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White Collar Crime

People who have been charged with white collar crimes in Salt Lake City do not appear to be stereotypically criminals, as most white collar offenses are usually associated with businesses or organizations. White collar crime is usually defined as nonviolent crime committed in business situations for financial gain, and can be federal offenses, Utah state offenses, or both.

White collar crimes can incur very harsh penalties and punishments, and lead to jail time or fines. Some people may be charged with a white collar crime for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or from accidentally getting involved in an elaborate scheme. No matter the reason, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your best interests for your white collar offense.

Salt Lake City White Collar Crime Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with white collar crime, you will want to hire a knowledgeable attorney who can help you find a defense applicable to your situation or other circumstances to try and have your charges reduced or even dismissed. If you have been accused of committing Utah white collar crime, contact Darren Levitt today at (801) 531-1030 or send an online message for a free consultation about your alleged offense.


Utah White Collar Crime Information Center


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Common Utah White Collar Crime Charges

White collar crimes can be defined as a variety of crimes. Often the victims of white collar crimes have been so minimally affected they don’t even realize a crime has been committed against them. White collar crime can be many different types of offenses. Some of the well-known types of white collar crime in Utah include:


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Issuing Bad Checks under Utah Code § 76-6-505

A person is guilty of this crime if he or she issues a check or draft to pay for property or services of value of which the check or draft is legally refused by the drawee with the awareness that it will be refused. The person has 14 days upon receiving notice of the check's non-payment in which to make good on the payment. Penalties include:

  • Class B Misdemeanor – Bad checks or drafts less than $500
  • Class A Misdemeanor – Bad checks or drafts between $500 and $1,500
  • Third Degree Felony – Bad checks or drafts between $1,500 and $5,000
  • Second Degree Felony – Bad checks or drafts of $5,000 or more

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Forgery under Utah Code § 76-6- 501

It is unlawful for a person to produce or transfer a false identification document. A person is guilty of this crime, a second degree felony offense, if he or she:

  • knowingly and without lawful authority produces, attempts to produce, or conspires to produce an identification document, authentication feature, or false ID document that is or appears to be issued by the authority of an issuing authority;
  • transfers an ID, authentication feature, or false identification document with the knowledge that the item or feature was unlawfully stolen or produced;
  • produces, transfers, or possesses a document-making device or authentication feature with the intent that the device or feature will be used in the production of false identification documents or another document-making implement or authentication feature; or
  • traffics in false or actual authentication features for use in fraudulent ID documents, document-making implements, or other means of identification.

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Identity Theft under Utah Code § 76-6-1102

A person is guilty of identify fraud when he or she:

  • obtains personal identifying information of another person, whether that person is alive or deceased; and
  • knowingly and intentionally uses, or attempts to use, that information with fraudulent intent, including to obtain or attempt to obtain:
    • credit;
    • goods;
    • services;
    • employment;
    • other items of value; or
    • medical information.

Under this section, "personal identifying information" may include the following:

  • name;
  • birth date;
  • address;
  • telephone number;
  • drivers license number;
  • social security number;
  • place of employment;
  • employee identification numbers or other personal identification numbers;
  • mother's maiden name;
  • electronic identification numbers;
  • electronic signatures;
  • any other numbers or information that can be used to accesses a person's financial resources or medical information, except for numbers or information that can be prosecuted as financial

Penalties for identify fraud include:

  • Third Degree Felony if value of credit, goods, services, employment or other items of value are less than $5,000; or
  • Second Degree Felony if value of credit, goods, services, employment or other items of value exceeds $5,000.

Multiple violations may be treated as a single offense, for which the degree is determined by the value of the credit, goods, services, employment, or other items of value used. Additionally, the defendant will be ordered by the court to make restitution to any victim of the offense, unless the court states on record why restitution may be inappropriate.


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Bribery or Offering a Bribe under Utah Code § 76-8-103

A person is guilty of offering a bribe if he or she promises, offers, agrees to give or gives any benefit to another person with the purpose of influencing action, decision, opinion, recommendation, judgment, vote, nomination, discretion of a public servant, party official, or voter.

It is third degree felony offense when the value of the benefit asked for, solicited, accepted, or conferred is less than $1,000. The degree is escalated to a second degree felony offense when the benefit asked for, solicited, accepted, or conferred is more than $1,000.


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Extortion or Bribery to Dismiss Criminal Proceeding under Utah Code § 76-6- 509

It is a second degree felony offense for a person to use force or threat (if the threat was used to obtain property or promise of any reward or benefits) in an attempt to induce an alleged victim of a crime to secure the dismissal of or prevention of filing a criminal complaint, indictment, or information.


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Money Laundering under Utah Code § 76-10-1903

Under this code, a person is guilty of money laundering if he or she:

  • transports, receives, or acquires the property which are the proceeds of specified unlawful activity with the knowledge that the property represents the proceeds of some type of illegal activity;
  • makes proceeds of unlawful activity availably by another transaction, transportation, or other means, with the knowledge that the proceeds are intended to be used for the purpose of furthering illegal activities;
  • conducts a transaction with the knowledge that the property involved represents the proceeds of some type of unlawful activity with the intent:
    • To promote the unlawful activity;
    • Conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the property; or
    • Avoid transaction reporting requirements under federal law.
  • knowingly receive property which is understood to be proceeds of unlawful activity.

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Deceptive Business Practices under Utah Code § 76-6-507

It is a class B misdemeanor offense for a person, during the course of business, to:

  • use or possess a false weight measure, or any other device to falsely determine or record any quality or quantity;
  • take or attempt to take more than the represented quantity of any commodity or service when a buyer provides the weight or measure;
  • sell, offer, or expose for sale adulterated or mislabeled commodities;

It is an acceptable defense to the prosecution that the defendant was not aware of his or her conduct or was not knowing or reckless.


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Utah State Penalties for White Collar Crime

  • Class B Misdemeanors – Imprisonment up to six months, and/or fines not more than $1,000;
  • Class A Misdemeanors – Imprisonment up to one year, and/or a fine not more than $2,500;
  • Third Degree Felonies – Imprisonment up to five years, and/or fines up to $5,000;
  • Second Degree Felonies – Imprisonment up to 15 years, and/or fines up to $10,000; and
  • First Degree Felonies – Imprisonment from five years to life, and/or fines not more than $10,000.

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Federal White Collar Crime Charges

Most white collar crimes can be prosecuted as either Utah state crimes or federal crimes. Some white collar crimes, such as crimes involving interstate commerce, are specifically federal crimes. The most notorious federal white collar crime is RICO.

RICO, or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, is a federal law enacted to punish an individual or group who commits two criminal acts associated with racketeering activity and involves interstate commerce within a ten year period as defined under title 18 of the United States Code §§ 1961-1968. Federal RICO charges result from a violation of the federal statutes and are prosecuted in Utah federal courts.

Another common federal crime is mail fraud. This type of fraud, codified in 18 USC § 1341, requires a scheme to defraud someone of money or property through the use of the United States Postal Service or a private mail carrier, like UPS or Fed Ex. An example of mail fraud involves “selling” non-existent property to a resident of another state through the mail.

Wire Fraud is very similar to mail fraud. This federal white collar crime involves any type of fraud through the use of any wire, such as telephones, radio or telephone that crosses state lines. Therefore, this crime is very broad, and prosecutors can easily make a case against someone they want to charge with a federal crime.

Bankruptcy Fraud is a charge someone can easily be accused of if they hide assets or other information in a federal bankruptcy action.

Securities Fraud occurs when a securities agency or company fails to disclose activities to investors or analysts. Insider trading often falls into this type of fraud.

Ponzi Schemes – these types of federal white collar crimes are often in the news. In these situations, an investment manager takes money from new investors to pay old ones, instead of investing the money as promised.


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Utah’s Pyramid Scheme Act

Pyramid scheme is defined as any sales device or plan in which a person gives consideration to another person in exchange for compensation or the right to receive compensation, which is primarily derived from introducing other people into the sales device or plan, rather than from the sale of goods, services, or other property.

According to Chapter 6a of Title 76 of the Utah Code, a person may not organize, establish, or administer a pyramid scheme. This is a violation of Section 13-11-4 of the Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act and is considered a 3rd degree felony offense. However, a person who participates in the pyramid scheme by only receiving compensation for introducing other people to the pyramid scheme, rather than for the sale of goods, services, or other property, is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

Civil violations of Utah's Pyramid scheme act are investigated and prosecuted as defined in Section 13-11-4 by the appropriate county or district attorney.


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White Collar Crime Resources in Utah

Identity Theft Reporting Information System (IRIS) – The IRIS was created by the Office of the Utah Attorney General in an effort to respond to the rising rate of identity theft across the nation. Through public education initiatives, legislation reform, alerts for scams, and investigating, the IRIS hopes to protect the public and reduce rates of identity theft in Utah.

Utah Foundation Research Brief: 46 Years of Utah Crime Statistics – The Utah Foundation is an independent organization dedicated to public policy research, education, and reform. By creating comprehensive analysis of issues directly affecting the state's economy and infrastructure, the Utah Foundation hopes to provide the state's decision makers with accurate information in which to pursue change.

The FBI White Collar Crime Division – The Federal Bureau of Investigation White Collar Crime Division’s web site describes white collar crime scams, prevention tactics, current programs and the Most Wanted list.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission – The SEC is a federal government agency that protects investors from many white collar crimes and maintains the financial markets in the United States.


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Finding the Best Fraud, Forgery and ID Theft Attorney in Utah

If you have been charged with a white collar crime in Salt Lake City or the surrounding communities, contact Darren Levitt to discuss the facts of your particular case. There may be ways to reduce your charge or have it dismissed altogether, and finding an experienced attorney who is familiar with Utah white collar crimes is your best option to avoid severe punishments.

Contact the law office of Levitt Legal at (801) 531-1030 for a consultation about your white collar offense in Salt Lake County and the surrounding counties, including Box Elder, Tooele, Utah, Cache, Weber, Summit, Davis and Wasatch Counties in Utah.

Levitt Legal - Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah
266 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
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The information provided on this site is for general information purposes only. The information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your own individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Use of this website or submission of an online form, does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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