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What are white collar crimes?

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the term, “white collar crime” was coined in 1939. Now, it is a turn-of-phrase for financial fraud committed by business and government fiduciaries. Typically, these crimes involve some kind of violation of trust, not some threat of violence.

Corporate fraud

The FBI prioritizes this type of fraud, and they are the lead federal agency in charge of investigating these schemes. Typically, this type of fraud is committed by corporate executives that involve some sort of self-dealing or accounting scheme. Self-dealing refers to insider trading, misuse of corporate funds or property, kickbacks, etc. The accounting schemes are usually, designed to deceive some trusted party, like financial or bank analysts, auditors (internal and external) or investors. It can be any deception, like hiding a failing company or inflating numbers to make a company look more successful.

Money laundering

This type of crime occurs when there is some type of criminal concealment of funds, usually hiding illegal monies as coming from legal sources. It can also hide the true scope of one’s wealth to avoid taxes.

Securities and commodities fraud

Another type of white-collar crime is securities and commodities fraud. These types of fraud come in a near limitless forms. One common form is investment fraud or high-yield investment fraud. Here, one sells a financial instrument as low- or no-risk investments with guaranteed returns. Often, they are complex and almost always unregistered. However, the investment never existed, like in a Ponzi or Pyramid Scheme, or the asset class is actually highly volatile, like in a prime bank investment or trading program fraud. Though, even if the underlying securities are real, some reported criminals use an advance fee fraud scheme, where there is a high upfront fee to take part in the investment, which is usually reported as a tax, preparation or some other type of “made up” fee. Though, these are only the most commonly charged crime.

White-collar crimes

For our Newport Beach, California, residents and those throughout Orange County facing the prospect of an FBI investigation or charges by the Department of Justice, this time is scary. Facing the full might of the Federal Government is daunting, especially when they are facing accusations that they believe are untrue. This is when it is time to bring in professional help because Californians can be sure the feds will bring in whoever is needed to prove their case.