average sentence for white collar crime lawyers

By Understanding the  Average Sentence for White Collar Crime Your Exposure and Criminal Liability – Only Then Can Government Contractors and HealthCare Defendants Hire the Right DEFENSE Attorneys.

White collar crimes are non-violent Offenses typically committed by individuals in positions of power or influence within the corporate or financial sector. These crimes often involve deceit, fraud, or embezzlement, leading to significant financial losses for victims. Due to their nature, punishment and sentencing for white collar crimes differs from that of traditional crimes.  What is the average white collar crime sentencing? It depends on the court (federal or state) and whether you have the right white-collar crime attorney that can push back and either get the case dismissed or push you into a less harsh crime with lesser sentencing guidelines.

Understanding White Collar Crime Offenses

White collar crimes encompass a wide range of Offenses, including insider trading, money laundering, tax evasion, securities fraud, and corporate fraud. Perpetrators of these crimes are typically professionals such as executives, accountants, lawyers, or financial advisors. Unlike crimes of violence, white collar fraud crimes are often characterized by complex schemes, manipulation of financial systems, and abuse of trust. It is essential to recognize that these crimes can have a profound impact on society, eroding public trust in institutions and destabilizing economies.

Factors Influencing White Collar Crime Sentencing, Penalties and Punishment

The average white collar crime sentencing from fraud can vary significantly due to several factors. Here are some key considerations that influence sentencing white collar crime punishment:

Severity of the offense: The severity of white collar Offenses committed is crucial to sentencing. Offenses involving massive financial losses, widespread impact, or systematic fraud schemes are often met with harsher penalties. Judges consider the extent of harm caused, the amount of money involved, and the degree of premeditation or planning.

Average sentence for white collar crime – Criminal History – First-time Offenders:  An individual’s prior criminal record is taken into account during sentencing. Repeat offenders or individuals with a history of similar Offenses may face more severe sentences as compared to first-time offenders. Previous convictions, particularly for similar white collar fraud crimes, can demonstrate a pattern of fraudulent behavior and may result in enhanced white collar crime penalties.

Restitution and Asset Forfeiture: Courts often order white collar criminals to make restitution, requiring them to repay the victims or the defrauded institution. Additionally, asset forfeiture may be imposed, whereby the court seizes the ill-gotten gains or assets purchased using the proceeds of the crime. These financial penalties serve as a deterrent and may contribute to the overall sentence. This is becoming the DOJ’s method of dealing with government contracts charged with Fraud against the US.


Cooperation and Plea Bargaining: In some cases, individuals charged with white collar Offenses may choose to cooperate with authorities and provide substantial assistance in investigating and prosecuting other individuals involved in the criminal activity. This cooperation, along with a guilty plea, can lead to reduced sentences through plea bargaining. The level of cooperation and the value of the information provided are assessed when determining the sentence. See information on civil investigative demands.

Average Sentences and White Collar Crime Punishment 

The average white collar crime sentencing can range from probation and fines to lengthy prison for white collar crimes. While each case is unique, some average sentencing trends have been observed. It is important to note that these averages are not definitive and can vary based on jurisdiction and case-specific circumstances. Here are some common ranges:

 Misdemeanor Offenses: For less severe punishment of white collar crime, such as procurement fraud or embezzlement, where the financial losses are relatively low, individuals may receive fraud sentences ranging from probation, community service, or short-term imprisonment (typically less than one year).

White Collar Felony Offenses:  White collar felony crimes, including large-scale fraud or multi-million dollar embezzlement, carry more substantial penalties. Convicted individuals may face imprisonment ranging from several years to decades, depending on the severity of the offense and the financial impact.

High-Profile Cases: Notable high-profile white collar fraud cases involving government contractors have resulted in significant sentences, serving as a deterrent and highlighting the seriousness of these Offenses. Looking at the average white collar crime sentencing, Defendants also find themselves getting higher sentences because local DEFENSE counsel may not always be experienced in federal procurement laws.


White Collar Crime Sentencing Guidelines and Actual Average Time in Jail for Fraud and White Collar Offenses:

Sentencing Guidelines: How long do you go to prison for fraud against the government? White collar crime sentencing guidelines provide a framework for judges to determine appropriate sentences for specific Offenses. These guidelines take into account the nature of the crime, the harm caused, and the offender’s characteristics. While they are advisory rather than mandatory, judges often refer to these guidelines to ensure consistency in the white-collar crime average sentence. However, judges still possess discretion to deviate from these guidelines based on case-specific circumstances.

Actual Average Sentence for White Collar Crime – Prison Time: The actual average time in jail for fraud or white collar crimes can vary significantly depending on the specific circumstances of each case and the jurisdiction in which the offense was committed. However, some examples of average white collar crime jail time for certain types of white collar crimes can provide insight:

 Insider Trading: Insider trading, the illegal practice of trading stocks based on non-public information, is a serious white collar crime. Convicted individuals may face imprisonment for an average of 2 to 4 years, depending on the severity of the offense, the financial gains involved, and any additional charges.

Fraud and Embezzlement: Cases involving government contracting fraud and embezzlement, such as Ponzi schemes, government contract fraud, or corporate fraud, often result in more substantial sentences. Average jail time or average sentence for white collar crime an range from 5 to 10 years or more, depending on the magnitude of the fraud, the number of victims affected, and the financial losses incurred.

Money Laundering: Money laundering, the process of concealing the origins of illegally obtained funds, is another prevalent white collar crime. Depending on the scale and complexity of the money laundering operation, sentences can range from 2 to 20 years or more, particularly in cases involving organized crime or significant sums of money.

Case-Specific Factors: It is essential to note that these average sentence for white collar crime and general guidelines and can be influenced by various case-specific factors. Aggravating factors such as the presence of multiple Offenses for government contractors, the involvement of a high-ranking executive, or a breach of fiduciary duty can lead to lengthier sentences. Conversely, mitigating factors such as cooperation with authorities, lack of prior criminal record, or evidence of remorse may result in reduced sentences.

Judicial Discretion: Judicial discretion plays a significant role in determining fraud sentences for white collar Offenses. Judges consider the specific details and unique circumstances of each case, including the offender’s level of culpability, the impact on victims, and the potential for rehabilitation. This discretion allows judges to tailor sentences to fit the individual circumstances of the case, ensuring a fair and just outcome.


White collar crimes can have far-reaching consequences, causing significant punishment and financial harm and eroding public trust in institutions. Sentencing for these Offenses involves complex considerations, with factors such as the severity of the offense, criminal history, restitution, cooperation, and plea bargaining influencing the outcome. Call our white collar crime lawyers for immediate help.

While the average Sentence for White Collar Crime varies widely, understanding the general trends and the role of sentencing guidelines can provide insights into the consequences faced by individuals involved in these illicit activities. Ultimately, the goal of these sentences is to deter future Offenses, protect victims, and uphold the integrity of the financial and corporate sectors.


Are You Facing Government Contractor Fraud or Health Care Fraud Charges?

If you are a federal government contractor, health care company, or government employee facing a white-collar felony crime case, call our healthcare DEFENSE lawyers to reduce your average sentence for white collar crime.  Call us at 1.866.601.5518. Ask for Theodore Watson.