What is a White Collar Crime?

What is a White Collar Crime?

Posted on:
June 28, 2016
Criminal Defense
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White collar crime is a category of the law that focuses on financial-related transgressions made by corporate and government officials. While white collar crime is not violent, it is a gross assumption that it is a “victimless crime”. Quite the contrary; people who commit these crimes can destroy companies and financially devastate families. It’s important to understand what it means to be a white collar criminal and know that the implications of such crimes can be long-lasting.

Type of Crimes

Like any other area of the law, white collar crimes can include a number of transgressions. Many of the offenses focus on greed, lying, cheating, and stealing. Generally, the accused is in a position of trust where they are charged with managing money or allocating funds. While there are certainly a variety of white collar crimes, some of the most common ones include:

  • Embezzlement – Embezzlement generally indicates that the person used money improperly. This can range from simple theft (a person stealing money directly) or a person taking extra funds that they did not earn (skimming money).
  • Fraud – Fraud is the direct misrepresentation of facts that causes a person to give money or property. Fraud is intentional and often requires forethought and planning.
  • Conspiracy – Conspiracy is the agreement to commit the crime. In order to prove conspiracy, there must be direct evidence that indicates a person was planning to follow through with a criminal act.
  • Bribery – Bribery is when you offer or take money as a means to seek preferential treatment. The persons giving and receiving money are both held legally accountable.
  • Money laundering – Money laundering is providing a front for illegal income. For example, if a restaurant works as  ‘front” for an illegal gambling operation.

Potential Outcomes in Court

White collar crimes can range from misdemeanors to felonies. Generally, the amount of money or potential impact that the crime has a person or business will define how the crime is classified. Other things that are considered is the amount of power that the accused had and whether or not they were abusing a position of trust or if they planned the crime. Likewise, punishments can range from probation to lengthy prison terms. However, it is possible that some white collar crimes are unknowingly committed. In some instances, people are simply unaware that what they are doing is wrong. While ignorance is not a defense, it is much different than meticulously planning a crime.

Defense Attorney in Flint, Michigan

Each criminal case requires the proper attention and defense. If you or someone you know needs representation in a white collar case, contact the professionals of Nickola law firm. Located in Flint, Michigan, we are well-versed in white collar law and what it means to provide quality defense. These type of cases can be complicated and require a professional eye to help you through the process. Know that you are not alone. There are people who can help you. Contact our offices today for a consultation.


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