal activity.

Wage Theft

If you are the owner of a business, you could be charged with wage theft, which asserts that you failed to provide appropriate wages or benefits to your employees based on the time they worked for you.

Wage theft is rarely prosecuted for minor offenses. If you accidentally underpaid an employee once or twice, you can usually just pay back the error (possibly with a small penalty) and move on, but once the unpaid wages and benefits reach the tens of thousands, authorities usually act. Furthermore, wage theft charges are ones you should never ignore, as they will usually take the form of federal charges, which can result in significant penalties.


If the government believes that you have offered something of value to another party in order to get them to do something illegal or otherwise inappropriate, you will be struck with bribery charges. Similarly, if you are found to have accepted money to do something inappropriate, you could be charged with accepting a bribe. The government takes both of these acts very seriously, especially when one or more of the individuals involved are government officials.

Consequences of White Collar Charges

The consequences for a white-collar charge differ depending on its severity, but at a minimum, convictions usually include fines of thousands of dollars and full restitution to the victim. That means if you are charged with defrauding someone of $10,000, the minimum cost to you will be at least that amount plus any fines.

Fines aren’t the only penalty for white-collar charges, though. Typically, unless you are charged with a misdemeanor or a relatively minor felony, you will likely face jail time as well, and if you are facing federal charges, you are probably facing at least a decade behind bars.

What to Do if You Are Charged with a White-Collar Crime

If you are facing criminal charges, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. From the moment you are arrested, anything you say or do can be used against you at trial, so you need a lawyer to protect your rights and handle all communications with the relevant authorities.

Why You Should Choose Van Elswyk Law for Your Criminal Defense Team

Brice Van Elswyk, founder of Van Elswyk Law, worked as an investment banker for 14 years before becoming an attorney. His extensive experience with the financial sector means that he is better able to navigate these types of law than most attorneys. Where other lawyers might need to hire an accountant to search through your financial records, Brice doesn’t need to rely on a third party.

Furthermore, Brice spent seven years prosecuting crimes in the State Attorney’s Office in Florida, meaning he holds a fundamental understanding of how prosecutors think, what penalties are fair, and where there is room for negotiation. In most cases, our law firm is able to leverage that knowledge to get charges dropped or negotiate the lowest possible penalty for a charge.

Contact Van Elswyk Law in Sarasota, FL, Today

Despite what you may have seen in the movies or on television, if you are convicted of a white-collar crime, you could receive decades in prison for those crimes, a type of risk you cannot afford to take.

If you have been charged with fraud, embezzlement, or any other white-collar crime, contact the criminal defense law firm of Van Elswyk Law immediately to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney who will protect your rights.