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What is "white collar crime"?

"White collar crime" is a term most of us have heard before, but you may have wondered to yourself exactly what it refers to and what it means. One thing that is important to understand about white collar crime is that it includes a group of crimes that are taken seriously and can lead to significant potential penalties and consequences.

White collar crime refers to a category of crimes that typically involve deceit that is used for financial gain. Specific white collar crimes include fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion and money laundering. Fraud refers to the use of deception for monetary gain. One example of a fraud crime is securities fraud. Securities fraud is oftentimes referred to as "insider trading" and involves the use of inside information to conduct investment trades in violation of a duty or obligation.

Embezzlement also involves the violation of a duty and refers to the taking of money from a party to whom the accused individual owes some type of duty. This may be alleged in an employment relationship, that an employee was improperly taking money from the employer while they had control over the money, but owed a duty to the employer to handle the money. Money laundering and tax evasion are other examples of white collar crime. White collar crimes can result in significant penalties and fines for accused individuals.

Because of the serious nature of white collar crime, it is important to have a strong criminal defense strategy if you are left facing allegations that you have committed one or multiple white collar crimes. Individuals accused of committing a crime should always be familiar with criminal defense options and protections to help them respond to criminal allegations and charges.

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