White Collar Crime
White collar crime is any non-violent act that involves the use of deception to commit fraud. Typically, these crimes take place in government or business and affect unsuspecting consumers, investors or citizens. Those convicted of a white collar crime often face consequences like incarceration, steep fines, restitution and forfeiture of property; these consequences are becoming increasingly severe as high profile cases, like the one involving Bernie Madoff, induce public outrage.
Common white collar crimes include:
- Securities fraud—stealing from investors by providing them with false information so they will purchase or sell a stock that results in financial loss.
- Accounting fraud—falsifying records to show that a company has more money than it really does.
- Antitrust violations—any corporate or governmental action lessens competition in a way that threatens a free market economy.
- Tax fraud—an attempt to misrepresent income or evade taxes completely.
- Bribery—when money or other compensation is offered in exchange for a favor.
- Computer fraud—when a computer is used to steal information or damage another computer.
- Credit Card fraud—using stolen credit card numbers or making unauthorized charges to another person’s account.
- Embezzlement—when a person entrusted with company assets steals or uses those assets for his or her own personal benefit.
If you have been accused of a white collar crime, it is important to seek representation by an attorney who not only understands the criminal justice system, but also the nuances of corporate America and commerce. Look for an attorney that has the experience and tenacity to take your case all the way to trial if a satisfactory resolution cannot be obtained otherwise.