The Ultimate Guide to White-Collar Crimes

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The Ultimate Guide to White-Collar Crimes

White-collar crimes are illegal activities that are nonviolent and are characterized by a focus on achieving financial gain. White collar crimes are usually committed by business professionals and government employees. Although anybody can commit a white-collar crime, these professionals typically have access to the resources necessary to carry out white-collar crimes.

Types of White-Collar Crimes

Most types of white-collar crime tend to involve some type of fraudulent scam or activity. Below are descriptions of common types of white-collar crimes:

Who Enforces White-Collar Crime Laws?

There are many government enforcement agencies that conduct investigations to determine whether individuals are committing white-collar crimes. Corporations also employ internal investigators, attorneys, or the SEC to investigate to determine whether any directors, management, or individuals in connection with the corporation are committing criminal activities.

When the white-collar crimes involve the sale of securities and stocks, the SEC and State Attorney Generals investigate and enforce proceedings against individuals who are suspected to commit insider trading. Many corporations have regular internal investigations and audits to investigate a wide variety of alleged wrongdoing.

What Elements Are Required to Prove White Collar Crimes?

The elements required to prove that a white-collar crime was committed is the following:

  1. Intent: To commit a wrongful act or to achieve a purpose that is inconsistent with the law or public safety with the intent that the purpose is achieved. This usually occurs when the defendant acts or commits a behavior with the knowledge that the act is unlawful and can be publishable by law.
  2. Disguise and Concealment: The hiding or concealing of the real purpose of the crime. This usually occurs when the defendant hides or conceals his criminal violation with the purpose of not getting caught.
  3. Knowledge: For a defendant to be liable for a white-collar crime, the defendant must have knowledge that he is committing the crime. This usually occurs when the defendant knowingly and intentionally commits the act to gain a financial advantage.
  4. Reliance: Reliance occurs when the victim or plaintiff relied on the defendant’s fraudulent scheme or act.

What Are Some Common Example of White-Collar Crimes?

As discussed above, most common white-collar crimes are committed by individuals who are business executives or within the business or corporate settings who commit the crime for a financial gain. Some types of common examples of white-collar crimes include:

What Are Some White-Collar Crime Defenses?

One of the main defenses for a white-collar crime is the absence of intent. Since all white-collar crimes require the defendant to commit the criminal scheme or activity with knowledge and intent that the crime is being committed in motivation of a financial gain, if a defendant did not intend to do the crime, the defendant may not be held liable. The following are common defenses used for a white-collar charge:

What Are the Penalties For a White-Collar Crime?

The penalties for a white-collar crime depends of the nature and degree of the offense and whether the crime was against state law or federal law. Penalties for white-collar crimes can be harsh and severe since some of the crimes are against federal law. The punishments for white-collar crimes may include:

Some state and federal crimes allow the defendant to receive a lower penalty if the defendant cooperates with prosecution by taking responsibility of the crime and assisting the authorities in their investigation.

Seeking Legal Help

White-collar crime can have serious criminal and financial consequences for you, your business, and your family. If you have been convicted of a white-collar crime, a criminal defense attorney with experience in this field can evaluate your case and determine whether there are any possible defenses that are available to you.

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Last Modified: 12-09-2016 08:39 PM PST

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