White Collar Crime & Non-Violent Offenses


Facing a criminal charge is frightening, and even more so when it is a crime involving moral turpitude, such as theft or fraud. These types of charges can ruin your career and reputation. In serious cases, they can also lead to prison time.

We understand what you are going through, and what is at stake. We know that winning isn't everything—it's the only thing.

When your career, reputation and freedom are at stake, you want an attorney who fully understands what you're up against and has the experience necessary to successfully handle white collar crime and fraud cases.

For over 20 years, Houston criminal defense attorney Neal Davis has won successful outcomes for individuals charged in state and federal white-collar cases all over the country. He has a well-known reputation for providing aggressive representation and personal attention to each client.

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In the last few years, the federal government has lessened its focus on drug offenses and began cracking down on non-violent offenses such as fraud and cybercrime. Individuals, businessmen and corporations are all fair game when it comes to the war on white collar crime.

When talking about white collar crime, high-profile federal cases involving corporate corruption typically come to mind. Names like Enron, Bernie Madoff, Bernard Ebbers and Tyco are often associated with criminal fraud. However, most people are unaware of what constitutes “white collar crime” and how the state and federal court systems handle these types of cases.

The various types of white collar offenses in Texas—from healthcare fraud to federal embezzlement—are charged as the offense of “theft.” Federally, theft and fraud is charged and sentenced a myriad of ways, from conspiracy to wire, mail and bank fraud, to identity theft.

For example, a retired Fort Bend County jail guard was recently charged with a federal offense for a non-violent white collar crime which involved the misappropriation of money. The man pleaded guilty for pocketing nearly $300K in military pension checks which had been sent over a 20-year period to his uncle, who died in 1996. Such fraud is a federal white collar offense. However, he was still able to get probation and avoid jail time thanks to his attorney, Neal Davis.

What is a white collar crime?

The term “white collar crime” is an all-purpose term for financially-driven nonviolent criminal activity by business and/or government professionals. This category of crime encompasses a wide range of non-violent offenses – from bribery and money laundering, to large-scale embezzlement, healthcare or tax fraud.

The FBI simplifies the definition of such criminal acts as: “Lying, cheating, and stealing. That's white-collar crime in a nutshell.” Intentional deceit or breach of trust is a common trait in all state and federal white-collar cases.

The Neal Davis Law Firm is highly experienced in a wide range of charges for white-collar crimes and other non-violent offenses, including:

  • Conspiracy
  • Intellectual Property Theft
  • Identity Theft
  • Counterfeiting
  • Bribery
  • Antitrust Violations
  • Money Laundering
  • Wire & Mail Fraud



Houston criminal defense lawyer, Neal Davis

“Charges may be brought in State or federal court, depending on which has jurisdiction and the seriousness of the offense. An investment scam limited to Texas resulting in $50,000 in losses would usually be charged in State court; the same activity extending to other states, or involving federal funds such as Medicaid or Medicare, could be charged in federal court. Punishments vary based on the nature and the scale of the offense. White-collar cases require skill and specialized knowledge. An attorney needs to be familiar with the unique government policies that apply to different types of fraud and have the expertise to calculate losses accurately. Few criminal defense attorneys have the skills needed to successfully defend people in serious white-collar cases.”

- Neal Davis

CPA charged with running a large-scale tax fraud operation
Supervisor charged with stealing several thousand dollars' worth of steel containers

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Attentive, Caring, and Knowledgeable

"I had a previous lawyer who I felt was not doing enough for my case. The first time meeting with Neal, I was treated with kindness and he listened very closely to what I had to say. As soon as I explained my situation to him he mapped out a plan for defense, worked with me on a payment plan, and worked vigorously on my case. The allegations brought against me were truly false and to have a lawyer as attentive, caring, and knowledgeable as Neal was a Godsend! I know it seems too good to be true, but if you are in need of counsel, I would definitely give Neal a call. Thank you so much, Neal!"

 |  Client's White-Collar Fraud Case Dismissed


There are a number of critical distinctions between criminal cases prosecuted at the state level versus the federal level. Many defendants are unaware of these differences and pay the price as a result. When seeking a criminal defense attorney to represent you, it is important to hire one with knowledge and experience in whichever court system your case resides. Federal courts require the attorney to be licensed there, not just in State court.

For starters, federal and state courts differ in how judges are selected and operate. In the federal courts, judges are selected and confirmed by the U.S. government (the President or Senate) and hold the position for life.

Because of their lofty position, federally appointed judges have demanding expectations and strict deadlines. In state cases, however, the guidelines are more relaxed and unpredictable. For instance, it is not uncommon for a trial to be continued several days before actually taking place in the state court system.

handcuffs on pile of forms

State and federal cases also vary in the vetting process for prosecutors. Generally speaking, a federal prosecutor is more experienced and has a lighter caseload, and is therefore better prepared for trial. As a result, a more experienced attorney is required to provide a strong defense.

However, it is a mistake to assume that all state prosecutors are weaker than their peers in the federal court since many aggressive prosecutors prefer to practice at the state level because they get more trial experience there.

Furthermore, sentencing for federal white-collar cases is more standardized and predictable. Because the federal sentencing guidelines are particularly harsh in white-collar cases, they have become controversial. Although the U.S. Department of Justice has made efforts to amend the draconian and often unfair punishments recommended for white collar criminals, many criticize that the government hasn't done enough. Since 2005, federal punishments for white collar crimes have rarely been consistent – that's when the Supreme Court restored much of the judge's discretion in determining the appropriate sentencing, ruling that the government's sentencing guidelines were merely advisory (United States V. Booker).

In certain white collar crimes, the case may move from state court to federal court. This only occurs if the amount of defrauded money in question is so large, or some federal interest is involved (such as Medicare or Medicaid), that it warrants federal prosecution. This decision to transfer the case is often based on the priorities of the United States Attorney in that particular district, the size of the case or any compelling federal interest, and who is investigating the crime (i.e. local police, the FBI, etc.).

Clearly, there are many factors that can affect a non-violent offense charge. To ensure the best possible outcome in your case, it is important to hire an attorney who is not only highly knowledgeable in the type of non-violent offense you are are being charged with, but who also has extensive experience litigating at both the State and federal levels.


Whether you have been charged with theft, fraud, or another federal non-violent offense, your next step should be discussing your case with a qualified white collar crime lawyer. For over 20 years, Neal Davis has successfully resolved federal and state white-collar-crime cases all throughout Texas. He is often able to negotiate a favorable resolution without the need for trial through thoroughly investigating the case and effectively communicating with judges, prosecutors and juries.

Schedule an appointment today in our downtown Houston law office to find out what Neal Davis and his experienced legal team can do about your federal white collar crime charge.

At the Neal Davis Law Firm, we regularly defend people accused of white-collar crimes. Neal Davis has been recognized as a “Best Lawyer in America (2015-2022) in White Collar Crime” because of his record of success in handling such cases.

We have successfully defended clients facing all types of charges, ranging from investment schemes to government fraud and intellectual property theft. Many times our defense strategies have prevented charges from being filed, or have succeeded in getting the charges greatly reduced, protecting the client from having to forfeit money or property.

Success stories
  • CHARGES DECLINED in a federal investigation of a pharmaceutical company for fraudulent labeling
  • CHARGES DECLINED in a federal investigation of a couple for off-shore tax fraud
  • CHARGES DECLINED in a federal investigation of an oil equipment manufacturer for intellectual property theft
  • CHARGES DECLINED in a federal investigation of a home healthcare administrator for healthcare fraud
  • CASE DISMISSED in a federal case against a CPA charged with running a large-scale tax fraud operation
  • CASE DISMISSED shortly before trial in a federal case against a school administrator charged with government fraud
  • CASE DISMISSED following a hung jury (majority for acquittal) in a State case against a businessman charged with securities fraud

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