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Why Most Delaware White Collar Crimes Proceed In Federal Court


White collar crime is a term that is used to refer to a category rather than a single offense, so there is no definition established by US or Delaware statute. However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has developed a working definition to assist law enforcement with apprehending offenders. This classification covers crimes that involve deceit, concealment, or violation of trust against victims. Also, these offenses are not characterized by the use or threat of violence. The goal is obtaining something of value, avoiding payments or other liabilities, or gaining some other financial advantage.

Despite the lack of a definition under state or federal law, officials aggressively pursue white collar crimes cases because the conduct violates statutes on fraud, theft, bribery, and related offenses. For several reasons, the nature of the misconduct means that the charges are often brought in federal court. It is important to consult with a Wilmington white collar crimes defense lawyer about details, but you should be aware of why your case may proceed through the federal criminal system.

Defrauding a Federal Agency: There are numerous US government bodies that touch on personal and professional business, and misconduct with these interactions can lead to federal white collar crimes charges. Typically, the foundation for the offense is providing statements to the agency that are false or misleading. Examples include fraud related to:

  • Filing tax returns with the IRS;
  • Billing Medicare/Medicaid;
  • Making false statements to the EPA;
  • Filings with the SEC;
  • Misrepresentations in connection with Social Security benefits; and,
  • Contracts between a private business and any US government agency. 

Violations of Federal Statutes: Delaware criminal laws closely parallel federal statutes, but there are some offenses that are specific to the US penal code. Plus, there are some white collar crimes that officials choose to pursue under federal law. Treason, certain drug offenses, and any crimes that involve transactions with foreign nations or international law would likely lead to federal charges.

 Misconduct Crossing State Lines: An offense may go to federal court when the illegal activities take place in more than one US state. Keep in mind that white collar crimes could involve either:

Physical presence or misconduct crossing state lines, such as kidnapping, human trafficking, and trafficking in drugs or firearms; OR,

Unlawful acts that incorporate mail or wire fraud, in which case the suspect and/or tangible items do not cross state lines.

Illegal Acts Involving Banking: Whenever unlawful acts affect financial institutions, the crime is usually prosecuted by US officials. Federal Reserve banks, the FDIC, lenders, and many other institutions are federally insured. With bank fraud, each instance of misconduct is a separate count. The charges can add up quickly, often resulting in long prison terms and hefty fines.

Trust a Delaware White Collar Crimes Attorney to Defend the Charges

For more information on defenses, please contact the Wilmington, DE offices of Attorney Michael W. Modica. Individuals in New Castle County can set up a consultation by calling 302.600.1262 or visiting our website. A white collar crimes lawyer can advise you after hearing about your situation.



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