The term white collar crime was reportedly coined in 1939. Today it is used to describe a plethora of non-violent crimes generally committed by businesses or government professionals. The hallmarks of these crimes include deceit, concealment, and a violation of trust. Usually, the motivation behind a white collar crime is financial. If you are facing charges for a white collar crime, an experienced attorney from the Barnes Law Firm can help you.
Examples of White Collar Crime
Crime doesn’t have to involve getaway cars, weapons, drugs, or even threats. Some crimes take place under the noses of others and impact the financial status of another person or business. These white collar crimes can be just as serious as other types of crime and come with severe ramifications too. There are many white collar crime examples. Some of the most common types of white collar crime include:
In general, corporate fraud is investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and involves:
- The falsification of financial information
- Insider trading
- Schemes designed to conceal corporate fraud activities
- Actions taken to impede the regulating bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from completing their investigations
If an employee or another trusted person uses their position to misappropriate funds, they have committed embezzlement. For example, an employee who moves company monies into their own bank account or a politician who uses campaign funds for their own personal expenses.
A Ponzi scheme is the namesake of Charles Ponzi, who reportedly earned $250,000 a day with mail coupon fraud during the 1920s. Today, a Ponzi scheme is an investment scam that comes with little to no risk but promises high returns. Successful Ponzi schemes work by attracting new investors who pay the older ones, but when the flow of new customers slows or runs out, the scheme collapses.
When an individual or an entity is coerced into giving up their property, money, or services, extortion has occurred. Blackmail is a type of extortion. Another example is when gangs require store owners to pay protection money.
Americans who meet specific standards have the legal right to file bankruptcy. However, if they are not honest in their bankruptcy filings and hid assets within the filing, they could be accused of committing bankruptcy fraud.
Someone who attempts to avoid paying taxes by filing tax documents with falsified information or by illegally transferring property is committing tax evasion. Individuals and businesses can be accused of tax evasion, and there are many ways in which it can be committed.
The act of taking illegally-obtained (dirty) money and putting it through transactions to make it appear legal (clean) is known as money laundering. This example of white collar crime usually involves three steps:
- Depositing the money in a bank or brokerage account
- Separating the dirty money from its illegal origin, usually by using complex transactions making it more difficult to trace
- Integrating the newly cleaned money with money that was obtained legally, sometimes through asset sales or purchases
This type of fraud is quite common, as there are many ways to attempt to defraud a financial institution. Using fraudulent checks, commercial loan fraud, use of counterfeit money, mortgage fraud, and other financial misrepresentations for financial gain are just a few examples of bank fraud.
Other examples of white collar crimes include:
- Cell phone fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Health care fraud
- Welfare fraud
- Telemarketing fraud
Proving White Collar Crimes
White collar crimes are investigated at both state and federal levels. In order to prove that you committed a white collar crime, the prosecution must convince the jury of the following elements:
- You acted with the knowledge that what you were doing was unlawful and punishable by law
- You hid or concealed your criminal acts with the purpose of not getting caught
- You knew you were committing a crime
- The victim or plaintiff of the purported white collar crime relied on your fraudulent act or scheme
A white collar crime attorney can work to ensure that the prosecution is not able to prove all of these elements in your case, allowing the jury to render a not guilty verdict.
The Barnes Law Firm Helps with White Collar Crime Charges
No matter which of these white collar crime examples or if there are multiple ones you are charged with a skilled white collar crime lawyer could help your charges to be modified to your benefit or even dropped. By hiring a lawyer, you might be able to decrease any consequences you will face, even if your case does go to court.
Call the Barnes Law Firm at 865-805-5703 to schedule your confidential consultation today, or you can use our confidential online contact form. For your convenience, we also offer video consultations.