White collar crime is a broad term that’s used to cover a multitude of criminal actions that have to do primarily with personal gain for the person who’s accused of the crime. While some people think that these are victim-less crimes, they aren’t. The corporation or individual that’s stolen from, defrauded or scammed is the victim.
There are many types of crimes that are classified as white collar crimes. Understanding a few may help people to avoid doing things that could be construed as a criminal act. One point to remember is that white collar crimes must be intentional, so you can’t accidentally commit them.
Insurance and mortgage fraud
Making misstatements on mortgage or insurance documents is a form of fraud. These can be done by the applicant or by an agent. The key here is that the mistruths on the documentation causes financial harm to the victim. For example, if a person fabricates income information for a mortgage application, it could mean that they wouldn’t actually qualify for the mortgage if they provided factual information. This could lead to the mortgage lender writing a loan that can’t be paid.
People who have information about publicly traded companies can’t use that information to make decisions about stocks they hold in that company unless the information is provided to all shareholders. When they act on the inside information, they can be charged with insider trading. This is one form of securities fraud.
Embezzlement and money laundering
Embezzlement means that someone with assets for a company misused those for their personal gain. Money laundering has to do with making money illegally and then routing it through something that makes it appear as though it was earned lawfully.
Because of the nature of these crimes, they are often intensively investigated. This means there could be a considerable paper trail that you and your attorney must work through in order to be able to present a suitable defense. It’s often best to begin the process of developing a defense strategy as early as possible, even starting during the investigation phase of the case if you know you’re under a microscope for a white collar crime.