Most white-collar criminal indictments are federal crimes resulting in more severe and lengthy sentencing than state crimes. The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, created by the United States Sentencing Commission, uses a calculation to establish an offense level. Combined with any prior criminal record, this metric is used to establish a range of possible sentences.
White Collar Sentencing Table
Sentencing for white collar crimes is found on the Sentencing Table grid. While no longer mandatory, judges continue to use these guidelines as a preliminary calculation of sentencing for white collar offenders. Some of the criteria set forth in 18 U.S. Code § 3553 are:
(a) Factors To Be Considered in Imposing Sentence.
The sentencing court shall impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply in determining the particular sentence to be imposed. The court shall consider—
(1) nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant;
(2) need for the sentence imposed—
(A) to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense;
(B) to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct;
(C) to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; and
(D) to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner;
(3) kinds of sentences available;
(4) kinds of sentence and the sentencing range established for—
(A) applicable category of offense committed by the applicable category of defendant as set forth in the guidelines.
White Collar Penalties
Sentencing for white collar crimes under the Guidelines call for harsh lengths of incarceration. Some examples of penalties include:
- Healthcare fraud: A fine commensurate with the value of the amount of fraudulently received (or claimed) services and a prison term from a few years’ incarceration to life in prison.
- Bank fraud: A fine of up to $1,000,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to 30 years
- Mail and wire fraud: Both carry a maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years. If the scheme also involved a bank, the potential fine increases to up to $100,000: [18 U.S.C. Section 1343]
- Securities fraud: The Court may order a large fine calculated based on the amount of money that was fraudulently obtained and/or a maximum period of incarceration of up to 25 years in prison: [18 U.S.C. Section 1348]
Federal Sentencing Attorneys
When deciding what sentence to impose, judges use the sentencing guidelines combined with a sentencing memo, possible plea deals, and character letters. Hilder & Associates, P.C. has an established record of producing sentencing memos and arguments that have been successful in reducing white collar sentencing. Through professional relationships with prosecutors, vigorous legal research, and experienced legal writing, Hilder & Associates P.C. navigates the white-collar sentencing process with clients to get the best possible outcome.