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What is white-collar crime?

White-collar crime — it's a term that most have heard, but many may be unsure exactly what it encompasses, From the standpoint of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, white-collar crime has evolved since it was allegedly coined almost 80 years ago.

The basis of white-collar crime is fraud, but these fraudulent acts usually are committed by government officials and/or business professionals. The acts themselves are not linked to violence or threats but instead rely on concealment, deception and violating another person's trust.

Monetary gain or some type of business or personal advantage are the motivating factors that drive the crime.

White-collar crime covers everything from simple employment embezzlement to complex Ponzi schemes that can topple international businesses and executives.

It delves into public corruption, bribery, money laundering and violations of the election laws. Health care fraud and mass marketing scams are both investigated by the FBI's white-collar special agents.

While not all white-collar crimes are on the corporate level, the FBI partners with regulatory agencies like the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and other departments and governmental agencies.

If you are being investigated for white-collar crimes, you need a solid criminal defense attorney working and strategizing with you on your case. If you get convicted, you could wind up an unwilling guest of the federal prison system.

Even if you don't wind up doing time in prison, a conviction on your record for white collar crime can unnecessarily complicate your life in innumerable ways that you may not fully realize until another opportunity is denied to you.

Source: FBI, "White-Collar Crime," accessed April 21, 2017

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