Corporate Fraud in Michigan: Charges, Penalties & Defense

Business man tucking envelope in suit depicting corporate fraud.

Are you or is someone you love being investigated for corporate fraud?

No one feels like they’ve got enough money or power. The difference between white-collar crime and violent crime is that you have to have enough money and influence to commit white-collar crime.

You have to be positioned well in your company. The difference is not that wealthier people don’t commit crimes, while more impoverished people do.

Unfortunately, any person is subject to committing the crimes that are available to them.

The other mistaken idea around white-collar crime is that it is victimless. Compared to crime in the streets, these types of financial crimes seem relatively non-violent.

Tell that to the millions of people who suffered during the recent recession. Financial crimes hurt investors, the U.S. economy, small and large businesses, and, ultimately, the American people.

That is why the FBI targets white-collar criminals, and why convictions for fraud result in substantial punishments.

What Constitutes Corporate Fraud?

Corporate fraud is a broad term that can encompass many illegal behaviors. The goal of many of these types of fraud is the same, however. It’s to benefit the perpetrators with advantage or wealth.

Additionally, those who commit corporate fraud do so at the expense of others. All corporate fraud has deception as a common theme, and it often involves multiple people working together to commit fraud, so there’s no such thing as accidentally committing corporate fraud. People or entities defrauded can include auditors, investors, the public, and investigators. 

Here are some examples of what constitutes corporate fraud:

  • Payroll fraud
  • Securities Fraud
  • Suspense Accounting Fraud
  • Financial Accounting Fraud
  • Theft of assets or information
  • Bribery
  • Corruption
  • Corporate Identity Theft
  • Intellectual Property Fraud
  • Misrepresentation of financial conditions
  • False accounting entries
  • Inflation of profits 
  • Hiding of losses
  • Evasion of regulatory oversight
  • Insider Trading
  • Self-Dealing
  • Misuse of corporate property for personal gain
  • Mutual fund late trading
  • Market timing schemes

Penalties for Corporate Fraud

Since corporate fraud is such a broad field, it’s almost impossible to pinpoint a range of possible punishments for these crimes. However, if you are convicted, you will be facing one or more of four types of penalties: Fines, restitution, prison, and probation. 


If you get caught committing fraud as a corporation, your company could be fined billions of dollars. If your charges are individual, you may be fined more than $250,000.


Walter Forbes, former chairman and CEO of Cendant, was convicted of inflating reported incomes for the Cendant Corporation in the 1990s. He was ordered to pay $3.28 billion in restitution for his crimes. 


In addition to his restitution order, Walter Forbes was sentenced to over 12 years in prison for his crimes, since they were felonies. Any financial crime that is a felony can result in a prison sentence of over a year.


Probation can be an alternative to prison time in some cases and is often part of a sentence for someone convicted. During probation, the court orders guidelines and acceptable behavior that the convict must follow to remain out of prison.

The bottom line? It’s tough to anticipate what your sentencing will be if you are convicted of corporate fraud. These crimes, and often the cases, are very complex. 

Defense for Corporate Fraud

Did I mention the complexity of corporate fraud cases? They are rarely black and white; the way murder is black and white. People rarely think about peripheral victims during these types of schemes, and so their actions don’t seem that bad to them. It’s also true that even if you are under investigation by the FBI for corporate fraud, you may be completely innocent. 

Corporate Fraud Attorney in Michigan

This is where you need the best defense attorneys who know your rights and will defend them aggressively. At any stage of the game, it’s worth it to employ the right lawyer to help you prove your innocence, get your case dropped, or seek alternative sentencing.

You don’t want a corporate fraud conviction hanging on your record, whether or not you end up spending a day in jail. Call my office today. Let’s get working for your freedom. 

Call now