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An overview of financial crimes

Although they don’t inflict physical harm on their victims, financial crimes can still harm a person’s life. Crimes like money laundering, corporate fraud and market manipulation cost individuals and companies in Virginia and elsewhere billions of dollars per year. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is responsible for investigating white-collar crimes and often does so in conjunction with local and state authorities.

What is money laundering?

This illegal practice is an attempt to conceal the source of money that was obtained through unlawful means. It allows a criminal to avoid paying taxes and facing prosecution or reinvest the funds for use in future crimes. An example of money laundering would be buying real estate with money obtained through the sale of narcotics or other illicit substances. Criminals may also attempt to launder money through the purchase of precious metals or virtual currencies.

What is corporate fraud?

Corporate fraud may include the falsification of tax documents or documents that are made available for public review. It may also include insider trading, offering kickbacks to company insiders or using company assets for personal gain. These and other schemes have the potential to cost investors money as well as erode their confidence in the market as a whole.

What is market manipulation?

Market manipulation occurs when a person or group of people attempts to artificially inflate the price of an asset. For instance, a stockbroker or other financial professional may convince members of the public to buy shares of a stock that generally sees light trade volume. When the stock hits a certain price, the individual or entity that is running the scam will then sell their stake in that company. This causes the price to drop substantially and will typically result in huge losses for other investors.

If you are facing insider trading charges or another white-collar offense, an attorney with experience in criminal law may help with your case. A lawyer may cast doubt on the evidence that was used to charge you with a crime or have it suppressed at trial.

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