Wired and Busted
Jan 25, 2009
A lot of people think white-collar crimes means stealing pencils and paper from the office. While that is a “part” of the definition, this is merely grazing the surface of a much deeper public issue. Ask top-notch criminal defense attorney, Daniel Wannamaker of Wannamaker and Associates, Austin, Texas.
“In reality, white-collar crime refers to a much wider range of conduct,” outlined Wannamaker. The term has interesting origins from the early 1930’s when it was coined by a gentleman named Dr. Edwin Sutherland. He was actually giving a presentation that dealt with corruption in government. Go figure!
The position the good doctor was taking was that the corruption, which was rampant among affluent business people and government officials (white-collar individuals), took its toll on society in much the same way as blue-collar crime affected it. The obvious solution was to eradicate it and punish it. “While punishment may be an option, the doctor didn’t spend much time talking about defending people’s rights and the assumption of innocence,” said Wannamaker.
These days, white-collar crime has a slightly different connotation than it once did; it is mostly defined as property crimes that are associated with business and do not end up causing physical injury to anyone. “This could cover a wide range of situations, including investment schemes, insider trading, embezzlement and Internet fraud,” indicated Wannamaker.
Other white-collar crimes are highly recognizable and in the news, many are counterfeiting and forgery (and not just money, but documents), credit card fraud, copyright infringement, money laundering, and tax fraud and evasion. This category of crime is a lot like playing 52 card pickup. “The list of white-collar crimes would be as long as your arm,” laughed Wannamaker, who has handled many cases in just about all categories.
If there is any indication that the police are about to charge you with a white-collar crime, run for the phone and contact Wannamaker as soon as is humanly possible. Don’t waste time trying to explain anything; save it for Wannamaker, who needs the whole story in order to be able to mount a viable defense. “Be aware that in many instances, those about to be charged with a white-collar crime may be accused of wire or mail fraud, because it is easier to get a conviction in this area,” said Wannamaker of Wannamaker and Associates, Austin, Texas.
Wannamaker’s whole reason for being is to provide people in hot water with the best defense possible, and without a doubt, Wannamaker knows his stuff. Competent and highly experienced legal counsel may save you, not to mention your reputation.