Fraud and similar white-collar offenses involve people tricking others in order to manipulate them out of money or other assets. Fraud can involve billing practices, product delivery and even advertisements.
Companies whose employees engage in fraud can face intense scrutiny if the issue comes to light. When you work at a business with questionable practices, you could find yourself implicated in a fraud conspiracy even if you don’t make any money directly from the illegal practices.
Knowing that certain behavior is illegal and participating in it anyway puts you in a legally vulnerable position as a professional. Even knowing about illegal behavior and not reporting it could lead to law enforcement investigators thinking of you as an accessory to the crime.
You need to be able to recognize fraud in your industry
Companies and individual employees in all different industries find ways to bend and break the rules for their own personal benefit. Knowing what kinds of fraud are most common in your area of employment can help you avoid accidentally contributing to business fraud.
For example, if you work in underwriting at a mortgage company and rubber stamp applications with inadequate documentation for a mortgage broker you know personally, you could be charged with a crime when they get caught.
The same is true for those who work in medical offices. If you consistently unbundle charges so your employer can bill for them separately, you break the law by playing a role in a scheme to defraud insurance providers or possibly the government.
Awareness of or participation in such fraudulent schemes could put you at risk of white-collar criminal charges, fines and even incarceration. Knowing how to recognize and report inappropriate workplace activities can protect you from criminal consequences. If you are facing charges, it’s important to seek legal guidance.