You have undoubtedly heard the terms blue-collar and white-collar. While these terms commonly refer to job types or social status, they can also refer to criminal activities. What, then, is a white collar crime? A white-collar crime typically refers to a crime that is conducted in a business deal or company. While a blue-collar crime is the ‘normal’ crimes such as burglary, battery, and petty theft. With the difference in crimes, there is also a difference in the punishment process. We want to help you fully understand the limits of white collar crimes since they are not often discussed at full length.
White collar crimes cover a range of topics. The most common are fraud and embezzlement. Fraud is essentially collecting assets under misrepresentation. This could mean pretending to be someone else; securing a house or car that is in someone else’s name, etc. Corporate fraud, identity fraud, mortgage fraud, and healthcare fraud are the most common white collar fraud cases. Embezzlement is stealing an asset from another person to which you were entrusted with. For example, this could be an accountant who is purposely fixing the books to make it seem like the company is making less money, and taking the money that is ‘lost’.
Money laundering is another very popular white-collar crime. Money laundering in it’s recurring form is creating a fake business as a way to extort money from people or other businesses. For example, this would be someone making a fake donation company to get people to donate while they are not donating any money, they are profiting from it. Money laundering commonly goes hand and hand with other crimes, such as human trafficking, terrorism, and narcotics trafficking. Money laundering often takes place in real estate, virtual currency, and international trade.
While these crimes are much different than your standard blue-crimes, they are still punished with the same severity. Along with an anointed amount of years in prison, white collar criminals often also have to pay back all or a portion of the money they stole through restitution. Depending upon the jail sentence, the judge may also order that the criminal is no longer allowed to work in the position, or with that type of company again. It is also not uncommon for a judge to order restitution in lieu of jail, as these cases can often be difficult to establish. While each case is different and some are far worse than others, sentencing for these crimes are commonly similar with reduced jail times and restitution.
If you have questions about a specific case, or need a lawyer, give us a call (209) 900-8200 or fill out our webform to receive the help you need.