What is a white collar crime and what are some examples?

White collar crimes include things like lying, cheating and stealing from others. Basically, these crimes are financial in nature; they are based in fraud. Although no one actually gets physically injured in a case of fraud, that’s not to say there isn’t a victim or even multiple victims.

There are many kinds of fraud that can be classified under the umbrella term “white collar crime.” For example, insurance fraud, identify theft and mortgage fraud can all be types of white collar crimes. Others may include piracy, securities fraud and financial institution fraud.

With white collar crimes, it’s possible that the fraud is something as easy as taking a few cents per transaction and putting them into a foreign bank account for personal use, using someone’s credit card without permission, or selling an item you don’t intend to deliver.

If you’re accused of participating in a white collar crime, it’s important that you stand up for yourself immediately. These crimes are recognized at the federal level in most cases, and that means that you could be facing time in prison and excessive fines.

It’s possible for a person to be involved in a white collar crime without the knowledge that he is participating or causing harm to other people. For instance, a secretary simply following orders may not know he’s destroying evidence that the courts would be looking for. In that kind of case, it’s important for the secretary to make it clear that he was an unintentional accomplice; in some ways, he would also be a victim himself because of being used by the people committing the fraud.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, “White-Collar Crime,” accessed March 18, 2016

You can work to stay on probation after a violation

When you commit a crime, the courts can decide on a punishment that suits what’s happened. If you’ve been able to get probation, it’s been determined that it’s safe for you to live in the community instead of going to jail. You may pay heavy fines or be under many rules and regulations, but you won’t have to go to prison or be in jail for an extended time.

It is possible to go to prison or jail if you violate your probation. There are normally terms that you will need to agree with, and if you violate those terms, you could be taken back to court and given a new sentence. For example, most people on probation need to check in with a probation officer at certain times. For some people, that might be every day, while others may only need to once in a while.

There are other terms you may have to meet as well. Some include avoiding certain people or places, obeying all laws including traffic laws, taking drug or alcohol tests, staying in state unless you have permission from your probationary officer, and paying fines or restitution on time. The kind of terms you have to meet will likely have to do with the kind of crime you’ve been convicted of. For example, if you were driving drunk, you may have to submit alcohol-related blood tests and stay out of a vehicle.

Our website has more information on probation and what to do if you violate it. Even in cases of violations, it may be possible to avoid going to jail or prison.

Embezzlement charges can put your life on hold

Embezzlement is a charge in which someone accuses you of stealing his or her property or money when you were in a position of trust.For instance, an accountant who uses your funds to pay for his or her own home while telling you they have dropped in value in the stock market would be embezzling.

Accounting embezzling is one of the most common forms of this crime and involves manipulating records to hide theft. The fact is that many times, mistakes are made, and they could look like someone was trying to cover up embezzlement when it was an honest error. Writing down a number with a 4 and 7 switched, for instance, could make it look like $7,400 was withdrawn when a person only took out $4,700, leading to accusations about the location of the remaining money

For you to be charged and convicted of embezzlement, the prosecution has to be able to show that you intentionally manipulated the numbers to hide theft. You must have received the assets through a fiduciary relationship between yourself and the other party. You must also have taken the property into your possession and ownership or transferred it to someone else’s ownership at some point.

If those factors can’t be proven, it will be difficult for the prosecution to prove that you’re guilty of a crime. It’s not your responsibility to provide evidence that you didn’t commit a crime; it’s their job to provide evidence that you did. While you wait for trial, your attorney will work with you to create a defense to explain any actions that are discussed. Our website has more information on the ways that you may be able to defend yourself.