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Understanding the Florida White-Collar Crime Victim Protection Act

Penalties for committing a white-collar crime can be severe no matter where you live. In Florida, however, those accused face additional consequences due to the Florida White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act.

Enacted by Florida Legislature in 2001, this Act enhanced the severity ranking of aggravated white-collar crimes to a Level 9 on the Criminal Punishment Code offense severity ranking chart. This change makes multiple acts of white-collar offenses equal in punishment level to robbery with a firearm, drug trafficking in larger quantities, premeditated murder and other felonies.

As stated in the Act:

"Due to the frequency with which victims, particularly elderly victims, are deceived and cheated by criminals who commit nonviolent frauds and swindles, frequently through the use of the Internet and other electronic technology and frequently causing the loss of substantial amounts of property, it is the intent of the Legislature to enhance the sanctions imposed for nonviolent frauds and swindles, protect the public's property, and assist in prosecuting white-collar criminals."

What does this mean to those who are facing charges for white-collar crimes? In addition to the consequences required by law for the particular crime committed, a person may be required to:

  • Pay $500,000 or twice the amount that was fraudulently gained, whichever is greater
  • Pay restitution to each victim of their crimes, regardless of whether they are named in the charging document
  • Pay for all court costs

In addition, the accused could be placed on probation for up to ten years or until restitution is paid in full to each victim.

If you are facing criminal charges for white-collar crimes in Florida, don't take chances with your defense. Contact the Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A., PA, for experienced legal representation.