"White collar crime" is terminology that refers to any fraud committed by business or government officials. Usually, these crimes aren't violent, and they're most prominent due to affecting the public.
Some kinds of white collar crimes include:
- Public corruption
- Mortgage fraud
- Money laundering
- Health care fraud
- Securities fraud
These are just a few of many kinds of white collar crimes that may take place in today's society.
What makes white collar crimes so serious?
The major problem with white collar crimes is that they can destroy companies, hurt individuals and threaten investors. For example, securities fraud, which is when the public isn't made aware of a business's financial situation or stock values before the chief executive officer (CEO) or others are able to take that information and use it to their benefit, can cost investors millions of dollars. They may invest believing that the company is doing well, but the CEO may know that they're headed toward bankruptcy. Not releasing that information but using it to sell stock prior to losses or encourage investments is illegal.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is in charge of investigating federal fraud. Not all accusations of fraud will end up being legitimate, but the FBI is thorough in its investigations. If someone in your workplace is being investigated, it's a good idea to speak with your legal team as well. There is a chance that you could be interviewed or implicated in a fraud scheme, even if you knew nothing about it.
Our site has more on what to do if you're accused of fraud. A conviction can have serious implications, so you must work quickly to defend yourself.