Practice Areas

Luna Ad advertising, W. James Payne Law Firm. Photo by Alan Cradick, 06-21-2013.

Criminal Representation

For more than over thirty years, Mr. Payne has successfully represented thousands of people who have been charged with serious crimes. He is a proven trial lawyer, a strong negotiator and has worked hard to earn his reputation of integrity and impeccable case preparation.

The W. James Payne Law Firm exclusively handles criminal defense cases, providing clients with thorough, comprehensive representation that can only be acquired through experience.

The firm focuses on white-collar offenses but has the ability to defend clients against all types of criminal charges. Attorney Payne has successfully defended his clients in state and federal arenas as well as in military proceedings.

Clients seek Mr. Payne’s representation for a wide range of high-stakes legal matters. Mr. Payne has protected the rights of his clients in legal proceedings that range from the most sophisticated business cases to death penalty cases. The diverse legal experience of the W. James Payne Law strengthened our ability to evaluate issues that confront you, our client, and communicate effectively on your behalf.


Money Laundering

Money laundering is the process of disguising money obtained by illegal means to appear as if it came from a legitimate transaction. Due to the seriousness of these crimes, the penalties can be severe and may include steep fines and prison time. Additionally, money laundering charges often accompany other serious criminal charges. For example, someone may be charged with money laundering in connection with distributing narcotics or operating a drug ring.

Have you been charged with money laundering or another white collar crime? It is essential you retain the services of an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney.

W. James Payne is a highly respected criminal defense lawyer. Using his over thirty years of experience, access to experts and resources, and his skills in both negotiations and litigation, he works to obtain the best possible outcome in a case.

Luna Ad advertising, W. James Payne Law Firm. Photo by Alan Cradick, 06-21-2013.
Luna Ad advertising, W. James Payne Law Firm. Photo by Alan Cradick, 06-21-2013.

Fraud and Embezzlement

Have you been charged with fraud or embezzlement? These felony offenses often involve large amounts of money, and thus, the penalties can be very severe. A conviction can destroy both an individual's career and his or her family. You should immediately retain the services of an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer.

Shallotte fraud defense attorney W. James Payne has over thirty years of experience defending clients charged with serious felony offenses. Mr. Payne initially concentrates his defense strategies on pre-file intervention and has successfully resolved many cases before charges were ever filed. However, if formal charges have been brought against you, he is a powerful advocate dedicated to protecting your rights and your future.

Mortgage Fraud

Over the past 10 years, instances of mortgage and real estate fraud have increased dramatically. In response, both North Carolina and federal law enforcement officials have increased their investigations into "suspicious activities." Unfortunately, many of these investigations have resulted in the filing of serious criminal charges against otherwise innocent people.

The consequences of a conviction for financial fraud are extremely serious. If you have discovered that you are under investigation for mortgage fraud or have already been formally charged, securing the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer is essential to protecting your rights and your future.

What Is Mortgage Fraud?
Mortgage fraud is a broad term used to describe intentional misrepresentation or omission of information on a mortgage loan application or other documentation at or during any part of the application or lending process. It can occur at any level of a real estate transaction, and can involve parties ranging from the developer or lending institution to the buyer, seller, real estate agent or mortgage broker.

Following an intricate and often lengthy investigation, law enforcement officials will file either felony or misdemeanor charges. A majority of mortgage fraud cases are prosecuted as felonies in federal and state courts. More and more of these cases are being charged in federal court. Penalties for conviction may include up to over thirty years of imprisonment.

Under Investigation? You Need to Protect Yourself
Law enforcement is often alerted to potential mortgage fraud through suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by financial institutions and/or various government offices. Red flags that may trigger an investigation include:

  • Foreclosure of the property

  • Filing for bankruptcy

  • Fraudulent appraisals

  • Forgery

  • False reporting of income, financial fraud

  • Unusually high or suspicious commissions

  • Higher than customary fees

  • Legal advice provided by non-attorneys, misrepresentation

  • Purchase loans masked as refinance

  • Multiple holding companies used to inflate property values

Luna Ad advertising, W. James Payne Law Firm. Photo by Alan Cradick, 06-21-2013.
Luna Ad advertising, W. James Payne Law Firm. Photo by Alan Cradick, 06-21-2013.

Military Offenses

Worldwide Representation for Courts-Martial and Administrative Discharge Proceedings
For over thirty years, Mr. Payne has represented military professionals facing criminal charges or allegations of misconduct. Attorney Payne’s extensive experience with the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and a practice dedicated to zealous representation in the most serious of charges, the Mr. Payne is prepared to any military allegations in Courts-Martial or Administrative Discharge proceedings.

As a retired Marine Colonel, Mr. Payne possesses a vast amount of knowledge relating to the laws that govern military practice. He has experienced them first-hand from both sides of the court: first, as Marine officer who defended the accused service men and women, later, as a military judge in the Reserves presiding over courts-martial, and, currently, as a professional legal advocate for those facing investigation and prosecution under military law. His extensive experience in military courts has left virtually no area of practice uncovered.

The W. James Payne Law Firm works confidently on behalf of the military accused, employing only the most honorable, yet creative and aggressive strategies of defense tactics. When it comes to criminal military allegations Mr. Payne fully understands that there is no room for error.

Attorney Payne is a retired Colonel of the United States Marine Corps Reserves, serving for three years on active duty and over thirty years. in the Reserves. He served for five years as a Military Judge. His personal experience as a military service member combined with his time as a military attorney and has provided Mr. Payne with the skill and knowledge to successfully defend accused military service members in cases not only in the United States, but overseas as well.

Financial Exploitation Defense

Mr. Payne defends clients that have been accused of Financial Exploitation, as-well. If you have been accused of the improper use of an adult's funds, property or resources by another individual including, but not limited to, fraud, false pretenses, embezzlement, conspiracy, forgery, falsifying records, coercion, property transfers or denial of access to assets, Mr. Payne is ready to defend your Freedom. 

W.James Payne Law Firm

Serious Criminal Matters

While the main focus of the W. James Payne Law Firm is defending those accused of white-collar crimes, Mr. Payne does accept other clients on a case-by-case basis. Attorney Payne gives all requests for his services careful consideration to ensure that our firm is an appropriate fit for your needs.

The W. James Payne Law Firm has provided aggressive and tenacious representation in federal and state criminal defense cases for over thirty years.