What is White Collar Crime? - Aaron Delgado & Associates

What is White Collar Crime: What You Need to Know

by Aaron Delgado
10/21/21 (Updated: 11/12/21)

Have you been charged with a white collar crime? If so, you understand the charges are serious, and you could be facing significant penalties. That is why you need to put up a vigorous defense. First, you need to understand what people are talking about when they mention a white collar crime.

What type of crime is this, and what are the options you have available? Learn more about white-collar crimes below, and remember to reach out to a local attorney who can represent you.

An Overview of a White Collar Crime

You may be wondering how white collar crimes got their name? White collar crimes are named as such because the people who commit them are usually more educated. Instead of wearing blue-collar shirts in the mills and factories, those who work in the business world usually wear a white shirt and tie, thus the name white collar crime.

Even though the exact definition of a white collar crime can vary, this usually refers to a financial crime that is non-violent in nature. In contrast, violent crimes include charges such as murder and rape. White collar crimes are usually committed for financial gain. Usually, these crimes include concealment, deceit, or a violation of trust. Usually, the people who commit them are trying to obtain money or property, or are trying to prevent losing money or property. Other people commit these crimes to gain an advantage in the business world.

While white collar crimes are non-violent in nature, they can still be extremely serious. White collar crimes have the potential to destroy the lives of not only the person who commits them but also his or her victims. Therefore, it is important to understand a few common examples of white collar crimes and what your options are if you have been accused of one.

Examples of White Collar Crimes

There are numerous examples of white-collar crimes. These include:

  • The Falsification of Financial Information: In cases involving corporate fraud, individuals who work for the company may falsify financial information to deceive analysts, auditors, and investors. They may try to conceal the amount of money the company has made to avoid paying taxes, or they may be trying to inflate certain numbers to convince people to invest in the company.
  • Self-Dealing: Another common form of corporate fraud is something called self-dealing. This is a conflict of interest where someone who works for the company acts in their own best interests instead of the best interests of their clients. If someone is legally obligated to act as a fiduciary, and they do not do so, they could be accused of self-dealing.
  • Insider Trading: Insider trading takes place when someone executes a trade based on knowledge the general public does not have. Importantly, having access to inside information is not a crime; however, acting on that information to avoid losing money or to make significant amounts of money can be considered insider trading if the general public does not have that information.
  • Embezzlement: Embezzlement is a financial crime when someone takes money that is owned by the company and puts it into his or her own pocket. This could be something as simple as taking money out of the cash register or shifting money from the financial account of the company to someone's personal financial account.
  • Money Laundering: Money laundering is the process of taking cash that was earned illegally and trying to “clean” it. In essence, the money is being put through a virtual laundry machine, which is why it is called money laundering. For example, someone may pass the money through a shell company to make it look like it came from somewhere else. Or, someone may take the money to a casino, swap it for casino chips, and then swap the chips back out for money, making the money look like casino winnings.
  • Investment Fraud: Investment fraud takes place when someone promises returns on investments to someone in exchange for little or no risk when there is actually a tremendous amount of risk with no promise of returns. The most common example of investment fraud is a Ponzi scheme.
  • Tax Fraud: Tax evasion is a very common white-collar crime. For example, some companies intentionally underreport their earnings in an effort to evade taxes. Or, they may donate money to a fake nonprofit organization and claim an illegal tax deduction.

These are just a few of the most common examples of financial crimes and white collar criminal acts. In general, any financial crime that is based on deceit or concealment is usually considered a white collar crime.

Who Investigates White Collar Crimes?

There are several regulatory agencies that are responsible for investigating white collar crimes. In general, arrests are handled by the FBI; however, crimes can also be investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC). The Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, can also be involved in these investigations. The National Association of Securities Dealers, or NASD, can also be involved. Even though a lot of financial crimes are investigated on the federal level, there are situations where state authorities could be involved.

What Are the Penalties on Conviction?

Similar to other types of crimes, the penalties for a white collar crime conviction can vary significantly depending on the size and nature of the offense. In a lot of cases, the penalty is directly proportional to the size of the financial crime.

Of course, someone is usually required to give back all the money they made illegally. Then, an individual usually faces additional punitive fines or sanctions. There are some situations where the entire company may be penalized as well. The individuals who are personally responsible may have to spend a significant amount of time in jail.

The penalties for a white-collar crime can be serious even though they are non-violent in nature. That is why it is important for everyone to rely on an experienced attorney to help them.

Rely on a Florida White Collar Crime Attorney: Aaron Delgado and Associates

Being charged with a white collar crime is serious, and a conviction will follow you for the rest of your life. Therefore, you need to mount a vigorous defense if you have been charged with such an offense.

At Aaron Delgado and Associates, we have a significant amount of experience working with individuals who have been charged with a white-collar crime. We can investigate the circumstances of the charge in-depth, making sure we defend your rights and always act in your best interests. We may be able to negotiate a deal on your behalf, and we may get the case dropped completely. Contact us today for a case evaluation.

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