The instances of white-collar crimes are quite prevalent in the U.S. today. With the offenders of white-collar crimes being high profile personalities or people with high social status, these activities are often concealed, making them difficult to prosecute.
What Is White Collar Crime?
White-collar crime refers to nonviolent crimes that are committed by government or business professionals for financial gain. The term was first coined in 1939 by sociologist Edwin Sutherland to define crimes committed by socially respectable people or the ones with good social standing in terms of occupation.
Common Types of White Collar Crimes
- Insider trading
- Intellectual property theft
- Public corruption
- Tax evasion
- Antitrust violations
- Economic espionage
- Environment violations
- Ponzi scheme
White-Collar Crimes Are Divided into Two Categories:
- Corporate crimes :These are crimes occurring on a corporate wherein the entire organization is involved in any of the different types of white-collar crimes. A circumstance where certain employees indulge in money laundering or other crimes with the knowledge of the management or company will also be considered a corporate crime, irrespective of whether the owner directly indulged in criminal activities.
- Individual crimes :Individual crimes are those committed by a single individual or, sometimes, a group or individuals for financial gain. Crimes like counterfeiting, theft, as well as other Ponzi schemes, fall under individual crimes
Prosecuting White Collar Crimes
One of the reasons why white-collar crimes are so prevalent is because they are difficult to prosecute. While every other serious crime committed moves on to trial and sentencing, certain hindrances make it harder for white-collar crimes to be brought to justice. Some of these include:
Lack of proof:
In the case of a white-collar crime, the evidence is offered by the accuser. The accuser is required to provide substantial proof, corroborating their accusation of a crime being committed. More often than not, the proof is lacking, which leads to the case being dismissed.
Cases in the Federal District Court Can Take Years:
Legislative gridlock: Two vital components of prosecuting white-collar crimes include a grand jury and the possibility of restitution.
Grand Jury: In certain white-collar crime prosecutions, a grand jury is required. This constitutes a panel of around 16 to 23 people who are required to gather every possible data regarding the criminal activity committed. The data includes testimonies from witnesses, which need to be listed, and other evidence and documents, which are thoroughly examined and analyzed. The prosecutor for the case stands as a legal advisor to the grand jury and determines the flow of witnesses to effectively present all the evidence and necessary information regarding the case. The grand jury is then required to determine whether the evidence presented is sufficient to charge the suspect for the crime.
Restitution: In case the prosecution determines that pursuing the case holds merit, they may try to negotiate terms wherein the accused is required to pay through restitution. According to the Mandatory Restitution Act of 19996, the people who have suffered monetary harm owing to the crime need to be restituted for the loss incurred. The accused is, therefore, liable to provide financial compensation to the victims of the crime. A fine may also be levied upon the accused.
Why Hire a White Collar Crime Lawyer?
Recent data suggests white-collar crimes to be on the decline. However, the consequences of being accused of the crime, albeit falsely, can harm your reputation significantly. Hiring a lawyer in such a case is a prudent decision.
Here’s Why You Need an Experienced White-Collar Crime Attorney:
- To speak on your behalf to the investigator: Before a white-collar crime charge is filed, investigators take the time to speak to people within the organization to determine who is at fault. Many people go on to talk to the investigators without an attorney present, which can be used to incriminate you. A white-collar crime lawyer can guide you as to what you can say and what you mustn’t.
To help you understand the charges: The charges filed against you for a white-collar crime can be hard to decipher due to technical terms. Being ignorant can be lethal in such a case. Hiring a lawyer can ease the situation to a great extent. The lawyer can explain every potential charge against you and determine the best course of action to have you acquitted of the charges.
Being accused of a white-collar crime can cause serious damage to your reputation. If you have been falsely charged with a white-collar crime, fill in the form provided here so we can help you find an expert white-collar crime attorney to help get the charges dropped.