Many lawyers shy away from defending persons accused of financial crimes on account of what they perceive to be dry cases. Indeed, much of the prosecutorial materials will involve a paper trail which may seem like more work than its worth. The disclosure on many of these prosecutions can span boxes upon boxes; a recent case handled by Mr. Lewandowski required the careful review of one terabyte of computerized information. Regardless, much of our practice defends these types of crimes. Mr. Lewandowski has a background in computer programming, and his undergraduate studies were in accounting, finance, business and information systems. Thus, the technical nature and legal challenges presented by such prosecutions are relished by Mr. Lewandowski and his team.
Financial Crimes are Not All Created by the Criminal Code
Financial crimes include fraud, theft, extortion, arson, tax evasion, failing to file tax returns, laundering, possession of proceeds of crime and breach of trust. Not all of these offences are created by the Criminal Code. In fact, the Income Tax Act, Excise Tax Act, and the Copyright Act, amongst others also contain many serious crimes. Irrespective of the governing statute, the Court of Appeal has made it quite clear that in cases where there is a high level of organization, or in cases involving breaches of trust against an employer, jail will be imposed. Stiff sentences exist to discourage the financial motive underpinning these crimes.
Upon being charged, the accused quickly realizes that the governing legislation is inordinately complex. As an example, the Excise Tax Act has 363 sections, with 57 sets of regulations setting out rules concerning the HST, electronic filing, disclosure, indexing ratios and so on. Each set of regulations contains hundreds of rules therein. If charged with a financial crime, retain counsel immediately. Furthermore, there are often damage control measures that can be undertaken to mitigate the potential disruption to your life that our counsel will address. Failing that, there are technical or substantive defences that can be argued on your behalf.
We have extensive experience in defending financial crimes. Therefore, contact us immediately if you have been contacted by police or have been charged with a financial offence.