When you have become the target of an investigation, your world can turn upside down. Perhaps your bank account has been frozen or an asset seized. Perhaps you’ve already been arrested or indicted. Any way you slice it, you may have a long road ahead of stress and chaos.
To us, your situation isn’t about whether you actually committed a crime. Instead, we will invoke your rights, work with forensic accountants to crunch the numbers, and utilize legal tools to pave the way for your life to continue as smoothly and comfortably as possible. With our successes, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the New York Law Journal, have featured us. Finally, because of our accomplishments in the white-collar arena, our Firm was involved with the largest insider trading case in American history.
The sooner our clients hire our white collar criminal defense lawyers in Manhattan and NYC, the more effectively we can help. Our law firm accepts clients all across New York City and beyond.
Wire and Mail Frauds
If you’ve used the mail, TV, radio, phone, or the Internet, to illegally obtain money or property, then you can be charged with these federal offenses where you can face up to 30 years in prison.
It’s not a crime to discuss something unlawful — unless you’ve taken a concrete or overt step toward accomplishing the act. Conspiracy is the catch-all crime for the federal government. This means that even when the crime discussed is never finalized (or is never even close to being completed) you can still be charged and face up to 20 years’ jail.
Money laundering is the process of making illegally-gained proceeds (“dirty money”) appear legal (“clean”). Typically, it involves three steps: placement, layering, and integration. First, the illegitimate funds are furtively introduced into the legitimate financial system. Then, the money is moved around to create confusion, sometimes by wiring or transferring through numerous accounts. Finally, it is integrated into the financial system through additional transactions until the “dirty money” appears “clean.” The government believes that those involved in money laundering often do so to facilitate crimes such as drug trafficking and terrorism; however, if the government can’t link the transactions to these crimes, they will solely charge money laundering, where the accused can face up to 20 years’ prison.
Compared to a civil tax audit, criminal tax investigations started by the IRS can lead to prosecution by the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance can also investigate you or your company directly through District Attorneys’ offices.
Civil and Asset Forfeiture (Property Seizures)
If you’re suspected of committing a crime, or if you may be connected to someone who is, the government may attempt to seize your property or money. We have defended a number of individuals and companies and their property in matters before Homeland Security, the IRS, and U.S. Attorneys’ offices.
The term Securities Fraud covers a wide range of illegal activities, all of which involve the deception of investors or manipulation of financial markets. We defend cases before the SEC, FINRA, and U.S. Attorneys’ offices.
High Yield Investment Frauds
- Are characterized by promises of high rates of return with little or no risk.
- May involve various forms of investments (e.g. Securities, commodities, real estate, precious metals, etc.)
- Investors can be contacted by telephone, e-mail, or in person.
- The offers are generally unsolicited.
Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes
- Use money collected from new investors to pay the high rates of return promised to earlier patrons.
- Payouts give the impression of a legitimate, money-making enterprise behind the fund director.
- In reality, investors are the only source of funding.
Advance Fee Schemes
- Shareholders advance relatively small sums of money in the hope of realizing much larger gains.
- Gains never materialize because there is no legitimate underlying investment.
- To participate in a particular investment opportunity, buyers must first send funds to cover “taxes” or “processing fees.”
- After purchasers send the “fees,” the fund managers appropriate the funds and never deliver on the investment.
Because of our wide-ranging experience with these cases, we had the extreme honor of filing an amicus brief in U.S. v. Rajaratnam, the largest insider trading case in American history.
Insider trading is a term that most investors have heard and usually associate with illegal conduct. But the term actually includes both legal and illegal conduct.
The legal version is when corporate insiders — officers, directors, and employees — buy and sell stock in their own companies. When corporate insiders trade in their own securities, they must report their trades to the SEC.
Illegal insider trading refers generally to buying or selling a security, in breach of a fiduciary duty or other relationship of trust and confidence, while in possession of material, nonpublic information about the security. Insider trading violations may also include “tipping” such information, securities trading by the person “tipped,” and securities trading by those who misappropriate such information.
The SEC and ultimately the U.S. Attorney can bring the following cases:
- Corporate officers, directors, and employees who traded the corporation’s securities after learning of significant, confidential corporate developments;
- Friends, business associates, family members, and other “tippees” of such officers, directors, and employees, who traded the securities after receiving such information;
- Employees of law, banking, brokerage and printing firms who were given such information to provide services to the corporation whose securities they traded;
- Government employees who learned of such information because of their employment by the government; and
- Other persons who misappropriated, and took advantage of, confidential information from their employers.
Health Care Fraud
The government can charge you with health care fraud, if they believe you have collected money for services not rendered or received. Those accused of health care fraud can range from doctors to nurses to pharmacists to home health aides, and can even be relatives of disabled or elderly benefit recipients. Medicaid fraud matters are mostly prosecuted in state court by the New York State Attorney General’s Office; Medicare fraud matters are investigated by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and they can refer these cases for prosecution to the local U.S. Attorney’s office.
When you offer money, services, or something else of value with the intent to persuade a person’s actions, you may be accused of bribery. Bribing a public official is also prohibited by law and can lead to additional charges. We have experience defending clients against bribery accusations as well as prominent clients who are in the public eye.