Criminal Law
New York White Collar Crimes Laws and Penalties 2024

New York White Collar Crimes Laws and Penalties 2024

On Behalf of vitalianolaw | Jun 06, 2023 |

White collar crimes are illegal actions with financial motivations. They are most often attributed to businesses and professionals. White collar crimes, though they are not violent, still have many victims. Individuals can lose their savings, investors can lose everything, and businesses can fail because of white collar crimes.

Those who are found guilty of white collar crimes often face felony convictions in New York. In addition to significant criminal penalties, white collar crime convictions may include civil penalties, financial damages, and negative social and business reputation consequences. If you have been charged with a white collar crime, it’s important to work with a Staten Island white collar crime lawyer to begin building your defense.

Common Types of White Collar Crimes

White collar crimes may be prosecuted under New York law if the victims of the fraud or other crimes are all within state borders. Frequently, white collar crimes are charged at the federal level, for reasons including:

White collar crimes are frequently very complex and may involve individuals or employees who are unaware that they are committing a crime. Common white collar crimes in New York include:

  • Fraud: This may include credit card fraud, tax fraud, insurance fraud, wire fraud, check fraud, and mortgage fraud. It also includes falsifying business records.
  • Bribery: Offering money to a person in a position of authority for preferential treatment is illegal.
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument: It’s illegal to have criminal possession of forged and counterfeit documents, such as medical records, driver’s licenses, and passports.
  • Forgery: Official documents are completed fraudulently or by signing someone’s name without their permission.
  • Embezzlement: Money is stolen that is meant to be under the person’s care.
  • Money Laundering: Money is gained illegally and then put through a real business, making it appear as legitimate profits.
  • Ponzi Schemes: This is a pyramid scheme, which is a form of investment fraud.
  • Insider Trading: Stock trading based on non-public information is illegal.
  • Identity Theft: Identity theft refers to using someone else’s identity or information for personal gain.
  • Wage Theft: Employers who fail to pay their employees proper wages and overtime pay, according to New York law, can be charged with white collar crimes.

White Collar Crime Penalties in New York

Each type of white collar crime has its own Class designation, depending on its severity. These penalties vary based on the specifics of each unique case, but there are maximum penalties associated with each Class of felony or misdemeanor.

  • Class B Misdemeanor: This conviction carries up to 3 months in jail and/or fines of up to $500.
  • Class A Misdemeanor: This carries up to 1 year in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000.
  • Class E Felony: A Class E felony carries up to 4 years in prison and/or fines of up to $5,000. This includes crimes such as defrauding schemes or falsifying business accounts.
  • Class D Felony: Conviction at this level results in up to 7 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. This includes first-degree identity theft.
  • Class C Felony: Class C felonies include first-degree forgery or criminal possession of a forged instrument. Conviction carries up to 15 years in prison and/or fines of up to $5,000.

Because white collar crimes are financial, the court may assign a fine in place of the maximum fine for a charge. This fine equals double the amount the offender gained by committing the crime. If this gain can’t be calculated or quantified, the fine may be based on the victim’s financial loss during or as a result of the crime.

The victims of the crime could also bring civil claims against the offender. Successful claims would result in significant financial loss to the offender.

A conviction for a white collar crime may impact offenders into the future for longer than they expect. It can harm their business and personal reputation until they are unable to find employment.


Q: What Are the Penalties for White Collar Crimes?

A: The penalties for a white collar crime depend on the type of crime and the severity of the crime. A white collar crime may be charged as a Class B misdemeanor, leading to penalties of 3 months in jail and/or $500 in fines. A white collar crime may also be charged as a Class C felony. Then, penalties include up to 15 years in prison and/or fines of up to $5,000. There are additional consequences beyond criminal penalties, including civil, social, and business consequences.

Q: What Are Two Major Consequences of White Collar Crime?

A: White collar crimes, though non-violent, can harm anywhere from one to thousands of individuals financially. White collar crime can harm individuals, employees, a company, and investors. Depending on the white collar crime, such as fraud or money laundering, the financial consequences of white collar crime can be devastating. They can ruin people’s life savings and the basic functions of companies.

Q: What Crimes Have No Statute of Limitations in New York?

A: Crimes in New York that have no statute of limitations include:

  • First- and second-degree murder
  • First-degree kidnapping
  • First-degree arson
  • Aggravated enterprise corruption
  • First-degree conspiracy
  • Acts of terrorism that would cause injury or death
  • First-degree possession and trafficking of a controlled substance
  • First-degree sexual conduct against a child
  • First-degree aggravated sexual abuse
  • First-degree rape

This means that these crimes can be filed against someone by the state at any time, and there is no time limit.

Q: Why Is White Collar Crime Not Punished?

A: There are several reasons why white collar crimes are under-prosecuted and difficult to punish. These include:

  • White collar crimes are underreported.
  • The case is complex, and offenders hide their actions under many transactions.
  • It is more difficult to prosecute a corporation because of its limited liability.
  • Prosecuting certain white collar crimes would have significant consequences on many innocent employees.
  • These crimes are committed most often by those with privilege in managerial or executive positions of power.
  • There may be no genuine intent to defraud.

Contact The Vitaliano Law Firm

If you are facing white collar crime charges, you need an experienced attorney. White collar crimes can be prosecuted severely, so it’s important not to underestimate the charges you face. Contact The Vitaliano Law Firm today.