What is White-Collar Crime?March 20, 2016
White-collar crime refers non-violent offenses designed to produce financial gain using some form of deception. People in the business world who, as a result of their job position, are able to gain access to large amounts of other people’s money usually commit this type of crime.
Most Common Types of White Collar Crimes
The most common white-collar crimes are various types of fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion and money laundering. Many types of scams and frauds fall into the bucket of white collar crime, including Ponzi schemes and securities fraud such as insider trading.
- Fraud: Fraud is a general type of crime which generally involves deceiving someone for monetary gain. One common type of white collar fraud is securities fraud.
- Securities Fraud: “Insider trading“ is a common form of securities fraud where someone with inside information about a company or investment trades on that information in violation of a duty or obligation. For example, an executive knows confidential information about an upcoming company earnings report decides to sell of a chunk of his stock in the company. That would be considered securities fraud, specifically, insider trading. Another type of securities fraud is when someone seeks investment in a company by knowingly misstating the company’s prospects, health or finances. By luring an investor to put up money based on false or misleading information, the company and individuals within it commit securities fraud. False or misleading statements in public reports from publicly traded companies also can constitute securities fraud.
- Other White Collar Frauds: Many types of fraudulent schemes, including mortgage fraud and insurance fraud, are amongst the more common white collar crimes. These can be as common as an individual embarking on an insurance scheme to improperly collect on an insurance policy after lying in application materials. They can also extend to larger scale schemes by businesses to defraud their customers or others in the marketplace. Ponzi schemes and other business related scams to fraudulently take money from investors have been some of the most famous white collar crimes. These can take all shapes and sizes.
- Embezzlement: Embezzlement can take many forms, however, embezzlement is commonly identified as improperly taking money from someone to whom you owe some type of duty. The most common example is a company employee that embezzles money from his employer for example by siphoning money into a personal account.
- Tax Evasion: Criminal tax evasion is a white collar crime through which the perpetrator attempts to avoid taxes they would otherwise owe. Tax evasion can range from simply filing tax forms with false information to illegally transferring property so as to avoid tax obligations. Individuals, as well as businesses can commit criminal tax evasion. As with fraud, there are perhaps infinite ways to commit tax evasion.
- Money Laundering: Money laundering is the criminal act of filtering illegally obtained (“dirty”) money through a series of transactions designed to make the money appear legitimate (“clean”). Money laundering often involves three steps. First, the money is deposited typically into a financial institution such as a bank or brokerage. Next, the money is separated from its illegal origin by layers of often complex transactions, making it more difficult to trace the “dirty” money. The third step is integration. This is where the freshly “cleaned” money is mixed with legally obtained money, often through the purchase or sale of assets.
Contact Brian Zeiger
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you determine whether you have any grounds for dismissal of the charges, explore plea options, or represent you at trial. Only someone familiar with the criminal court system and cases like yours will know how good your chances are for a favorable outcome. A knowledgeable attorney will take all of this into consideration, assist you in making decisions about your case, and protect your rights.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a white-collar crime, it is critical to have an experienced attorney advocating on your behalf. Brian Zeiger is an experienced criminal defense attorney who will vigorously defend your rights. Contact The Zeiger Firm today at (215) 546-0340 for a consultation, and let us help you.