CHAPTER 8

Civil versus Criminal Law Comparison

Financial Crimes

The public is generally more familiar with the criminal law process than the civil law process. Newspaper articles, news programs, movies, and endless television dramas portray the criminal offense, investigation, arrest, and subsequent prosecution. While the basic format of these television shows is usually accurate, they do not depict all the elements of the process because the case must be wrapped up within the allotted hour. The dramas often have an identifiable suspect and a smoking gun, so the viewer believes the crime is easily resolved. In reality, the process never concludes that quickly. It can be a long and arduous journey, especially for white-collar crime or related civil financial issues or both. They are never swiftly resolved because of the voluminous paper and hours of analysis involved. Civil financial lawsuits are frequently more complicated and more difficult than criminal lawsuits. The financial complexity is what often spurs the need for a forensic operator.

WAR STORY

A real estate holding company partner who also served as the partnership's CFO was believed to be taking more than his fair share of money. A forensic operator was engaged to assist in a clandestine investigation. Shortly after the forensic operator started, the company followed the forensic operator's advice and hired an attorney. Unfortunately, the attorney was a civil attorney with no criminal experience but apparently felt ...

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