White Collar Crime in Florida

The term white-collar crime generally refers to non-violent financially motivated crimes that are committed by business people, professionals, or public officials.

According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), the Southern District of Florida (Miami) ranked second for the judicial district with the largest number of white-collar crime convictions per capita.

Most white-collar crimes involve some level of fraudulent representation or violation of trust. Some of the most common white-collar crimes in Florida include:

  • Scheme to Defraud
  • Embezzlement/Employee Theft
  • Healthcare Fraud
  • Mortgage Fraud

Attorney for White-Collar Crimes in Fort Lauderdale

Florida is the United States capital for white-collar crime accusations. The idea is that business and professional people migrate to Florida close to retirement and begin to misuse funds. While this scenario is typical of television shows, the reality is much different. An individual accused of white-collar crimes is just like any other offender, innocent until proven guilty.

At Bacchus Law Firm we understand that everyone deserves fair representation. Our attorneys strive to provide zealous and strategic representation for our clients. If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime that is considered white-collar in Broward County, or in the surrounding counties of Hendry County, Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, or Collier County, in Florida, then call our office.

With offices located in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, just minutes from the Broward County Central Courthouse, our lawyers accept cases in Miami, LaBelle, West Palm Beach, or East Naples.

Call (954) 500-5555 to schedule an appointment to speak one-on-one with one of our attorneys.

Broward County White Collar Crime Information Center

Back to top

What is White-Collar Crime

Criminologists have debated the definition of white-collar crime since Edwin Sutherland first coined the phrase in 1939. At first, early definitions focused on the social class of the individual committing the crime, rather than the crime itself.

As the decades have passed, however, what could be considered a white-collar crime has broadened. While white-collar crime is generally considered non-violent, in some places, the term has included conviction of unfair labor practices that have caused death.

The U.S. Department of Justice, however, has set the tone for white-collar crimes, describing the violations to include the following:

  • Government Fraud – fraudulent acts involving federally funded programs, bribery, or conflicts of interest on those individuals employed in the Executive, Judicial, or Legislative branches of government;
  • Environmental Crimes – includes acts that involve the illegal disposition of hazardous waste that may lead water, ground, or food contamination;
  • Public Corruption – involves acts performed by a public servant, elected, or appointed official that violates Federal or State law when performed on or behalf of public office;
  • Financial Crimes –acts such as those involving bank fraud, embezzlement, tax fraud, Ponzi schemes, etc….

Back to top

White Collar Crime in Florida

Florida is a haven for white-collar crime. According to a study done by Syracuse University in 2016, Miami ranked number one in the U.S. for white-collar prosecutions.

In response to the high number of white-collar crime offenses, the Florida Legislature enacted the White-Collar Crime Victim Protection Act, (The Act).  

The Act was passed to protect against "the frequency with which victims, particularly elderly victims, are deceived and cheated…." The Florida White Collar Crime Protection Act includes the following crimes:

  • Chapter 560 – Money Transmitter's Code;
  • Chapter 812 – Theft, Robbery, and Related Crimes;
  • Chapter 815 – Computer Related Crimes;
  • Chapter 817 – Fraudulent Practices;
  • Chapter 825 – Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of Elderly and Disabled Persons;
  • Chapter 831 – Forgery and Counterfeiting;
  • Chapter 832 – Issuance of Worthless Checks and Drafts;
  • Chapter 838 – Bribery and Misuse of Public Office;
  • Chapter 839 – Offenses by Public Officers and Employees;
  • Chapter 895 – Offenses Concerning Racketeering and Illegal Debts;
  • Chapter 896 – Offenses relating to Financial Transactions.

According to Fla. Stat. § 775.0844, a white-collar crime has been committed when the accused commits:

  • A felony offense with the intent to defraud or involves a conspiracy to defraud;
  • A felony offense with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive a person of his or her property or that involves a conspiracy to do the above; or
  • A felony offense that involves or results in the commission of fraud or deceit upon a person or involves a conspiracy to commit such acts.

Back to top

Additional Resources

Fla. Stat. § 775.0844 – Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature for the full statutory language of the White Collar Crime Prevention Act including a list of acts that constitute a white-collar crime.

White Collar Crime Reports -- Visit the website of Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) which is a data gathering, data research, and data distribution organization system at Syracuse University. The purpose is to provide the American people and institutions of oversight, such as Congress, news organizations, public interest groups, businesses, and scholars with comprehensive information about staffing, spending, and enforcement activities of the Federal government.

Florida's Approach to White Collar Crime: Coordinated or Chaotic  -- Visit the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for a full scholarly analysis of white-collar crime in Florida, including background information on the history of the definition of white-collar crime, the way Florida has historically treated white-collar crime across the State, and advice on what Florida regulatory and law enforcement agencies need to develop a centrally coordinated effort to track patterns of white-collar crime.

Back to top

Find an Attorney for White-Collar Crime in Broward County, FL

White-Collar Crime is prevalent in Florida, but anyone accused of fraudulent practices, bribery, or embezzlement deserves fair and equal representation under the law. If you or someone you know has been accused of white-collar crime in Florida, contact Bacchus Law Firm.

Our criminal defense lawyers are professional, experienced, and dedicated litigators who will fight to get you the best possible result. We take cases throughout South Florida, in Miami, LaBelle, West Palm Beach, East Naples, and Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Call (954) 500-5555 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers.

This Article Was Last Updated on June 9, 2017.

Back to top