White collar crimes may not seem like they hurt anyone, but even though they're not violent, they can be devastating. In white collar crimes, individuals may steal money from others, hurting their financial outlook for many years to come, if not for the rest of their lives. Sadly, many people who are victimized by white collar crimes do not recover.
There is a significant difference, though, between someone who knew they were defrauding others and those who simply did what they were told to do by their companies, superiors and management. For example, if you were given documents about stocks and told to file them, you may not have known that they were falsified documents or that you were aiding your superior in committing fraud. In another instance, if you're told to explain the paperwork to someone, you might be completely in the dark yourself about what is or is not true.
Is it your responsibility to know if a superior is committing fraud?
Of course, it would be wonderful if people knew when they were being taken advantage of. However, that's not always how things are. If you don't think anything is wrong or you don't know any better than what you're told, then you may never realize that you're involved in a white collar crime scheme. If there comes a time that you're being investigated, it's a good idea not to say anything and to wait to discuss the case with your attorney first.
White collar crimes often have long prison sentences and heavy financial penalties. You deserve to protect yourself from facing them.