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What is a white-collar crime?

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2020 | Criminal Defense, White-Collar Crimes |

If you are facing criminal charges for a white-collar offense, it may help you to know a little more about the history of white-collar crimes. Generally associated with the elements of a white-collar job, a white-collar crime involves the violation of trust or other forms of deception. Often, some form of concealment takes place and the criminal motivation is for financial gain or acquiring property or other assets.

While white-collar crimes may have looked more specific in the early half of the 20th century, the term currently covers a wide range of criminal activity. Perhaps this is because of the advancement of technology and communication technologies.

White-collar crime types and penalties

Typically, the following constitute as white-collar crimes:

  • Fraud: This includes securities fraud like insider trading or investment frauds – the victims of which are generally misled into providing information or funds. There are also, of course, insurance fraud and Ponzi schemes which fall under the white-collar classification.
  • Money laundering: Transferring funds through transactions that are meant to appear legal but are in fact “dirty money.”
  • Embezzlement: If you owe a company or person a duty or service and you misuse their money, you may face embezzlement charges.
  • Tax evasion: Both persons and organizations can commit tax evasion. This occurs when the offender avoids paying owed taxes through false filing, illegal transfers or other means.

Penalties for convictions can range from fines to years imprisonment, depending on the gravity of the offense. Note also that these crimes may be tried at a state and a federal court because the federal government has the authority to regulate them.