Understanding White-Collar Crime
The term ‘white-collar crime’ was coined in 1939. It’s used to encompass the full range of frauds committed by business and government professionals. These crimes differ from others in that they do not involve the use or threat of physical force or violence. Instead, white-collar crimes are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust. The motivation behind these crimes is usually financial. They are typically committed to obtain or avoid losing money, property, or services, or to secure a personal or business advantage.
Types of White-Collar Crimes
Fraud is the act of deceiving for your own personal or financial gain. Fraud can occur over the internet or through any avenue used to scam people. Investment fraud can occur by utilizing pyramids or Ponzi schemes. Fraud can occur in trading as well as identity theft.
Forgery is the act of forging a copy of something. This can be a signature, banknote, work of art, or legal document. Forgery can take many forms. You can forge money, a famous piece of work and sell it off as the original, or a legal document to signify that you own property that you do not.
Embezzlement is the theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one's trust or belonging to one's employer. Generally, an employee is the person embezzling money from their work into their own personal accounts to use for their financial gain.
Bribery refers to the offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving of any item of value as a means of influencing the actions of an individual holding a public or legal duty. This crime can manifest itself in a multitude of ways. You can bribe police officers to turn their heads as another crime occurs, you can bribe a judge to decide a case a certain way, or you can bribe a politician to bring your political agenda to the table.
Money laundering is a crime that occurs when someone conceals or disguises their monetary proceeds and makes them appear to have come from legitimate sources. This can lead to evading taxes, the accumulation and hiding of wealth, and essentially turning dirty money into clean money. The most common money laundering cases involve drug and human trafficking, health care fraud, and international and domestic terrorism.
The penalties for white-collar crimes depend on the severity surrounding your circumstance. If convicted, you could be subject to fines, home detention, community confinement, paying the cost of prosecution, forfeitures, restitution, supervised release, and imprisonment.