White Collar Crime
White-collar crime refers to fraud and other offences that occur in the business context. They are typically non-violent cases that involve allegations of criminal behaviour for financial benefit. The Criminal Code of Canada and other Acts contain a number of criminal offences designed to target white-collar or economic crimes. Some of the offences in this area include:
- Money Laundering
- Ponzi Schemes
- Insider Trading
- Breach of Trust
- Counterfeit Credit Cards
- Identity Theft
- Computer Crimes
- Fraudulent Telemarketing/Email Schemes
- Securities Fraud
- Mortgage Fraud
Allegations of fraud or other professional misdeeds can destroy one’s career and reputation. Such charges can arise in the context of a bad business decision or an investment gone wrong.
The government and the Courts have taken a hard line approach in white-collar cases. If you are charged with one of these crimes and you are convicted, the consequences can be harsh. Sentences can range from high fines and restitution orders to long periods of incarceration.
Where an offence involves a breach of trust or vulnerable victims, the sentence will often be significantly higher. In such cases, incarceration may be all but inevitable.
Defending a White-Collar Crime Case
White-collar crime investigations can be very complex and involve thousands of documents. Both the police and the Crown prosecutors have special units trained to investigate and prosecute economic crimes. Defending such allegations requires attention to detail and a mastery of the rules of evidence.
If you are charged with this type of offence, it is key that you select a lawyer who has experience in this area. These cases can involve special types of evidence and Court applications. The State will often retain forensic accountants to create expert reports that can be used as evidence against you in Court. Your lawyer needs to be able to fully understand the case against you and craft a trial strategy to achieve the best outcome possible.
How We Can Help
Every economic crime case requires a careful and detailed review of the evidence to determine the best defence. Once we have reviewed your case, we can put together a trial strategy to fight the charges against you.
Our firm has successfully defended a number of fraud and white-collar crime cases. These have ranged from small matters involving stolen credit cards to large-scale fraud schemes.
Please contact us to arrange a free initial consultation so that we can discuss the specific circumstances of your case and help you decide how to best move forward.
R v T.P.
T.P. was charged in a major fraud investigation in relation to allegedly false credit cards. After extensive negotiations and discussions about the Crown’s evidentiary burden, the matter was stayed the day prior to a week-long trial.
R v B.B.
B.B. was charged in relation an alleged credit card “skimming” scheme. The police had physical surveillance evidence, electronic surveillance evidence, video evidence from the scene and obtained a number of warrants. After noticing irregularities in the disclosure, Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg sought additional disclosure from the Crown. When the disclosure was refused, they filed a court application to obtain it.
Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg also filed a Charter motion alleging the police failed to abide by the terms of one of the warrants they had and challenging the search of the residence allegedly associated with the accused. Before the applications could be heard, the Crown sought an adjournment in order to make further disclosure. The adjournment was granted and Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg brought an application for a stay of proceedings based on unreasonable delay. Before this application could be heard, the Crown entered a stay of proceedings.
R v M.K.
M.K. was charged with 5 counts in relation to a purported attempted fraud: fraudulent personation, uttering a forged document, uttering a forged document knowing it had been made without lawful authority and two counts of possession of identity documents. The Crown proceeded by Indictment and Ms. Ferg set the matter for trial. Prior to trial, Ms. Ferg filed an extensive Charter notice attacking the legality of M.K.’s arrest and alleging numerous breaches of M.K.’s right to counsel. Upon receipt of the Charter notice and a review of the evidentiary deficiencies of the case, the Crown brought the matter forward from the trial date and withdrew all of the charges.
R. v. H.L.
Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg were retained to represent H.L. who was charged with numerous counts of fraud, extortion and criminal harassment. This 4-week trial involved an Alberta precedent setting decision as it relates to seizure of banking records from financial institutions. In addition, it involved issues surrounding the complex interplay between historical financial records and the professional affiliations of the client.
R. v. A.B.
A.B. was arrested and charged with numerous offences involving the possession and manufacturing of fake credit cards. Such charges can attract high fines and long periods in jail. On the first day of trial, Mr. McKay’s aggressive cross-examination of the primary investigator led the Crown to make a resolution offer. All of the charges against A.B. were withdrawn and in exchange he pled guilty to being in possession of a fake driver’s license.