Understanding Economic Crimes
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The terms “economic crimes” and “white collar crimes” apply to a number of offenses that involve obtaining money, property or some other benefit using deception or trickery. They cover offenses ranging from fraud to embezzlement to money laundering to forgery to identity theft.
With the growing popularity of both the internet and transactions using a credit card and debit card, economic crimes have become more prevalent. Law enforcement, both state and federal in Florida, has been focused on targeting offenders, and repercussions for any kind of conviction are harsh.
Types of Economic Crimes:
Many law enforcement agencies have specialized units that only investigate economic crimes. Likewise, the State Attorney’s Offices in Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade and Broward County funnel these cases to specialized units. The charges usually involve felonies for financial frauds, such as:
- Grand Theft;
- Organized Fraud;
- Crimes Against the Elderly (Exploitation);
- Real Estate Frauds / Mortgage Fraud;
- Internet or Computer Crimes;
- Identity Theft
- Credit Card Frauds;
- Uttering Forged Documents;
- Counterfeit Checks;
- Counterfeit Currency;
- Political Investigations;
- Securities Fraud;
- Money Laundering;
- RICO Conspiracy;
- Extortion / Bribery;
- Embezzlement; and
Florida Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Unit – Economic crimes are often prosecuted by the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General. The Florida Attorney General’s Office investigates a long list of economic violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The division is also responsible for enforcement of the civil provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act. Related offenses include a continuing pattern of certain enumerated illegal activities, such as fraud, identity theft and misleading advertising.
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