What is White Collar Crime?

The first definition of white collar crime was penned in 1939 as “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.”  White collar crimes are non-violent crimes that usually involve some form of fraud and that are typically committed for financial gain.

Are white collar crimes federal or state crimes?

Whether a white collar crime is charged on the state or federal level is dependent on the circumstances of the crime. If a person is accused of committing fraud against an agency of the U.S. government or even multiple individuals across the country, then it would be a federal white collar crime. It also may be a federal crime if the internet, phone or US mail system is used to commit the crime. If fraud is committed against a state agency, or against a business or individuals within the state, then it is likely a state crime. Under certain circumstances, it may be possible to be charged on both the state and federal level.

What are the most common types of white collar crime?

The following are some of the most common forms of white collar crime:

Are white collar crimes prosecuted less aggressively than other crimes?

How aggressively white collar crimes are prosecuted often depends on the scale of the crime and the amount of financial loss involved. With the increasing incidence of white collar crimes in California and across the country, and its potential to cause financial ruin, prosecutors often consider even relatively minor white collar offenses to be serious.

What penalties would a white collar crime conviction carry?

Because most white collar crimes are financial in nature, the penalties associated with such crimes tend to include large fines and restitution, in addition to the possibility of a jail or prison sentence.

What are common defenses in fraud cases?

Fraud is the most common type of white collar crime. In order to successfully prosecute a fraud case, the intent to defraud must be proven. This “intent” to defraud another out of rights, property, money or other assets is often based on circumstantial and/or misleading evidence, which an experienced criminal defense attorney can challenge. Oftentimes, a suspect simply made a mistake that appears to have been criminal.

What should I do if I have been accused of a white collar crime?

If you are currently under investigation, or have already been charged with a white collar crime in California, immediately contact experienced Irvine white collar crime attorney, David A. Stein, to determine the best course of action for your particular case. To learn more about protecting your legal rights and avoiding excessive penalties and/or an unjust conviction, call Mr. Stein for a consultation today at 949-445-0040 or email our offices online here.