Milwaukee Accounting Fraud Lawyers
Accounting fraud, also known as “creative accounting” or “cooking the books,” is a method of bookkeeping that deliberately misrepresents a company’s assets, liabilities, or income. These practices may follow the letter of accounting guidelines, but if they are used to present misinformation to stockholders or customers, it is an illegal practice.
Common forms of accounting fraud include:
- Including money from a reserve, or money set aside as protection against bad loans, in a statement of the corporation’s profit. This is most frequently committed by banks.
- “Slush fund accounting,” or hiding a certain amount of money to ensure that managers will receive their bonuses even if the company faces a setback.
- Smaller businesses may use fraudulent means to get tax breaks, such as listing unemployed family members as “employees.” Although this does not get the same media attention as large scale corporate fraud, it is important to know that it is still a crime.
Since 1993, the Milwaukee accounting fraud attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. have defended the rights and freedom of clients charged with crimes arising from accounting fraud. Over the years, our legal team has been recognized statewide and nationally for our expertise and track record of obtaining successful outcomes for our clients. Our attorneys have received accolades that include recognition by Super Lawyers, ranking as Top 100 Trial Lawyers, and 10.0 “Superb” AVVO ratings.
We understand that being charged with a crime can create a great deal of anxiety, stress, and worry about your reputation, freedom, and future. If you’ve been accused of or charged with accounting fraud, contact Hart Powell, S.C. or give us a call at (414) 271-9595 for a confidential case evaluation to learn more about how we can help.
Do I Need an Accounting Fraud Attorney?
When you’re under investigation or if you’ve been arrested for or charged with accounting fraud, you may have many questions. You’re likely wondering about your legal rights and options and what your charges may mean for your freedom and future. After you are arrested and charged, you will quickly need to make some very important decisions that will affect the outcome of your case. You can best protect yourself by seeking out the services of an accounting fraud attorney as early as possible in the process.
An accounting fraud attorney can be a strong advocate on your behalf. If you’re still only under investigation for account fraud, an attorney can work to try to clear your name. After you’ve been arrested and charged, an attorney can advise you as to your rights and options, including whether you should speak to police or prosecutors, whether to seek a plea bargain, or whether to contest your charges at trial.
An attorney can also conduct an investigation that benefits you and recovers evidence that can be used to defend you. Ultimately, having an attorney means having someone you know you can trust and can lean on for support during one of the most difficult times in your life.
Facing the criminal justice system can seem daunting, especially when it feels like no one is on your side. But you don’t have to face your charges alone. Let our experienced accounting fraud attorneys help you to understand your legal rights and options. We’ll make sure you know what to expect at each stage of your case and work with you to try to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
Why Choose Hart Powell, S.C. to Help with My Case?
If you’ve been charged with a crime arising from accounting fraud, you need experienced, tough legal representation. When you have many criminal defense attorneys and law firms to choose from, how do you know which firm represents the best fit for you and your case? Selecting the right attorney and law firm can make the difference in getting a favorable outcome to your charges.
At Hart Powell, S.C., we believe several factors set our firm apart from others, including:
- Experience – Our legal team has multiple decades of combined legal experience in criminal law. We’ve handled some of the most complex and high-profile criminal cases in the state. Our experience includes serving as prosecutors, which gives us a unique insight into how criminal cases are developed and tried. Our attorneys also have extensive appellate experience, so we know how to continue to fight for your rights and interests when errors occur during your trial.
- Track-record – Although no attorney can guarantee the outcome of your case, our firm has a long track record of securing favorable outcomes on behalf of our clients in a wide variety of criminal cases. In numerous cases, we’ve managed to successfully have charges reduced or dropped or have gotten cases dismissed entirely. We have also successfully won many not guilty verdicts at trial. We’ve also gotten convictions overturned or vacated on appeal. You can trust that we have the expertise to fight for the best outcome possible in your case.
- Client-focused service – When you choose Hart Powell, S.C. to represent you when you’re facing accounting fraud charges, you’ll have the benefit of our firm’s collaborative approach to handling cases. Although one attorney may take the lead in your case, every member of our legal team works on your case. That means that you will have access to our team’s breadth and depth of experience and knowledge, and we can develop unique and effective solutions for your case.
Types of Cases We Handle
At Hart Powell, S.C., we can help you face any type of criminal charge arising from accounting fraud, including:
- Embezzlement – People entrusted with corporate or business funds may steal those funds, using accounting fraud to conceal the loss.
- Criminal securities violations – Accounting fraud can also be used to violate state and federal securities laws by providing misinformation about the financial state of a company.
- Theft of government funds – Receipt of funds from government contracts or government programs often requires companies to make financial disclosures. Accounting fraud may be used to obtain government funds that the recipient would otherwise not be entitled to.
- Fraud against financial institutions – Obtaining money or other funds or property from a financial institution under false pretenses or by a fraudulent scheme, such as accounting fraud.
- Loan fraud – Accounting fraud may be used to make false claims with the purpose of securing a loan or inducing a financial institution to take some action with respect to a loan.
What Are the Penalties for a Conviction for Accounting Fraud in Milwaukee?
Crimes that arise from accounting fraud may be charged as misdemeanors or as felonies, usually depending on the total amount of money involved in the fraud. In most cases, an accounting fraud will likely be large enough to be charged as a felony.
A conviction for a felony can result in a sentence that includes at least a year of prison time, in addition to thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in fines. After a conviction for accounting fraud, you may be ordered by the court to pay back the value of any financial losses suffered by the victim.
If You’ve Been Accused of Accounting Fraud
If you are convicted or even accused of accounting fraud, you will be facing more consequences than fines or jail time. Your reputation may be permanently damaged, and your entire career path may be changed by having such a record.
This is why anyone who has been accused of fraud needs to contact an experienced Milwaukee accounting fraud lawyer right away. Your lawyer will be able to review your case, offer you much needed legal advice, and argue for your rights in court.