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When in doubt, for the accused Michael Stephan is one of Germany’s top lawyers in commercial criminal law If you take a look at the range of activities in which Michael Stephan is actively involved, you wonder how he can still find time to take a breath and rest. Stephan is not only a lawyer specializing in commercial criminal law. He is also an author, publisher, head of Saxony`s and Saxony-Anhalt`s criminal attorneys` association and lecturer and trainer for lawyers. Given the multi-faceted nature of commercial criminal law, Mr. Stephan’s daily job is quite challenging. TEXT: JESSICA POMMER | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

White collar crime is a field where the damage is not visible immediately but has to be uncovered step by step. White collar crime can be defined as fraud committed by business or government officials. Typical cases

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are fraud, bribery, money laundering or identity theft. A 2014 report by the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany (Bundeskriminalamt or BKA) states that in 2013 the number of recorded crimes decreased

by 12% to 71,663 cases. Yet, the damage caused by white collar crime in Germany increased by 2% to 3.82 billion Euros compared to 2012. More alarming is the share of white collar crime´s damage in relation to the total of all crimes recorded in the BKA´s annual statistical report: it comprises 50% but has only a share of 1.2% of all crimes. In the digital age commercial criminal law has become even more complicated as many frauds are committed online.The actual rate of white collar crime in business life is higher than the one reported as many cases remain unreported. Many companies