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Corporate fraud: A variety of criminal acts

There are a number of different white-collar crimes that can get you into trouble with the law. One of the crimes you could be accused of is corporate fraud. Corporate fraud is of the utmost concern to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, so it focuses many of its efforts on tackling these schemes.

You should know that if you're being investigated for fraud, it's a federal offense. As such, a conviction carries heavy penalties and the potential for long prison sentences. You need to defend yourself immediately if you're implicated in a federal crime.

What kinds of actions are considered to be corporate fraud?

Entering false data or misrepresenting the financial conditions of a company is fraudulent. Creating fake or fraudulent trades to inflate your perceived profits is also fraudulent. Why is that so bad? Imagine being an investor looking at a business with extreme profits. If those are over-inflated, the investor is actually taking on a greater amount of risk than he or she may have agreed to otherwise.

Self-dealing is another kind of corporate fraud. This is when you trade stocks based on non-public information. Receiving kickbacks by trading in this manner is also illegal.

Another thing that could land you in trouble is falsifying tax returns or pushing through improperly completed taxes. Any time the Internal Revenue Service believes you've created false tax returns or intentionally mislead them, you face serious penalties and heavy fines. If it's found you did not pay taxes or you didn't pay enough, you could end up owing thousands of dollars in back taxes on top of criminal charges. Your attorney can help you defend yourself; it's important to show that you did not commit these crimes intentionally.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, "Corporate Fraud," accessed March 16, 2017

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