white collar crime south carolina bill nettles attorneyIn the aftermath of a global financial crisis, businessmen and executives charged with white collar crimes are more unpopular than ever. Prosecutors are increasingly treating these offenses as serious crimes meriting serious consequences.

Attorney Bill Nettles served as the U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina for more than five years. During that time, he redirected the energies of his office so that the focus on white collar crime and public corruption was dramatically intensified. He understands the complexities of these cases and can provide you with the expert legal representation you need.

If you’ve been accused of a white collar crime, you need to understand the seriousness of the situation and you need to find a criminal defense attorney with significant experience in these cases. Please call the Law Office of Bill Nettles at 803-814-2826 for your free consultation. We proudly serve those who live in Columbia, Charleston, and all across South Carolina.


Fraud is among the most common of all the white collar criminal charges a defendant can face. This is because “fraud” is a broad term that encompasses a huge range of behaviors and legal violations. Broadly defined, fraud is any use of dishonesty, deception, or coercion to illegally acquire money or other property. It is, in many ways, one of the oldest and most widely recognized offenses in the history of legal codes.

Whatever the specifics of the charge, it’s important to understand that a fraud allegation is quite serious. Depending on the facts of the case, a fraud charge can easily carry a significant prison term as a sentence. Because there are so many different varieties of fraud, it is difficult to say what sort of sentence can be expected in the case of a conviction. Sentencing for fraud is based on a number of factors, including:

  • The charging body (is it a state or federal charge?)
  • The facts of the case
  • The extent of the harm suffered by the victims

Prosecutors take fraud charges seriously, and you can expect to face a vigorous prosecution if you are charged with fraud. You need an equally vigorous defense if you are to have a chance in court. Bill Nettles possesses a unique understanding of the criminal code, both state and federal, and uses that knowledge to help you.

When you’re charged with fraud, you need a criminal defense attorney with ample experience on your side. Bill Nettles has years of hands-on experience with these cases and knows them inside and out.

In the headings below, you will find examples of the different types of fraud. You can also learn more about insurance fraudhealthcare fraud, and Medicare fraud in full by following the provided links.

Securities Fraud

Generally speaking, securities fraud is the misrepresentation of information that investors use to make their financial decisions. Securities fraud is a serious charge that is coming under increasing scrutiny after the disaster of the global financial crisis. Those charged with such fraud are not likely to garner much sympathy from the public or from prosecutors.

Securities fraud litigation is highly complex and almost always involves convoluted high-stakes financial issues. The line between aggressive trading and securities trading is sometimes thin, and distinguishing between those in your legal defense requires specialized knowledge and experience.

Bill Nettles is familiar with all types of securities fraud charges, including:

  • Bond fraud
  • Excessive “churning”
  • “Pump and dump” allegations
  • Misrepresentation
  • Unauthorized trading

A securities fraud charge can ruin your life. If convicted, you’ll face massive fines and significant jail time. But even without a conviction, the mere fact of having a charge associated with you can make it difficult to earn a living in the financial markets.

Securities fraud claims are usually pursued by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). During his time as the U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina, Mr. Nettles not only pursued securities fraud charges, he forged a strong relationship with the SEC and greatly strengthened his office’s securities fraud efforts.

Bank Fraud

Bank fraud is the use of fraudulent and illegal tactics to unlawfully secure money and other assets from a bank or other financial institution. Bank fraud in the United States is defined by the federal Bank Fraud Statute, which was passed in the 1980s.

Specific examples of bank fraud include:

  • Money laundering
  • Check kiting, stolen checks, and forged checks
  • Impersonation of a bank official
  • Fraudulent loans
  • Wire transfer fraud
  • Fraudulent loan applications

That’s obviously not an exhaustive list—there are countless specific examples of bank fraud, and new versions of the old schemes are being invented every day. However, this does illustrate the scope of the problem.

Like with most crimes, sentencing for bank fraud will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of your case, especially the severity of the alleged crimes. It’s not at all unusual for those convicted of bank fraud to spend years in prison and face hefty fines. Such sentences reflect the seriousness of the charges in the eyes of the federal government.

Computer Crimes

In an increasingly inter-connected world, one in which virtual networks are being created at extraordinary rates, computer crimes are taking on increasing urgency. Policy makers are growing ever more worried about the allegedly destructive potential of fraudulent activity on the internet.

Police departments around the country are establishing units whose sole responsibility is investigating Internet and computer fraud. This is a sign of just how seriously the state is taking these crimes. Many defendants charged with computer crimes are struggling to find skilled, experienced criminal defense attorneys who understand the legally and technologically complex issues at play in these cases.

Examples of computer crimes that have resulted in lengthy jail sentences include:

  • Identity theft
  • The creation and introduction of viruses and malware
  • Hacking
  • Credit card fraud
  • Violation of state and federal pornography laws

Even in cases where prison is not a possibility, those convicted of these crimes are often looking at hefty fines and restrictions on their internet and computer usage.


Very few people have much patience or sympathy for alleged embezzlers. After the global recession caused so much pain and suffering, public sentiment has turned toward harsh punishments for those convicted of embezzlement.

Most transactions require some measure of trust between the two parties. At some point during the transaction, Party A will have access to Party B’s financial resources, and it’s expected that Party A will not abuse that trust for personal gain. This is the core of any economic system.

Embezzlement occurs when one party to a transaction leverages their access to financial resources for unlawful personal gain. The most common examples of embezzling are simple theft—an employee with access to company funds simply steals some of those funds.

However, many embezzlement cases are much more complicated than that and involve intricate financial machinations that require skillful eyes to unravel. This is why it’s so important to make sure that your criminal defense lawyer understands the issues involved.

Bill Nettles can help by:

  • Examining all relevant financial documents
  • Bringing in financial experts to serve as witnesses on your behalf
  • Investigating every detail of the case
  • Finding flaws in the prosecution’s arguments

You never want to be on the receiving end of an embezzlement charge. Consequences of serious embezzlement convictions usually include significant prison sentences.

Contact an Experienced White Collar Crime Attorney Today

With his extensive experience in federal and state criminal law, Mr. Nettles can help your defense by conducting a vigorous defense and arguing for a not guilty verdict in court. We do this by performing thorough investigations and finding holes in the prosecution’s case.

We also help with difficult, high-stakes plea bargain negotiations. Should you accept the prosecution’s offer? Is it the best you can do? Is it better to go to trial? Only a skilled, experienced attorney and negotiator can answer these questions, and that’s a crucial component of our work on your behalf.

If you’re accused of a white collar crime and need the experience of highly-skilled and knowledgeable legal counsel, contact one of South Carolina’s pre-eminent criminal attorneys by calling the Law Office of Bill Nettles today at 803-814-2826 for your free consultation. We proudly serve those who live in Columbia, Charleston, and all across South Carolina.

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