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Aggressive fraud enforcement highlights need for early involvement of experienced defense counsel

White collar criminal defense is not easy or glamorous work. Very often, individuals accused of white collar offenses are perceived in a negative light, particularly when the alleged criminal activity involves fraud on public tax dollars. Because the loss of public money to fraud every year is so great, the public generally has little patience for defendants in such cases, and law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are keen to track down offenders and bring them to justice.

As a recent article on the topic points out, the increased use of taskforces and initiatives to aggressively go after white collar offenders is a sign of how eager the government is to address the problem.  In recent months, the federal government has been ramping up efforts to pursue individuals involved in fraud by putting pressure on companies to reveal details about individual misconduct. The same effort also involves putting increased pressure on prosecutors to charge individuals. 

One area where there has been increase enforcement in recent months has been regulatory violations. Prosecutors are showing a willingness to pursue criminal penalties in such cases. In addition to that, there have been increased efforts to punish those engaged in international money laundering and bribery.

Because fraud investigations are pursued so aggressively, it is important for those accused of white collar crimes to work early on with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Each case, of course, needs to be seen in its own proper context. In some white collar cases, the task of a criminal defense attorney is not to clear the defendant of wrongdoing, but to ensure that the evidence presented by prosecutors is enough to support the charges. These and other factors can make for challenging work, but experienced legal counsel can help a defendant work toward the best possible outcome.

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Mark J. O'Brien's cases have been featured in:
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