What Actually Is A White Collar Crime?
The phrase “White Collar Crime” was first used in 1939 and it was defined as crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation. White collar crime today generally refers to those offenses that are designed to produce financial gain using some form of deceit, concealment, fraud or deception. This type of crime is usually committed by people in the business world who, as a result of their job position, are able to gain access to large amounts of other people’s money. White collar crimes are not dependent on the application of threat or physical force or violence.
White collar crime also encompasses those businesses that are international, which is covered under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The FCPA prohibits American businesses from making payments to government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining businesses and contracts in foreign countries. It also prohibits 3rd party payments including joint venture partnerships and which payment is made to a 3rd party with knowledge that some or all of the payment will go to a foreign government official as a bribe.
What Are Some More Examples Of White Collar Crime?
Some examples of white collar crimes include:
Bank fraud that is engaging in an act or pattern of activity where the purpose is to defraud a bank of money. This can be done in several ways including the submission of falsified loan applications and opening accounts or lines of credit with stolen personal identifying information.
Blackmail is when someone makes a demand for money or other consideration under threat to do bodily harm, to injure property, to accuse of a crime or to expose secrets.
When money, goods, services, information or anything of value is offered with the intent to influence the actions, opinions or decisions of the recipient, it is bribery. You may be charged with bribery whether you are the one offering the bribe or you are the person that accepted it.
Cellphone fraud, this is the unauthorized use, tampering or manipulation of a cellular phone or service. This can be accomplished by either use of a stolen phone or where the actor signs up for service under false identification or where the actor clones a valid ESN (Electronic Serial Number) and by using an ESN reader and reprograms another cellphone with the valid ESN number.
Computer fraud is where computer hackers steal information sources contained on computers such as bank information, credit cards and proprietary information.
Counterfeiting occurs when someone copies or imitates an item without having been authorized to do so and passes the copy off for the genuine or original item. Counterfeiting is most often associated with money, however, it can be associated with designer clothing, handbags and watches.
CREDIT CARD FRAUD
Credit card fraud is the unauthorized use of a credit card to obtain goods of value.
Embezzlement is when a person who has been entrusted with money or property, misappropriates it for his or her own personal use or benefit.
Extortion occurs when one person illegally obtains property from another by actual or threatened force, fear or violation or under cover of official right.
Forgery is when a person passes a false or worthless instrument such as a check or counterfeit security with the intent to defraud or injure the recipient.
We see healthcare fraud where an unlicensed healthcare provider provides services under the guise of being licensed and obtains monetary benefit for the service.
Insider trading, when a person uses inside, confidential or advanced information to trade and shares of publicly held corporations.
Insurance fraud is to engage in an act or pattern of activity where one obtains proceeds from an insurance company through deception.
Investment schemes typically involve an unsuspecting victim that is contacted by the actor who fraudulently promises to provide a large return on a small investment.
Kickbacks or kickback schemes occur when a person who sells an item pays back a portion of the purchase price to the buyer.
Money laundering is the investment or transfer of money from racketeering, drug transactions or other embezzlement schemes so that it appears that its original source either cannot be traced or is legitimate.
Racketeering is the operation of an illegal business for personal profit.
Securities fraud is the act of artificially inflating the price of stocks by brokers so the buyers can purchase a stock on the rise.
Tax evasion is when a person commits fraud in the filing or paying of their taxes.
Can I Go To Prison For Committing A White Collar Crime?
Yes. Most white-collar defendants have no prior criminal experience or prior experience with the criminal justice system and certainly their future looms understandably large in their minds. The criminal penalties for white-collar crimes vary. Most white collar crime statutes authorize a monetary fine, a prison sentence or a combination of the two. These statutes also authorize maximum penalties, which are often quite severe. Most defendants, however, receive less than a maximum sentence. Courts often follow sentencing guidelines, which may vary depending on the jurisdiction. These guidelines are meant to ensure that criminal sentences are uniform among cases that have similar facts and circumstances. However, they are not mandatory in most jurisdictions.
The guidelines take into account the crime for which the defendant has been convicted and any prior criminal record of the defendant. In most cases, the court may consider factors that will allow it to depart or impose a sentence that is different from the sentence required by the guidelines. Defendants without a significant criminal record may be sentenced to probation, a suspended jail sentence or a jail sentence far shorter than the maximum. They may have fines levied against them and may be required to forfeit any profits or pay restitution to their victims.
For more information on White Collar Crimes In Virginia, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (703) 552-2462 today.
Get your questions answered - call us to schedule your Free* consultation (703) 552-2462