Ask any white collar attorney in Arizona. Ever since the Enron Scandal, prosecutors have become more sensitive to white collar crimes and have begun to prosecute them more vehemently. While your average district attorney may not prosecute cases as complex and far reaching as the Enron debacle, even straight forward white collar cases can present defense challenges for the white collar attorney.
While public defenders and private defense firms may cover a broad spectrum of crimes, the experience of a white collar attorney is dramatically different from that of any other. The defense counsel are often overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork a prosecutor can produce, especially if the counsel typically deals with narcotics, violent crime or other criminal specialties. Ideally, it’s best to go with a white collar attorney who knows the ins and outs of white collar criminal cases and can handle the sheer amount of paperwork that’s involved.
A lack of statutory and case law guidance on white collar crimes issues in regards to discovery matters presents considerable challenges to both prosecutor and white collar attorney alike. Researching federal cases law relating to white collar criminal discovery gives judges guidance at the state level. While state case law if preferable, a white collar attorney has the opportunity to educate the judiciary on discovery issues unique to white collar crime, as the judiciary may be willing to incorporate federal case law in their decisions, particularly that requiring prosecutors to disclose the documents they intend to use during trial.
Document dump is a frequent tactic used by public prosecutors in an effort to overwhelm the defense. A prosecutor may present literally thousands of pages of documents, even when she knows that only 10 or so of those pages are actually pertinent to the case and the rest is mere filler. The defense counsel team often has limited resources and can get bogged down simply combing through the vast amount of information.
It is critical that a white collar attorney in Arizona understand the business internal controls and their role in defending the client accused of fraud, know the best type of expert to hire, be able to argue the best cases about discovery issues related to white collar crime that are in the best interest of the client.
A Common Misconception
Most white collar crimes at the state level involved bookkeeping fraud, rather than the intentional misapplication of accounting rules, known as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). One example of a GAAP violation is a company overstating revenue by claiming revenue that has not been earned. A bookkeeping example of fraud would be when an employee has been charged with embezzlement from a business that the prosecution claims the employee used to funnel funds into their own private account. In the latter case, the individual circumvented an internal control procedure to protect the organization’s assets in order to access the illegal funds.
The challenges of document review inherent in white color crime require the expediency of a white collar attorney. He or she will be more familiar with the issues and know what it comes to expedient document review to prepare the best case for the most desired outcome.
About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona white collar attorney, visit our site.