White Collar Crimes


As an upstanding business person, one of your greatest securities lies in your reputation. By building and maintaining excellent business relationships, you strengthen your position and improve your chances of furthering your career. Any threat to your reputation, credibility, and integrity could cause damage - possibly irreversible - to your future advancement. One of the ways in which your career could be ruined is by being falsely charged with committing a white collar crime.

White collar criminal offenses are those committed by individuals of high social and business standing and generally involve fraudulent behavior or theft of some kind. If you are convicted of such a crime - though accusation alone could cause problems for your reputation - you could lose the ability to ever regain your current position, let alone one that is higher and more honorable. Consult with an excellent criminal defense attorney serving Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, L.A. County, And Southern California from Ridley Defense right away if you have been charged with any of the crimes listed below. With our experienced and knowledgeable defense, you could protect your honor, integrity, and future success.


Listed under "larceny" in California Penal Code §§ 484-502.9, fraud is a form of theft and can be considered a felony. Examples of this kind of illegal activity include credit card fraud, telemarketing fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and internet fraud. These crimes are committed by using deception or false documentation / identity to obtain and / or use the assets and property of another person for personal gain.

According to Cal. Pen. Code § 503, embezzlement is defined as "the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted." For high-standing businesspersons, embezzlement is often committed by bankers, trustees, lawyers, and the like, who have been placed in a position of responsibility over another person's assets. Using those assets for personal gain without the consent of the owner is embezzlement. This crime is punishable under California's theft crime laws, and the severity of the punishment depends of the type and value of the property embezzled. If the offense is committed against the U.S. government, it is a felony punishable by a prison sentence and revocation of any future offices of honor, trust, or profit in California.

Identity Theft
Using another person's identity by stealing their social security number or I.D., or by impersonating them on paper through legal documents, forged signatures, etc., is a felony under Cal. Pen. Code § 530.5. Identity theft is punishable by 16 months or 2 or 3 years in prison.

Money Laundering
When someone transfers $5,000 or more between two or more financial institutions within a seven-day period and their intent is to hide the illegal origin of that income, they are guilty of laundering the money. This is a felony punishable by between 16 months and 3 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount laundered, or both. Repeat offenses will lengthen the prison term and raise the fine. Also, larger amounts of laundered money will compound the penalties. California money laundering laws are found in Cal. Pen. Code § 186.10.

In essence, perjury is committed by lying in a court of law. When you "swear in" before testifying in a court hearing, you take an oath that you will speak nothing but truth. California Penal Code § 118 states that willfully providing false testimony or declarations in court is unlawful, and § 126 states that it is a felony punishable by two, three, or four years in prison.

Pyramid Schemes
In a business or investment setting, a pyramid scheme is an "endless chain" or non-sustainable business model in which a participant (a victim) is encouraged by the perpetrator to pay a large amount into the scheme and encourage others to join the endeavor in the hopes of being paid back a larger sum. This crime is described and outlined in Cal. Pen. Code §327 and can be either a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison or a felony punishable by a prison sentence of 16 months or 2 to 3 years.


Without the vigorous representation of a defense lawyer, there is very little chance that your charges will be dismissed. Only an attorney with extensive experience, training, and understanding of white collar crimes and laws can build a strong defense and protect you from a criminal conviction. The future of your career depends on the counsel to whom you entrust your case, so please contact Ridley Defense.


Attorney Ridley began practicing criminal defense 13 years ago and has since defended thousands of criminal cases, from misdemeanors to major felonies. He is a businessperson himself, serving as the Chairman of the Moorpark Chamber of Commerce and the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce, and he has received the 2010 United Chamber of Commerce Small Business Award and the 2006 Moorpark Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year.

By retaining our firm, you can rest assured that we understand the severity of your situation and are prepared to use all of our resources to build a strong defense and fight your charges. Protect your career today by calling our offices for an appointment, or by filling out our free case evaluation form to contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you and providing the representation you need.