• CORPORATE LAW & ECONOMIC CRIMES
Areas of Legal Practice: Joseph J. Pappacoda
Many corporations and other business entities run into situations in the normal course of business that require an attorney’s involvement. A private citizen may generally represent himself, or herself in court, however, they may not represent their corporation in court, unless they are also an attorney. This is because the corporation itself is viewed as another person.
If the corporation or another legal entity needs redress by a court on any particular matter, including contract issues, collection issues, liability issues, licensing issues, insurance issues, warranty issues, taxation issues, or criminal issues, an attorney should be consulted so that the proper course of action can be charted for the particular matter under scrutiny.
Corporate law and business law generally falls in the gambit of the civil law, however, it can cross over the line to criminal law, especially in such areas as: customer deposits, escrow funds, certifications, licensing, false, or misleading advertising; law, code, or regulation violations, investment activities, or a host of other operational and income producing areas. Additionally, some civil suits in court today are quasi-criminal in nature, e.g. civil theft-- an intentional tort, which is essentially a criminal theft allegation being addressed by the civil courts.
Many criminal statutes provide for civil court remedies, and vice versa. A civil case may become a criminal case in the events that the police are involved in the complaint, the police believe there is an element of criminal intent, or strict criminal liability in the case, and where an alleged victim is screaming for justice.
There are many parallel cases in courts today, where a complainant is suing in civil court simultaneously with an ongoing criminal investigation by the police, or prosecution by the state, or federal governments, on the identical issues presented in the civil suit. If the police and prosecution launch a criminal investigation, they would endeavor to hold the individual(s) responsible for running the day to day operations of the business criminally liable, not just the owners, or directors of the corporation.
If you or your company are being investigated by the police, or a prosecuting authority, it is prudent for an attorney to intervene on your behalf in order to make a concerted effort to keep matters from escalating to a point where you are arrested criminally. It is always better if you can keep matters in a civil arena. If you are arrested on matters related to your business practices, including economic crime, or financial fraud allegations, you must consider hiring an attorney that concentrates his or her practice in these areas.
By way of example, economic crimes may entail the following, which are derived from financial matters where the element of “criminal intent” is alleged to wit: Racketeering (RICO), Organized Scheme To Defraud, Wire-Fraud, Mail Fraud, Insurance Code Violations, Money Laundering, Securities Violations, Investment Violations, Licensing Violations, Grand Theft, Forgery, Uttering, Telemarketing Act Violations, False or Fraudulent Advertising Violations, Trust and Escrow Funds Violations, etc..
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