What constitutes a white collar crime?

People in positions of power and influence, such as salaried professionals or influential businesspeople are often watched closely for any abuse of power. A corrupt individual could potentially sway large numbers of people and do a lot of damage. If a crime is perceived to have been permitted by one of these people, there is a good chance it will be a white collar crime. As is explained on FindLaw, these crimes are usually motivated by financial gain and characterized by deceit.

Examples of white collar crimes include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Embezzlement, such as improper use of a client’s funds, or transferring money from your employer to a personal account.
  • Tax evasion, ranging from the illegal reassignment of property, to simply misfiling tax returns.
  • Fraud, which comes in many forms, including insurance, mortgage and securities fraud. Many white collar crimes fall into this category.
  • Money laundering, which involves the filtering of illegally obtained money to make it then appear legitimate, in order to make it harder to trace.

These generally financially-driven schemes may be the result of careful planning and can vary dramatically in scale. White collar crimes perpetrated by a business can often involve the cooperation of several people. Other schemes may be carried out by a lone individual. Being suspected of such activities can have serious repercussions for your reputation and your professional image.

Furthermore, many of these crimes can be tried on a state and federal level and can carry severe penalties. If you are implicated in such a crime, you may find the support of an attorney useful as you work to preserve your reputation and avoid conviction.

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