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Financial Crimes

In recent years, the government has grown more aggressive about prosecuting white-collar crimes, real and imagined. These cases are complex and the potential sentences are harsh. Defendants, witnesses and people who believe they are under suspicion should not hesitate to obtain counsel.

Harvey & Binnall is aggressive about protecting our clients’ rights at the early investigative stage and through trial, if necessary. Depending upon the facts, we may show our client’s innocence before the investigation progresses or negotiate an equitable plea deal. Should prosecutors decide to file charges, our lawyers act as aggressive advocates for our clients throughout the case. We treat our clients with discretion, confidentiality and respect and never back down from prosecutors and law enforcement.

Alexandria White Collar Defense Attorney Representing Those Accused of Financial Crimes

Harvey & Binnall represents clients across a wide variety of financial crime charges, including: 

The crime of money laundering occurs when a person or group of people attempt to make money gained from illegal activities appear as if it came from a legitimate source. Money laundering laws are broad in scope and a conviction can carry heavy penalties. We work closely with clients accused of money laundering and related offenses to establish a solid plan of defense.

The term “money laundering” is based on the concept of making dirty money look clean. In other words, the money launderer uses various methods of making money derived from an illegal source appear to be legitimate. Law enforcement has sometimes taken this concept to an extreme, demanding that individuals and businesses prove the legitimacy of their earnings despite having insufficient evidence that any wrongdoing has occurred. Being the target of a law enforcement fishing expedition is frightening and serious. The government has the power to confiscate allegedly laundered money and interfere with future business transactions. An individual suspect faces prison if found guilty of money laundering.

Harvey & Binnall, PLLC acts decisively and effectively to protect the rights of businesses and individuals that are the targets of a law enforcement investigation or have been charged with a financial criminal offense. Our Alexandria white collar defense attorneys, who handle white collar defense cases nationwide, hold law enforcement accountable so that it acts within the bounds of its authority and we zealously defend our clients.

Defending Against Money Laundering Charges

Many individuals accused of money laundering have never been involved in any criminal proceedings and believe cooperating will persuade investigators of their innocence. Law enforcement officers know this fact and often use it to their advantage to convince suspects to hand over incriminating evidence.

Our law firm recommends retaining counsel at the earliest indication that a client is a suspect in a money laundering case. Retaining a lawyer is not a sign of guilt. On the contrary, having experienced representation is smart. Our attorneys ensure that the investigation is conducted according to the law and that our clients do not needlessly disclose information that could hurt them. We also protect assets from seizure and demand return of assets that are wrongfully held by a government agency.

Conducting Internal Investigations

Getting in front of a law enforcement investigation is always the right call. A company that suspects wrongdoing within its ranks can take action to protect itself by conducting its own internal investigation. Our law firm guides businesses in conducting a neutral fact-gathering investigation to discover potential problems. Upon conducting the internal investigation, we advise the business on next steps. The evidence can be vital to recover from individuals who have acted improperly and to defend the business should law enforcement pursue charges. We are also available to represent individuals involved in such internal investigations.

Advising Businesses on Making Legal Fund Transfers

An honest mistake can attract the attention of law enforcement and lead to accusations of money laundering. Even if the business is later cleared, the accusation can cost a business substantially in defending its position in the court of law and in public opinion. Our law firm advises businesses on compliance with federal and state banking laws that protect it from the appearance of illegality in conducting its money transfers.

A conviction for falsifying business records not only involves harsh criminal punishment, it can also destroy your professional reputation. We defend business owners, employees and other individuals who are under government investigation or have been formally charged with a crime. We know that everyday business errors and mistakes are often to blame rather than any criminal wrongdoing.

Keeping accurate business records makes good sense from a business perspective. Accurate records are also necessary to comply with the law. Harvey & Binnall advises companies on retaining records for evidentiary purposes and remaining in compliance with federal and state records laws. We also defend the rights of individuals and businesses that are the target of a falsifying records investigation or that have been charged with a white-collar crime.

When is Falsifying Business Records a Crime?

A business has a duty to maintain accurate records. However, a business will not be held criminally liable for making a mistake. For example, a business should not be prosecuted for innocently mislabeling or forgetting an accounting entry, although it may face civil penalties. Falsifying business records is a crime if the intention is to defraud, to commit a crime or to conceal a crime. Actions that constitute falsifying a business record include deleting, adding or altering an entry in an original record or keeping two sets of books if the purpose is to commit or hide a crime.

Often the crime of falsifying records accompanies other charges, such as accounting fraud, tax fraud, bribery, kickbacks, embezzlement, money laundering or securities violations. Falsifying records may also be charged as part of a larger scheme or conspiracy.

Compliance with Regulations and Best Practices

The government has recently been very active in prosecuting falsifying records cases. Our firm recommends businesses conduct periodic internal audits to ensure record keeping remains in compliance with Virginia and federal laws. We guide businesses through this important process. When appropriate, we assist businesses with developing best practices for record keeping.

Taking Action Against a Falsifying Records Charge

If law enforcement requests records, we urge the business to retain legal counsel immediately and before any documents are turned over to the government. In many instances, the client has the right to refuse law enforcement’s requests. Documents that seem innocuous may, in fact, be the smoking gun. Our attorneys advise our clients on complying with legal requests while protecting themselves against unlawful and improper requests for evidence disclosure.

Maintaining Records for Discovery and Litigation

Businesses have a duty to maintain records that are evidence in litigation. A court could hold a business and its employees in contempt for changing or deleting files that are part of the discovery process, even if those files were not destroyed for any unlawful purpose. Our litigation lawyers assist with records preparation, retention and disclosure rules.

 

Prosecutors must prove that the defendant copied a signature on a check, banknote, deed or other legal document to prevail on a forgery charge. We offer an aggressive defense to forgery, calling on handwriting analysts and challenging the witness testimony when relevant.

Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies will vigorously pursue offenses when an individual is accused of forging official documents. When individuals find themselves as targets, subjects, or witnesses of these investigations, finding good counsel early is critical. Most importantly, it is imperative to consult with a lawyer before speaking with law enforcement officers about the case. Harvey & Binnall is proud to be available to defendants in these situations. The firm will analyze each situation to develop strategies and defenses that put our clients, whose reputation and freedom may be in jeopardy, in the best possible situation to confront these investigations and prosecutions.

Blackmail or extortion occurs when one party shakes down the other for money or favors by threat of a future action or inaction. In many cases, the blackmail involves threat of exposure about an embarrassing or socially ridiculed act. In reality, extortion is often a legitimate threat of taking legal action or is fabricated altogether. Our lawyers protect clients from these types of wrongful accusations.

Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies will pursue allegations of extortion or blackmail vigorously. When individuals find themselves as targets, subjects, or witnesses of these investigations, finding good counsel early makes all the difference. It is most critical to consult with a lawyer before talking with law enforcement officers about any of the facts surrounding a case. Harvey & Binnall is proud to zealously represent clients in these situations. We can analyze each situation to develop strategies and defenses that put our clients, whose reputation and freedom may be in jeopardy, in the best possible situation to confront these investigations and prosecutions.

Being accused of embezzlement is devastating. Often, there is another explanation, such as accounting errors, authorized use or mistake. To protect our client’s rights, our lawyers leave no stone unturned in determining what actually happened.

Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies will pursue allegations of embezzlement vigorously. When individuals find themselves as targets, subjects, or witnesses of these investigations, finding good counsel early makes all the difference. It is most critical to consult with a lawyer before talking with law enforcement officers about any of the facts surrounding a case. Harvey & Binnall is proud to zealously represent clients in these situations. We can analyze each situation to develop strategies and defenses that put our clients, whose reputation and freedom may be in jeopardy, in the best possible situation to confront these investigations and prosecutions.

A person who fraudulently impersonates another for financial gain commits identity theft, one of the most heavily prosecuted accusations. We raise an appropriate defense, such as proving our client was authorized to act on the person’s behalf or was not correctly identified as the perpetrator.

Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies will pursue allegations of identity theft vigorously. When individuals find themselves as targets, subjects, or witnesses of these investigations, finding good counsel early makes all the difference. It is most critical to consult with a lawyer before talking with law enforcement officers about any of the facts surrounding a case. Harvey & Binnall is proud to zealously represent clients in these situations. We can analyze each situation to develop strategies and defenses that put our clients, whose reputation and freedom may be in jeopardy, in the best possible situation to confront these investigations and prosecutions.

 

Gambling is heavily regulated by federal, state and local statutes and ordinances. Law enforcement agencies will pursue allegations of illegal gambling or other violations of these laws vigorously.

When individuals find themselves as targets, subjects, or witnesses of such investigations, finding good counsel early makes all the difference. It is most critical to consult with a lawyer before talking with law enforcement officers about any of the facts surrounding a case. Harvey & Binnall is proud to zealously represent clients in these situations. We can analyze each situation to develop strategies and defenses that put our clients, whose reputation and freedom may be in jeopardy, in the best possible situation to confront these investigations and prosecutions.

Accused of a Financial Crime? An Alexandria White Collar Defense Attorney Provide You With Aggressive Defense

Were you accused of a financial crime? We can protect your rights and build a strong defense on your behalf. Schedule an appointment with an Alexandria white collar defense attorney at Harvey & Binnall for immediate assistance.