(1) This section may be cited as the “White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act.”
(2) Due to the frequency with which victims, particularly elderly victims, are deceived and cheated by criminals who commit nonviolent frauds and swindles, frequently through the use of the Internet and other electronic technology and frequently causing the loss of substantial amounts of property, it is the intent of the Legislature to enhance the sanctions imposed for nonviolent frauds and swindles, protect the public’s property, and assist in prosecuting white collar criminals.
(3) As used in this section, “white collar crime” means:
(a) The commission of, or a conspiracy to commit, any felony offense specified in:
1. Chapter 560, relating to the Money Transmitters’ Code.
2. Chapter 812, relating to theft, robbery, and related crimes.
3. Chapter 815, relating to computer-related crimes.
4. Chapter 817, relating to fraudulent practices.
5. Chapter 825, relating to abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elderly persons and disabled adults.
6. Chapter 831, relating to forgery and counterfeiting.
7. Chapter 832, relating to the issuance of worthless checks and drafts.
8. Chapter 838, relating to bribery and misuse of public office.
9. Chapter 839, relating to offenses by public officers and employees.
10. Chapter 895, relating to offenses concerning racketeering and illegal debts.
11. Chapter 896, relating to offenses related to financial transactions.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 775.0844
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
- Forgery: The fraudulent signing or alteration of another's name to an instrument such as a deed, mortgage, or check. The intent of the forgery is to deceive or defraud. Source: OCC
- Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
- Indictment: The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies.
- Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
- person: includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. See Florida Statutes 1.01
- Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
- Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
(b) A felony offense that is committed with intent to defraud or that involves a conspiracy to defraud.
(c) A felony offense that is committed with intent to temporarily or permanently deprive a person of his or her property or that involves a conspiracy to temporarily or permanently deprive a person of his or her property.
(d) A felony offense that involves or results in the commission of fraud or deceit upon a person or that involves a conspiracy to commit fraud or deceit upon a person.
(4) As used in this section, “aggravated white collar crime” means engaging in at least two white collar crimes that have the same or similar intents, results, accomplices, victims, or methods of commission, or that are otherwise interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and are not isolated incidents, provided that at least one of such crimes occurred after the effective date of this act.
(5) Any person who commits an aggravated white collar crime as defined in this section and in so doing either:
(a) Victimizes 10 or more elderly persons, as defined in s. 825.101;
(b) Victimizes 10 or more veterans, as defined in s. 1.01;
(c) Victimizes 20 or more persons, as defined in s. 1.01; or
(d) Victimizes the State of Florida, any state agency, any of the state’s political subdivisions, or any agency of the state’s political subdivisions,
(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of chapter 921 or any other law, an aggravated white collar crime shall be ranked within the offense severity ranking chart at offense severity level 9.
(7) In addition to a sentence otherwise authorized by law, a person convicted of an aggravated white collar crime may pay a fine of $500,000 or double the value of the pecuniary gain or loss, whichever is greater.
(8) A person convicted of an aggravated white collar crime under this section is liable for all court costs and shall pay restitution to each victim of the crime, regardless of whether the victim is named in the information or indictment. As used in this subsection, “victim” means a person directly and proximately harmed as a result of the commission of the offense for which restitution may be ordered, including any person directly harmed by the defendant‘s criminal conduct in the course of the commission of the aggravated white collar crime. The court shall hold a hearing to determine the identity of qualifying victims and shall order the defendant to pay restitution based on his or her ability to pay, in accordance with this section and s. 775.089.
(a) The court shall make the payment of restitution a condition of any probation granted to the defendant by the court. Notwithstanding any other law, the court may order continued probation for a defendant convicted under this section for up to 10 years or until full restitution is made to the victim, whichever occurs earlier.
(b) The court retains jurisdiction to enforce its order to pay fines or restitution. The court may initiate proceedings against a defendant for a violation of probation or for contempt of court if the defendant willfully fails to comply with a lawful order of the court.