Non-violent offenses, sometimes referred to as white collar crimes, can have severe penalties.
Take the case of former tech industry leader Elizabeth Holmes, who faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000 for federal charges involving wire fraud and defrauding investors.
Her conviction was announced Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, concluding a 15-week trial in federal court in San Jose, CA. Sentencing is to come.
Besides a possible prison sentence of as much as 20 years, Holmes must pay a fine of $250,000 for each count in her conviction, and also pay restitution.
According to a report by CNN Business, Holmes was found guilty of 1 count of conspiracy to defraud investors and 3 counts of wire fraud linked to specific investors.
Holmes, 37, was found not guilty of 3 other charges involving defrauding patients and a charge of conspiracy to defraud patients.
The jury returned no verdict on 3 charges involving defrauding investors. Presiding Judge Edward Davila is expected to declare a mistrial on those charges.
Holmes was the founder and CEO of Theranos, a health technology company once valued at $9 billion and which is now defunct.
After making claims that Theranos invented technology that could accurately test for a range of health conditions with only a few drops of blood taken from a pricked finger, Holmes raised almost $1 billion from a variety of high-profile investors, including the Walmart family of Walmart stores. But those claims later were shown to be false or at least misleading.
CNN said the outcome of the case could serve as “a cautionary tale for others in Silicon Valley.”
White collar crimes can mean prison
Though many violent crimes – including murder and sexual assault of a minor – are known for lengthy prison sentences, white collar crimes also can mean significant prison time.
Such crimes can include embezzlement, fraud, bribery, counterfeiting, antitrust violations, Medicare fraud and many other offenses.
A person who is accused of a white collar crime can face federal charges, state charges or both.
Texas white collar crime laws and punishments
Under Texas law, a person who steals or embezzles $1,500 to $20,000 faces a state jail felony, with punishments upon conviction of 180 days to 2 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Theft of amounts between $20,000 and $100,000 is a third-degree felony under Texas law. Punishments upon conviction can include 2 to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Theft of amounts between $100,000 and $200,000 is a second-degree felony in Texas, with punishments upon conviction of 2 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Theft of $200,000 or more in Texas is a first-degree felony, with punishments upon conviction of 5 to 99 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Looking for an experienced white collar crime defense attorney?
If you or a family member faces a white collar crime accusation or charge, contact an experienced white collar crime defense attorney today with the Neal Davis Law Firm.
Neal Davis has been recognized as a “best lawyer” by Best Lawyers in America for both Criminal Defense: General Practice and for Criminal Defense: White Collar. In fact, he has received the honor for white collar defense every year since 2015.
Serving the Houston area as well as Fort Bend County and Montgomery County, the Neal Davis Law Firm also has been ranked as a Metropolitan Tier 1 law firm for Criminal Defense-White Collar by U.S. News & World Report magazine.