Most Common White Collar Crimes

by AndresGuevara on January 13, 2014

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The nomenclature makes it sound like some sort of a posh, high society crime involving a lot of money. However, no crime can be white in color. White collar crimes may be very tempting to commit to a lot of people looking to make a quick buck without getting caught easily, but believe me when I say this, the consequences for the criminals are all black. Movies like Catch Me If You Can, Boiler Room, Duplicity, Owning Mahowny and the ilk might depict their criminal protagonists as suave, charming, glamorous and sly but seemingly innocent to the ways of the world, which earns these characters multitude of admirers. However, in reality these characters are far from becoming role models.

Dwindling millions of dollars belonging to an unsuspecting victim is a serious crime and unless someone has been on the receiving end of such a crime, one might view the criminal with admiration and probably even be intimidated by him. Criminal cases involving white collar crimes often receive an impersonal treatment in court and generate less degree of concern among the public. One of the reasons for this could be that the criminal ought to be made to feel ashamed of his acts, which do not merit any kind of sympathy. However, wrongful convictions for crimes like fraud, identity theft and forgery are some serious charges which require a serious defense from your attorney. Hence, you need to be careful and hire an experienced attorney to successfully represent your case.

Usually, white collar crimes are committed by people of a high social status and these crimes are committed in the context of their occupation. It could involve anything – from stealing money from one’s employer to fraud in tax payment and other tax laws, insider trading, etc. In this post, we take a look at the 10 most common white collar crimes.

Bank Fraud
This refers to deliberate misappropriation of funds and other assets through intentional deception and misrepresentation of banks or other financial institutes through checks, cash withdrawals, ATM transactions, or direct money transfers. Bank fraud is considered a criminal offense and is said to be usually committed by internal and/or external fraudsters.

This refers to the act of offering money and/or gifts to people in order to influence their decision in the favor of the person who offers it. This is one of the most commonly committed white collar crimes and often seen as an easy and quick way out of complicated systems that require going through numerous procedures.

Computer Fraud
Also known as internet fraud or phishing, this refers to using the computer and/or the internet to defraud unsuspecting users. This type of fraud is on the rise as criminals have started using technology to cheat people into revealing their internet banking information, online transaction details, sending fraudulent emails asking for personal information and donations, setting up fake e-commerce website which greatly resemble the original ones, and hacking into other people’s accounts.

This refers to creating duplicate/fake replica of high quality, expensive and often designer merchandise and trying to pass it off as genuine. These replica are often low in quality as compared to their genuine counterparts. Almost any branded item can be counterfeited, be it clothes, shoes, jewelry, electronic equipment, machine parts, or cosmetics. And it is difficult to spot the difference which is what makes it a serious threat.

Credit Card Fraud
This refers to making fraudulent payments and carrying out unauthorized monetary transactions by using a credit card that is stolen or taken away in an unlawful manner from someone else. Credit cards can also be cloned. Cyber criminals design phishing schemes to elicit credit card details from unwary users.

This refers to wrongfully using somebody else’s money and/or property  that has been entrusted to you for your own benefit. However, a criminal case can be registered only if the misused money/property was in the legal possession of the owner at that time. Usual suspects of this type of crime are unfaithful servants/employees, agents, middlemen, and guardians.

This refers to wrongfully taking money/property from someone by using violent means such as threats, coercion and/or force. Threats to victim’s family, friends or relatives may also be included. In some cases, extortion can also be said to be synonymous with blackmail.

This refers to making unauthorized changes or manipulating a document or creating a document for unlawful monetary benefits. This could involve illegally adding extra information or erasing existing information on a signed document with an intention to defraud. Methods employed to commit such a crime range from forging handwriting, printing, engraving, and typewriting.

Insider Trading
This refers to the buying or selling of company securities, stock options, shares by someone who is privy to company’s confidential financial plans and/or documents for their own benefit. This type of crime is usually found to be committed by corporate insiders who hold high posts and are aware of the financial goings-on in the company and the impact of upcoming policies on these securities.

Tax Evasion
This refers to an act wherein a person may voluntarily commit non-payment or underpayment of due taxes. The most common type of tax evasions involve failure of payment of income tax, sales tax, excise, and employee tax, to name a few.

White collar crimes are usually committed by people of authority, who have the power to do so and get away with it, or by the experts. It is always better to be aware about such crimes to become alert and not fall for ponzi schemes that are aimed at cheating people.

Attorney Andres Guevara is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has conducted hundreds of hearings and trials in federal and state courts.

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