The criminal fraud realm is a universe that is often misperceived and not well understood by a large swath of the public.

One central disconnect and flat-out myth is this: White collar criminal conduct is not as aggressively investigated or prosecuted as are other forms of crime. Many people believe that state and federal criminal task forces deemphasize probes into financial criminal matters such as securities fraud and billing improprieties in the health care sector.

In fact, that is far from true. Regulators and law enforcers have actually applied a laser-like focus in recent years on alleged white collar wrongdoing, pursuing suspects in probes marked by deep pockets and considerable manpower.

And here’s another commonly perceived public belief: Most fraud investigations almost exclusively target only top-tier corporate principals.

Again, that is fallacy. Indeed, white collar investigation outcomes are often marked by criminal charges being filed against mid-management and even rank-and-file employees. Many reported cases reveal that spotlighted wrongdoers were acting at the behest of superiors or weren’t even aware that their actions were construed as unlawful.

Yet another misperception is that the financial fraud universe is notably confined, with authorities focusing on relatively few behaviors.

That too is far from truth. White collar criminal acts span myriad types of fraud (mail, bank, wire, tax, etc.), ID theft, forgery, bribery/kickbacks, counterfeiting and many other activities.

The bottom line with criminal fraud is that it is a top focus for state and federal officials in California and across the country, and is vigorously prosecuted. Convicted defendants often face notably harsh penalties, including lengthy prison terms and substantial fines.

Fraud suspects unquestionably need timely, knowledgeable and aggressive legal assistance. They can turn to a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of advocacy in fraud defense matters for advice and proven representation.

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