“You lied, cheated and stole.” It is Apr. 7, 2014 and according to the New Haven Independent, an attorney is directing this statement at Joseph Levitin. The lawyer pointing out Levitin’s misdeeds was not a prosecutor, but his own defense attorney.
“I got blinded by greed and went with it,” says Levitin.
Some white collar criminal charges stem from an opportunity that is difficult to resist. You initially may not think you are doing anything wrong, or that you will stop after dipping your toe in the water and no one will be the wiser. Before long you realize that you are in over your head and there is no way to turn back.
In Mr. Levitin’s case, it was real estate fraud. Between 2006 and 2008, Levitin skimmed off at least $700,000 from fraudulent real estate deals involving kickbacks, sham prices, fake leases, doctored photos and phony repair fees.
Facing up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, Levitin pleaded guilty in a plea bargain deal that required him to testify against other participants in the $10 million scheme. In return for his testimony, the prosecution agreed to recommend that the sentencing judge impose a lesser sentence; As a result Levitin will likely reduce his sentence significantly.
If you are facing charges for a white collar crime, with the right legal strategy implemented by an experienced white collar defense attorney, you might be able to come to a similar arrangement that greatly minimizes your exposure to prison.
Testimony is only one of the many things you may have to offer to the government
The example above is somewhat of a classic scenario when a white collar conspiracy involves more than a single participant. One or more of those involved in the scheme may receive a break in either the charges, sentencing or both in return for admitting guilt and cooperating with the government.
Testimony is one bargaining chip you may have if you are being accused of a white collar crime, but it is not necessarily the only one. For instance, you may know where the proceeds of a fraud are hidden and could work out some kind of deal in return for revealing their location. You may also know of other misdeeds that the government is unaware of.
Only an experienced white collar criminal defense attorney can ensure you get a best possible outcome
White collar crime prosecutions are very different from criminal cases concerning other types of offenses. Cases are often heavily reliant on Electronically Stored Information such as emails and text messages. Careful and thorough review and analysis of this evidence is essential to an effective defense. In white collar cases the transactions are normally complicated and the government needs a witness on the inside to help connect the massive paper dots for the jury.
If you have been accused of committed a white collar crime, you need a lawyer who is well versed in defending white collar cases. The right lawyer can help you identify any type of leverage you might have, and can parlay that leverage into the best possible disposition of your case. It is never advisable to talk to the FBI, IRS or other federal law enforcement officers or prosecutors without a lawyer. If you do you could give away valuable information and receive no benefit for yourself in return.
Whether you have already been arrested, or simply suspect that the authorities may soon be knocking on your door, now is the time to contact an attorney who is experienced in white collar criminal defense. The earlier you connect with the right legal help, the more cards you will have to play.