• Sean Buckley

Understanding White Collar Crime

Updated: Apr 25




Federal Defense Attorney Sean Buckley has over two decades of experience and a proven track record representing individuals and companies accused of white collar crime. Noticeable win: recent "Not Guilty" verdict in a $120 Million Healthcare Fraud trial (one of the most significant defense verdicts during the federal government’s ongoing nationwide crackdown on healthcare fraud and violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS).


If you’re being investigated for a white-collar crime such as wire or mail fraud, health care fraud, money laundering, conspiracy, or any other state or federal white-collar crime, it’s important to get help from a qualified and experienced federal criminal defense attorney

In most cases, by the time you learn you’re under investigation, the Government has already begun building a case against you.


There are many criminal defense attorneys throughout Houston and across the U.S. with impressive online profiles, but many lack the actual qualifications and experience to defend clients in serious and complex white collar cases. If you are facing serious allegations involving white collar crime, you need an attorney with experience handling financial criminal cases in Federal court.


Call us today to set up a FREE CASE EVALUATION.

Attorney Sean Buckley is a protégé of famed criminal defense trial lawyer Dick DeGuerin, whose influence defined Buckley’s skillset and multi-dimensional approach to defending clients. Following in the footsteps of his mentor, Buckley’s work has been favorably covered by the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and numerous other national and local media outlets. Buckley also serves as lead editor of O’Connor’s Federal Criminal Rules & Codes, a legal reference book used by criminal lawyers across the United States. He earned his B.A. from Auburn in 1996 and his law degree from The University of Texas School of Law in 1999.


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Summary

  • White-collar crime is a type of non-violent crime that is financially motivated.

  • White-collar crimes may be perpetrated by individuals or companies. Due to sophisticated tactics and technologies, even white-collar crimes committed by lone individuals may result in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

  • Because white-collar crimes are created by complex criminal statutes, various defenses may be available to defendants even when their conduct might appear unlawful or wrongful at first glance.

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White-Collar Crime vs. Street Crime


The difference between white-collar crime and street crime can be summarized as follows: “white-collar crime” usually involves unlawful financial transactions and business activities, while “street crime” usually involves unlawful physical conduct against people, property, or society.


Common Types of White-Collar Crime


White-collar crime includes a wide range of state and federal criminal offenses. Common examples include:


1. Wire Fraud & Mail Fraud


Wire fraud and mail fraud are defined in federal statutes 18 U.S.C. §§1343 and 1341, respectively. These statutes criminalize frauds and swindles facilitated by wire, radio, television, or the mail and carry a potential 20-year punishment range upon conviction. Prosecutors must prove that a defendant acted with a specific intent to defraud.


2. Health Care Fraud


Health care fraud and related false claims and anti-kickback offenses are defined in federal statutes 18 U.S.C. §1347 and 42 U.S.C. §1320a-7b, respectively. Conduct constituting health care fraud can also be charged as wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, or conspiracy. Generally, health care fraud offenses criminalize schemes to defraud health care benefit programs. Federal health care fraud offenses typically carry a potential 10-year punishment range. Prosecutors must prove that a defendant acted “willfully” and with a specific intent to defraud.


3. Money laundering


Money laundering is defined in federal statutes 18 U.S.C. §§1956 & 1957 and also under state law. Federal and state money laundering statutes criminalize transactions with the proceeds of criminal activity. Federal money laundering offenses carry a potential 20-year punishment range. In federal court, prosecutors must prove that a defendant had knowledge of the criminal source of the funds.


4. Conspiracy


Conspiracy is defined in federal statutes 18 U.S.C. §§371 and 1349 and also under state law. Federal and state conspiracy statutes criminalize agreements to commit crimes. The punishment range for conspiracy under federal law is the punishment range applicable to the offense that was the object of the conspiracy. In federal court, prosecutors must prove that a defendant “willfully” participated in the conspiracy knowing of its illegal purpose.


There are many criminal defense attorneys throughout Houston and across the U.S. with impressive online profiles, but many lack the actual qualifications and experience to defend clients in serious and complex white collar cases. If you are facing serious allegations involving white collar crime, you need an attorney with experience handling financial criminal cases in Federal court.


Call us today to set up a FREE CASE EVALUATION.




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