Financial crimes are non-violent, economic crimes involving the taking of someone else’s property without a lawful basis and transforming that property for your own or another’s use. The property can be physical, money, or digital. Financial crimes come in various forms: fraud, embezzlement, employee theft, tax evasion, securities fraud, money laundering, counterfeiting, cybercrime, identity theft, Ponzi schemes, and mortgage fraud, among others.
Financial crimes occur in every industry: banking and securities, transportation, insurance, employment, healthcare, real estate, and service industries. Accusing criminal activity can destroy your reputation and permanently exclude you from many industries and professions. That is why you need a skilled and experienced financial crimes lawyer to help you navigate the complexities of criminal prosecution and protect your rights.
Never speak with police or prosecutors upon arrest or try to represent yourself. Don’t risk your rights and freedom by going it alone. Contact the knowledgeable lawyers of Bulwark Law.
What Are Financial Crimes in Calgary?
Financial crimes can undermine people’s faith in the stability of the economic system. The Crown is adamant about protecting the trustworthiness of commerce and financial transactions. Canadian law categorizes financial crimes according to the value of the property involved, above or below $5000. The circumstances of the theft are also important. Was this shoplifting, embezzlement, or employee theft? Whose trust was betrayed, and who was wronged?
Financial Crime Cases We Handle
At Bulwark Law, our lawyers are experienced in handling all sorts of financial crimes prosecutions on behalf of our clients. A proper defence requires a thorough investigation of the police tactics, search warrants, witness identification and interviews to challenge any improper methods that might contravene a defendant’s right to a fair and unbiased prosecution. Because some financial crimes are so complex, Alberta Justice has a specialized bureau to investigate and prosecute complex financial transactions where criminality is alleged.
Fraud: Fraud is often alleged in financial crimes prosecutions. Fraud is the wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. The statute leaves the definition ambiguous to extend its prohibitions into a broad area of possible behaviours. Ordinarily serious fraud involves:
- Substantial value and financial loss
- Substantial impact on victims
- High degree of criminal sophistication
- Prosecutions require special investigative expertise
- Government might be the victim, too
- There is a public or national interest in pursuing the investigation
Financial crimes target individuals and undermine the integrity of the nation’s economy.
- Destabilization of global economies
- Threatens the integrity and trust of financial institutions
- Destabilization of democracy if the fraud extends to voting or government services
- Financial burden on multiple victims
- Emotional and psychological injuries to victims
At Bulwark Law, we handle all sorts of capital market fraud prosecutions: insider trading, market manipulation, pump and dump, illegal distribution of securities, and false prospectus.
Money Laundering: Money laundering is a multi-step process to disguise the source of money or assets that come from illegal or untaxed means. The key amounts are $10,000 in a single transaction or smaller transactions aggregated over a 24-hour period to sum of $10,000. Criminal enterprises rely on laundered funds to feed their activities, such as corruption, fraud, human trafficking, drug trade, sale of illegal firearms, and of course, terrorism. Money laundering is prosecuted under the Criminal Code and the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.
The Canadian Criminal Code applies to all individuals and businesses operating in Canada. The Anti-Terrorist statute applies to all reporting entities, such as financial institutions, credit unions, life insurance companies, load companies, securities dealers, foreign exchange dealers, money services businesses, casinos, real estate brokers and developers.
What Are the Potential Consequences of Financial Crimes Charges?
Prosecutions for money laundering are hybrids, where the Crown can bring charges summarily or through indictment. If prosecuted by summary conviction, the maximum penalty is 2 years less a day in jail and/or a fine of $5000. If prosecuted by indictment, the penalties are more severe: a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Penalties upon conviction under the Terrorist Financing Act are even harsher, ranging up to $2 million in penalties and up to 5 years in prison.
The consequences of conviction under either the Criminal Code or Terrorist Financing Act follow a defendant for a lifetime, impacting employment, licensing, and travel outside of Canada. Of course, for a Canadian resident, a conviction can mean endangering immigration status.
How Can a Financial Crimes Lawyer Help You?
When facing the full force of the Crown’s authority, you don’t want to try to represent yourself. The best advice is to remain silent and to hire an experienced financial crimes lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and to begin the task of constructing a viable defence. An experienced financial crimes lawyer can investigate the police to challenge their methods and how they secured evidence and witness testimony. Special investigatory agencies often conduct these investigations with sophisticated forensic accountants whose expertise is in service of the Crown.
An experienced financial crimes lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors, develop a strategy, and prepare for trial if necessary. When prosecutors face criminal defence lawyers with a credible record of success, they are more likely to consider withdrawal of charges or charging lesser offences. Your future and your family’s future require rigorous defence from the beginning of any criminal prosecution.
Contact Bulwark Law Today
If you face criminal charges of financial crimes, fraud, or money laundering, your freedom is on the line. Bulwark Law can help. Our experienced lawyers have a reputation among Calgary prosecutors and judges for fierce representation and profound legal knowledge. Call 403 678 7360 or complete the contact form to arrange your free initial consultation.