What Are White Collar Crimes? 

White shirts, black coats, and well-ironed ties are common clichés of the affluent and privileged; crimes committed by these people are referred to as white-collar crimes. While such crimes are mostly nonviolent, the devastation they may do to society cannot be overstated. To learn more about white-collar crimes, click here

What is a white-collar crime? 

White-collar crime is a type of nonviolent crime that involves deception or concealment to get or avoid losing assets or money or to achieve a personal or commercial benefit.

Examples of white-collar crimes include securities fraud, corporate fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), and state agencies all conduct investigations into white-collar crime. 

Corporate fraud 

Among the FBI’s top enforcement priorities is large-scale corporate fraud conducted by numerous people within a company or government agency. This sort of crime causes investors large financial losses and can potentially harm the US economy and investor trust.

The FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the United States Postal Inspection Service collaborate on corporate fraud investigations.

Falsification of financial information 

Most corporate fraud cases involve accounting schemes designed to deceive auditors, investors, and analysts about a corporation’s or business’s true financial condition by manipulating financial data, share price, or other measurements to inflate the business’s financial performance.

Credit Suisse pled guilty in 2014 to assisting US residents in avoiding taxes by concealing income from the Internal Revenue Service and paid $2.6 billion in fines. Bank of America agreed to pay $16.65 billion in damages after selling billions in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) related to overpriced homes.

What are anti-money laundering rules used in banking? 

Many organizations, particularly those in finance and banking, have anti-money laundering (AML) policies to detect and prevent money laundering. Compliance for banks begins with verifying the identity of new clients, a process known as Know Your Client (KYC), and customer due diligence catches money laundering strategies. 

What is intellectual property theft? 

Intellectual property theft is a white-collar crime that involves robbing people or businesses of their inventions, ideas, and creative expressions known as intellectual property. This can include trade secrets, proprietary items, movies, music, and software. 

What are the penalties for white-collar crimes? 

Depending on the seriousness of the offense, a person may be sentenced to time in county jail, state prison, or federal prison if convicted. Additionally, penalties and compensation to the victim may be enforced.