Complex federal and state criminal defense matters include white-collar crimes by the corporate, commercial or individual accused, such as fraud upon government agencies, mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, tax fraud, health care fraud. Such charges can also include, among other offenses, RICO charges, environmental offenses, money laundering and financial and securities offenses, drug crimes, arson and complex theft offenses.

White Collar Offenses

“White-collar” crime generally refers to business offenses such as fraud, bribery, insider trading, public corruption, environmental crime, pension fund crime, securities fraud, and forgery.  Such crimes typically are performed with the use of paperwork or computers. Investigation by authorities can often take place over the course of months or years. 

Many times, individuals who had little or no involvement in any criminal scheme are charged with being involved in fraud simply by virtue of their employment positions.  John M. Colette & Associates is ready to step in while the investigation is ongoing or after indictment.

If you have been charged with a white-collar crime or suspect that you are under investigation for a white-collar crime, it is essential that you seek legal advice immediately so that you can plan an effective defense.

Money Laundering

Money laundering has been characterized as the “life blood” of narcotics trafficking and traditional organized crime. The Money Laundering Control Act (“MLCA”) of 1986 makes laundering proceeds from “specified unlawful activity” a federal crime. The MLCA also aimed to stem the flow of illicit profits back to the criminal enterprise used to capitalize and expand criminal activity.

To sustain a money laundering conviction, the prosecution must prove that:

  • the accused conducted or attempted to conduct a financial transaction
  • knowing that the property involved in the financial transaction represented the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity,
  • the property in fact involved the proceeds of “specified unlawful activity,” and
  • the financial transaction was conducted with the intent to promote the carrying on of “specified unlawful activity,” or knowing that the transaction is designed to conceal or disguise the source, ownership or control of the proceeds of “specified unlawful activity.”

Thus, proof that the laundered funds were derived from “specified unlawful activity” is central to a successful prosecution. Charges of money laundering are very serious and often involve very complex sets of facts.  John M. Colette & Associates has the experience and knowledge to defend those charged with money laundering offenses. If you have been charged with money laundering or believe that you are under investigation for that office, contact the firm today to discuss your options.

Mail and Wire Fraud

So-called “high technology” crime involves the use of computer technology to commit white-collar criminal offenses. At the federal level, the broad reach of ”mail” or “wire” fraud has been expanded to include fraud ”by wire, radio, or television.”

Often perceived as catchall federal anti-fraud legislation, in a mail or wire fraud prosecution the government need only establish the existence of three elements to obtain a conviction:

  • that the defendant devised or participated in a scheme to defraud;
  • the scheme involved the use of the mails or wire communications in interstate or foreign commerce; and
  • the mail or wire use was in furtherance of, or for the purpose of, executing the fraudulent scheme.

Material transmitted in satisfaction of the mail or wire use requirement does not have to contain any false representations or material omissions, nor does the connection between the fraudulent scheme and the mail or wire communication need to be close. Accordingly, this requirement has been satisfied by mailing of trade confirmations; telephone conversations; and telexing of material.

A common defense to mail and wire fraud charges is that the accused was unaware of or did not understand the content of what was mailed. The prosecution has to show that the accused had the intent to defraud.  The team at John M. Colette & Associates will vigorously fight to see that you receive the best defense possible.

Health Care Fraud

We are one of the few firms who has actually “won” a complex Healthcare/Medicare Fraud case in Federal Court, with a jury verdict of “Not-Guilty”.

Grand Jury Representation

Mr. Colette has represented numerous individuals and corporations faced with subpoenas to appear or produce documents to Federal Grand Jury.