While we often hear the term “white-collar crime” tossed about in the news, but what does it exactly mean?
White-collar crime most often refers to non-violent offenses most often motivated by greed. Many of the crimes are sophisticated, easy to conceal and difficult to track. That’s why there are special law enforcement officials who specialize in white collar crimes.
Many white-collar crimes
Here is a list of more common white-collar crimes:
Insider trading: A securities fraud where participants trade on confidential information.
Financial information falsification: False accounting to hide profits or losses or to evade regulations.
Insurance fraud: A claimant may exaggerate the effects of an existing insurance claim, or lie to get insurance payments.
Embezzlement: An insider will steal or counterfeit money, property or records.
Identity theft: Using another person’s identity to hide a criminal identity or to fraudulently get money.
Tax evasion: Willfully evading a tax.
Intellectual property theft: Stealing ideas, inventions or creative expressions.
Money laundering: Transferring illegally gotten money into seemingly legal businesses or financial transactions.
Sentences vary greatly and can include imprisonment, probation, community service, home detention, fines, forfeitures and restitution.
Some have argued that white-collar criminals have an inherent bias during sentencing. They often have more in common with the judge than blue-collar criminals and can argue for light sentences so they can return to society. White-collar criminals often have committed no previous crimes, can provide references of their good conduct and can often show a lesser threat of recidivism, all of which can make them more sympathetic during sentencing.
Meanwhile, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners claims that the reach of white-collar crime is deep. The organization in 2016 reported that businesses and organizations typically lose 5 percent of revenues each year to fraud – or about $50,000 for each $1 million of revenues.