What is a White Collar Crime, and Could You Be Committing One Without Knowing?
July 3rd, 2018 by Tad Nelson in White Collar Crime
White collar crimes are more common than we may think. Although certain white collar criminals like Bernie Madoff have become synonymous with white collar crimes, many people don’t truly understand the nature of a white collar crime. This means that they may be committing a crime or are the target of a perpetrator and not even know it.
White collar crime is a term used to describe a family of criminal offenses ranging from mail fraud to huge Ponzi schemes. What they all have in common is there is some sort of breach of trust or deceit involved. In general, these crimes are non-violent, but the punishments and penalties can be severe.
Common White Collar Crimes
White collar crime covers a broad array of offenses, but some of the most common types of white collar crime include:
- Mail Fraud – This is a federal crime and would be prosecuted by the federal government, not by the state of Texas. To convict a person of mail fraud, the government must prove that there was a scheme to obtain property or money by fraudulent means. They must also prove that a private carrier or postal service was used in the scheme.
- Wire Fraud – This is also a federal crime and the laws surrounding it are very broad. This means that nearly any fraud using a telephone, television, or radio transmission that crosses state lines could be made into a federal case.
- Bankruptcy Fraud – This may arise when a person hides information or assets during a federal bankruptcy case.
- Securities Fraud – Securities fraud may be charged when a security company fails to truthfully disclose their activities to analysts and investors. Insider trading can also sometimes be included in securities fraud.
- Ponzi Schemes – A Ponzi scheme exists where an investment manager defrauds another investor by using the money from later investors to pay off earlier investors instead of using the money as promised.
- Money Laundering – This involves using illegally obtained money in a manner that conceals its origins, supports illegal activities, or violates tax laws.
These are just a few of the many white collar crimes, and what is considered a white collar crime can really depend on a definition as set forth by the prosecutor. Other examples of white collar crimes can include misrepresentation, bribery, perjury, and concealment.
Consequences of White Collar Crimes
Many people mistakenly believe that people who are charged with white collar crimes are not harshly prosecuted, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Those convicted of white collar crimes could face significant monetary fines and years in prison. A person convicted of a white collar crime also has no guarantee that they will be sentenced to a minimum-security prison.
The government may also attempt to recover the profits from any businesses or individuals that benefited from the crimes. This can sometimes result in forfeiture of assets that had nothing to do with the actual crime. If the person convicted has any type of professional license, they may also lose that license so when they get out of prison, they will no longer be able to work in the same manner in which they used to.
Contact a League City or Galveston White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney
White collar crimes make up a very complex and complicated area of the law. These crimes may involve both state and federal governments and can come with severe punishments. This means that if you are facing white collar criminal charges, you want an experienced white collar crime attorney on your side. The Houston attorneys at the Law Office of Tad Nelson & Associates have years of experience to protect your rights if you are being faced with white collar criminal charges. Contact us online today or call (281) 280-0100 for a consultation.