White collar crime is a term that was coined in 1939 and refers to fraud committed by government and business professionals. Fraud doesn't usually involve violence or threats; instead, the motivation to commit fraud is purely financial. Fraud can be used to gain money, avoid losing money or to give a business an advantage.
While it might seem like fraud is relatively harmless, fraud is not without victims. Depending on the case, fraudulent activities could strip a family of their life savings or destroy a company from the inside out.
Who investigates fraud in the United States?
Since fraud is a federal crime, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is most likely to investigate cases as they arise. The FBI is more likely to be involved in complex cases, like those involving criminal organizations so that it can use all its expertise to the table for the identification and prosecution of suspects.
What should you do if you believe that you're part of an investigation?
If you are told that your company or that you are directly under investigation, you need to reach out to your defense attorney right away. While you may not think that the investigation will turn anything up, the reality is that the FBI is very talented at linking people to criminal activities.
Your defense attorney will immediately work to protect you against unfair allegations and claims that you've been involved in fraud, especially if you had no idea that fraud was taking place at your place of business. Our site has more on how your attorney can help.