So you stole a stapler from your office because you didn't have one at home and your kid needed one for a school project. Later that month you took a box of paper clips and then four highlighters and a sheaf of office paper. Maybe you took two or three sheaves over the course of a few months.
It is no secret that when you get to the top, you have to tread carefully. The more power you hold within your position of employment, the more carefully scrutinized you are likely to be. The slightest mistake can not only be devastating for your organization, but can also place you under suspicion. Depending on the extent of the damage done, you could even face criminal charges and be accused of fraud, corruption or similar offenses.
For residents of California, the idea of being charged with a serious criminal offense is a worrying one. Conviction could not only lead to prison sentences and hefty fines, but could also cost you your job and even impact where you are allowed to reside. Unfortunately, there are far too many ways to get into trouble, particularly if you work in a position of power. One mistake could result in an investigation into a possible white collar scheme.
In California, some jobs come with a lot of responsibility. You could be responsible for company assets, finances, transactions or any number of equally sensitive areas. Unfortunately, the people holding such jobs often come under considerable scrutiny. If a single cent goes missing, you could find your integrity being questioned. Sadly, it may be the case that you simply made a mistake, but if it appears that your actions were deliberate, you could face charges of fraud, embezzlement or any number of other white collar offenses.
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.
When most people hear about white collar crimes, they may think of mortgage fraud, embezzlement and money laundering schemes. However, more people in California may become familiar with recycling fraud due to a recent criminal case. A California man pleaded no contest to recycling fraud and was sentenced to serve 178 days in prison. He was also required to pay $146,000 in restitution and serve five years of probation for his role in the recycling scheme.
A California woman accused of running a surrogacy scam pleaded guilty to the charges but now has been ordered to pay more than $1.7 million to those whom the court said that she defrauded. The 37-year-old was serving five years in prison for the alleged fraud before the restitution order was handed down. Court documents claimed that from 2006 to 2009, the woman enacted a scheme to defraud parenting hopefuls through her own company and through an independent financial group.
Unlike many other crimes, white collar crimes typically do not involve violence. White collar crimes generally involve financial theft.