In the realm of law, the term “white-collar crime” carries a certain weight – a category of offenses distinct from the stereotypical image of what many envision when they think of criminal acts. And while it may lack the dramatic flair of other types of offenses, white-collar crime encompasses a range of financially motivated offenses that can have serious legal consequences. For individuals facing accusations, understanding the nature of these charges and the importance of securing a strong white-collar crime defense in Oklahoma is absolutely crucial. 

What is White-Collar Crime?

White-collar crime refers to non-violent offenses typically committed by individuals or organizations in positions of trust or authority, often for financial gain. These offenses are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and can occur in various sectors, including business, finance, government, and healthcare. Unlike crimes of a more overt nature, white-collar offenses are often complex and may involve intricate schemes or manipulation of systems.

Common Examples of White Collar Crime

Examples of white-collar crimes are fairly diverse. Here are just a few you’ll often see:

  • Embezzlement: When someone in a position of trust, such as an employee or executive, unlawfully appropriates funds or property entrusted to them.
  • Fraud: This encompasses a wide range of deceptive practices, including securities fraud, healthcare fraud, insurance fraud, and tax evasion.
  • Insider Trading: The illegal buying or selling of securities based on material, non-public information.
  • Money Laundering: The process of disguising the proceeds of illegal activities to make them appear legitimate.

Penalties for White-Collar Crimes in Oklahoma

While some may perceive white-collar crimes as less severe or even “victimless” compared to violent offenses or property theft, prosecutors often take a much different view, resulting in substantial sentences being imposed in many cases.

For instance, let’s examine the penalties for embezzlement in Oklahoma, which is described as the “fraudulent appropriation of another’s property obtained legally, for a purpose not intended or authorized by its owner, or concealing the property with fraudulent intent to appropriate it under various circumstances.”

  • If the value of the embezzled property is less than $1,000: it constitutes a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, a maximum of one year in county jail, or both.
  • If the value falls between $1,000 and $2,499: it escalates to a felony, carrying a penalty of up to two years in prison or one year in county jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. Additionally, the defendant may be ordered to pay restitution (further details below).
  • If the value ranges from $2,500 to $14,999: it remains a felony, with potential imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, plus restitution.
  • If the embezzled property exceeds $15,000 in value: it constitutes a felony punishable by a maximum of eight years in prison, a fine of $10,000, and restitution.

It’s also worth noting that small amounts embezzled over time in accordance with a scheme can be aggregated into one single crime, enabling prosecutors to seek stiff sentences.


Restitution refers to the monetary sum required to restore any losses incurred due to the committed crime. Oklahoma stands among a select group of states permitting restitution amounts of up to three times the initial victim’s loss. Plus, individuals convicted of crimes necessitating restitution may find themselves court-ordered to reimburse the victim with this amount, either in a lump sum or through monthly installments, in addition to any other penalties imposed, including imprisonment. 

Although instances of tripled restitution are infrequent, judges retain the authority to mandate them. Fortunately, such rulings are subject to appeal before the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

The Importance of a Strong Defense

Facing allegations of white-collar crime can be quite daunting — the legal intricacies involved are often extremely complex. Unlike more straightforward criminal charges, white-collar cases may hinge on financial records, expert testimony, and intricate legal arguments. Building a robust defense requires not only a deep understanding of the law but also the resources to conduct thorough investigations and counter the prosecution’s case effectively.

Retaining Legal Counsel

When confronted with accusations of white-collar crime in Oklahoma, seeking the counsel of an experienced attorney should always be the first move made. 

A skilled attorney specializing in white-collar defense can offer several crucial services, including:

  • Legal Expertise: An attorney with experience in white-collar crime understands the nuances of these cases and can navigate complex legal issues with precision.
  • Investigation: A thorough investigation is crucial to uncovering evidence that may support the defense’s case and challenge the prosecution’s allegations.
  • Negotiation: In some cases, negotiation with prosecutors may result in reduced charges or favorable plea agreements, minimizing potential penalties for the accused.
  • Trial Advocacy: Should the case proceed to trial, a skilled attorney can mount a robust defense, presenting evidence, cross-examining witnesses, and challenging the prosecution’s case.

Experienced, Proven White-Collar Crime Defense in Oklahoma

Allegations of white-collar crime demand a strategic and comprehensive approach to defense. The lawyers at Overman Legal Group have years of experience in defending clients in both criminal and regulatory investigations. Our white-collar crime experts can swiftly piece together the facts and advise you on the nature of the immediate investigation and a long-term approach to appropriately navigate any and all related issues, supporting you every step of the way — both during and after any investigations. 

Our dedicated, award-winning attorneys will always exhaust every resource on your behalf to secure a favorable outcome in your case.

Contact us today for a free consultation.