Complex Property Crimes Require a Worcester White Collar Crimes Attorney

Lawyers with the financial and business acumen to handle your case

Just because a theft is accomplished with a computer or an accounting ledger does not make it less serious than other kinds of theft. In fact, many such white collar crimes carry stiffer penalties than their more straightforward counterparts and may involve federal charges as well. At Gould & Ettenberg, P.C., our combination of business law knowledge and criminal litigation experience makes our attorneys especially suited to address these complex and serious charges — and gives our clients in the Worcester area their best chance at mitigation or exoneration.

Computer crimes

As the capabilities of computers and computer networks have increased, Massachusetts has adapted its criminal statutes accordingly. Under current law, accessing a protected computer system without authorization carries a potential sentence of up to 30 days’ confinement. Intentionally damaging stored computer data is treated the same as vandalism and destruction of property, while other computer-based crimes are aggressively investigated by special law enforcement units and, in some cases, federal authorities.


It may be easy to think that obtaining property by fraud or scheme is less serious than other types of theft because the victim willingly parts with the property in question. But many types of fraud, including false pretenses and mortgage fraud, are subject to the same penalties as other types of larceny:

  • $250 or less in property
    • Up to one year of incarceration
    • Up to 2 ½ years if victim is disabled or over 65
  • More than $250 in property
    • Up to five years of incarceration
    • Up to ten years if victim is disabled or over 65

Certain similar crimes such as identify theft and credit card fraud may carry special criminal penalties as well as the requirement that the guilty party pay restitution to the victim.


Embezzlement is the fraudulent taking of property by someone into whose care it has been entrusted. While the definition is simple, the investigation of an embezzlement case can be complex. To receive the best defense against these charges, you should have a lawyer whose extensive knowledge of accounting principles and business practices can be used to attack the prosecution’s case or uncover exonerating records.

Federal white collar crimes

Fraud and theft crimes involving banks, securities and interstate communications may be state as well as federal crimes. Moreover, patterns of criminal activity that cross state lines may run afoul of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. This federal statute allows federal as well as state authorities to investigate and prosecute criminal enterprises and patterns of criminal behavior.

Contact a law firm with both business and criminal defense experience

Even allegations of white collar criminal activity can be professionally devastating. Our attorneys at Gould & Ettenberg, P.C. use our full range of skills and experience to zealously defend those accused of fraud, embezzlement, money laundering and other white collar crimes in the Worcester area. Call us at 508-752-6733 or contact us online to set up a consultation with a caring and experienced attorney today. We are conveniently located in downtown Worcester with easy access to both state and federal courthouses as well as convenient parking.