When individuals consider a rise in crime, they often picture more violent acts such as homicides, drug atrocities, and property crimes. But white-collar crimes often pose a more serious threat to a community than blue-collar crimes.
Being convicted of a white-collar crime is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. Its consequences can produce lifelong impacts on the person committing the crime as well as entire groups and communities. If you have been convicted of a white-collar crime, you will need the experienced defense of an Atlanta white-collar criminal lawyer.
Repercussions of white-collar crimes
Most people fear being the victim of blue-collar crimes far more than they ever consider suffering from a white-collar crime. But white-collar crimes can tremendously impact many people all at once. They tend to be non-violent but include corruption, fraud, pyramid schemes, and money laundering, as a few examples.
The sophistication of white-collar crimes makes them appear far less dangerous but produces tremendous devastation. What are the impacts of white-collar crimes in Atlanta, and what happens to a community impacted by these offenses?
Increased cost of service
Conservative estimates report that of the trillion dollars spent each year on health care services, abuse, fraud, and waste cost taxpayers over $100 billion. At some point in time, everyone needs healthcare. The impact of healthcare fraud often makes the most vulnerable susceptible to its consequences.
Not only can these crimes cost individuals financially, but costs manifest physically and mentally. Healthcare is just one example of how white-collar crime impacts Atlanta residents. What is considered a white-collar crime in healthcare?
- Treatments and procedures are inaccurately coded and billed at higher rates than the service provided
- The misrepresentation of treatments as a medically necessary treatment to cover the cost of an elective procedure
- The payment of kickbacks for patient referrals
- Falsifying medical records and diagnoses to order unnecessary lab work, medical procedures, and surgeries
- Unbundling services to charge for each step of a procedure instead of the entire process as a single medical intervention
- The selling of a patient’s medical records to criminal groups
Healthcare is just one service multiple participants can abuse, but its damage is far-reaching.
Hiding funds, or money laundering, allows for money gained by illegal activity to appear as if it originated from legitimate sources. Often these funds are used to increase gains by investing in more criminal activity, hide the accumulation of wealth, and avoid paying taxes, causing the average Atlanta resident to pay more than their share in taxes.
Tax funds are used to maintain roads, public utility services, and government entities. That burden is unequally distributed to middle and lower-income taxpayers, making it more difficult to meet household demands for necessities such as groceries and gas for transportation.
Depletion of retirement and savings accounts
Many white-collar crimes profit off of the needs of an aging demographic. Investment organizations promising safe, high-yield investments capitalize on older Americans with available resources, promising financial security, which is vital as we age. Decreasing cognitive ability and the lack of knowledge of criminal activity make an entire sector of the population vulnerable.
Individuals who were once financially stable are suddenly bankrupt, having their life savings depleted instantly by misrepresented financial transactions. The mention of Bernie Madoff and Ponzi schemes demonstrates how the loss of investments can devastate unknowing individuals. It’s imperative to immediately speak with a Georgia white-collar crimes defense attorney if you have been charged with these crimes.
Left in the aftermath of businesses shuttered due to Atlanta white-collar crimes, hundreds of employees are abandoned and jobless. These employees are without insurance and contributions to savings plans sponsored by the company. Unemployment rates increase, driving a need for government and unemployment benefits.
Erosion of public trust
Over time, being the victim of white-collar crimes or exposure to the detrimental stories of the effects of these crimes takes a toll, creating a lack of trust in systems that can be beneficial. Individuals may decide to stop investing for their future, not seek medical treatment, or take on work that pays under the table so their income goes into their wallet instead of a faulty tax system.
The effects of the erosion in public trust are not acutely felt until retirement, when health needs increase and social security benefits are nonexistent.
Arrested for a white-collar crime? We can help.
Most people never begin with the intent of hurting others. A personal need often drives the actions that cause ripples through a community. Everyone deserves fair representation under the law, no matter the charge.
Call our Atlanta office today at (404) 891-9150 and speak with our accomplished Atlanta white-collar criminal defense team member. Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson LLC will tirelessly work to help restore your professional integrity and future.