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Philadelphia, PA 19102

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White Collar Crime

The term "white collar crime" covers a broad range of criminal accusations that pertain to nonviolent crime that uses deception to illegally obtain financial gain. Since the advent of the information age, with more and more transactions going digital, white collar crime has become prevalent, especially credit card fraud and identity fraud.

White collar crime can carry serious punishment. It is important, if facing white collar crime charges, to start building a defense strategy soon. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you do that.

Philadelphia White Collar Crime Lawyer

If you face charges of fraud, forgery, embezzlement or any other theft by deception charge, a knowledgeable Philadelphia white collar crime lawyer can defend your rights. Whether your charges are state or federal, we can create a strong defense for you. We are aggressive defense attorneys who will challenge the prosecutors' evidence and seek to have the charges against your reduced or dismissed. Call us today at (215) 665-1695 to set up a consultation.

We represent those facing white collar charges throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We are based in Philadelphia, and serve clients in Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Chester Counties.


Pennsylvania White Collar Crime Information Center


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Federal White Collar Charges

Any type of fraud that allegedly crosses state borders, physically or electronically, uses a federal system or seeks to defraud a federal agency or program may be pursued and prosecuted by the federal government.

For instance, if you are a medical provider accused of fraudulently billing Medicare or Medicaid, which are federal programs, you'll face federal charges. Additionally, you will be prosecuted in federal court if you are accused of cheating on your federal income taxes.

Any fraud that involves the U.S. Postal Service or telecommunication devices, including the internet, could result in mail fraud or wire fraud charges. The extent of fraud penalties usually depend on the amount the prosecution can prove was defrauded.

At Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC, our defense lawyers in Philadelphia are licensed in both federal and state court.


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Pennsylvania Fraud Charges

Common white collar offenses include:

Credit Card Fraud (Pa. Cons. Stat. Title 18 § 4106):

Credit cards, debit cards and ATM cards are called "access devices" in Pennsylvania statutes, and this is technically called "access device fraud."

Pennsylvania law makes it illegal to:

  • Use a counterfeit credit card or debit card;
  • Use another person's credit card or debit card without that person's permission;
  • Use a credit card or debit card that is revoked or canceled; or
  • Creating, aiding in the creation of, using or possessing a counterfeit credit card or debit card.

A person is presumed to know that a card was counterfeit if he or she possesses two or more counterfeit cards. Also, a person is presumed to know a card has been canceled seven days after receiving notice in the mail of the card's cancellation.

Credit card fraud is a second degree misdemeanor if the amount allegedly defrauded was less than $50, a first degree misdemeanor if less than $500, and a felony if more than $500.

Insurance Fraud (Pa. Cons. Stat. Title 18 § 4117):

Insurance fraud covers a wide range of offenses that pertain to accusations of defrauding an insurance company. It includes filing false claims, filing misleading claims, or in any way assisting in those filings by filing false statements. It also includes attempting to use another person's insurance, including health insurance and auto liability insurance.

Insurance fraud is usually a third degree felony, although some charges might be a first degree misdemeanor.

Identity Theft (Pa. Cons. Stat. Title 18 § 4120):

It is a crime to possess or use the identifying information of another person, without that person's consent, with the intent of furthering any unlawful purpose.

Each instance of identity theft counts as a separate offense, and will be charged as an additional offense to the accused. If the amount allegedly defrauded with the identity theft was less than $2,000, it is a first degree misdemeanor. If more, it is a third degree felony. If the person whose identity was allegedly stolen is 60 or older, then the charges go up one degree.

Forgery (Pa. Cons. Stat. Title 18 § 4101):

Forgery is altering or fabricating any document and trying to use it for personal gain, or use it in any other criminal offense.

Forgery is a second degree felony if the alleged forged instrument is money, postage, food stamps, government securities, stocks, bonds or anything representing an interest in a company. It is a third degree felony if the document is a will, contract, deed or any document affecting legal relations. Anything not falling into one of these categories is a first degree misdemeanor.

Bad Checks (Pa. Cons. Stat. Title 18 § 4105):

Writing checks when the accused knows there is not enough money in the corresponding account. Bad check charges are in addition to theft charges, though it may be a defense if the person writing the check paid for the amount within 10 days of receiving notice of the check's refusal.

Bad checks are a summary offense if less than $200, a third degree misdemeanor for $200-$500, a second degree misdemeanor for $500-$1,000, and first degree misdemeanor for $1,000-$75,000, and a third degree felony for more than $75,000.


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Pennsylvania Punishments for White Collar Offenses

  • Summary Offense: Up to 90 days in jail and a $300 fine
  • Third Degree Misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine
  • Second Degree Misdemeanor: Up to two years in jail and a $5,000 fine
  • First Degree Misdemeanor: Up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine
  • Third Degree Felony: Up to Seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine
  • Second Degree Felony: Up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine

Additionally, you will likely be required to pay restitution.


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Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC | Philadelphia Financial Fraud Attorney

If you are facing fraud, forgery or any white collar charges in federal or state court in the Philadelphia area, Pennsylvania or New Jersey, you can count on a tough Philly white collar crime lawyer from Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC to mount a vigorous defense. We fight zealously for the rights of our clients, and will challenge evidence and seek to have your charges reduced or dismissed. Call us today at (215) 665-1695 for a consultation.

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