A white-collar crime is a nonviolent crime committed for financial gain. The FBI, a key agency that investigates these crimes, characterized them as crimes of deceit, concealment, and violation of trust. In other words, these crimes are committed with the purpose of obtaining or avoiding the loss of money, property, or services, or to gain an advantage for one’s self or business.
What is considered a White Collar Crime?
According to Florida law, the following crimes might be considered as White Collar Crimes:
- Securities Fraud: This is also referred to as stock or investment fraud; it is an illegal or unethical activity carried out involving securities or asset markets in order to profit at the expense of others.
- Embezzlement: The intentional misappropriation of assets entrusted to a person or entity.
- Public Corruption: It is a breach of the public’s trust by government officials who use their public office to obtain personal gain. It is a violation of federal law for any federal, state, or local government official to ask for or receive anything of value in exchange for, or because of, any official act.
- Health Care Fraud: The filing of dishonest health care claims to turn a profit. This includes unnecessary medical procedures or prescribing medications that the patients may not need.
- Financial Institution Fraud: A criminal act targeting traditional retail banks, credit unions, and other federally-insured financial institutions. This includes when identities and passwords are stolen, both the financial institution and customers are considered victims.
- Mortgage Fraud: A subset of Financial Institution Fraud, Mortgage Fraud is characterized by some type of material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission with a mortgage loan which is then relied upon by a lender.
- Money Laundering: the concealment of the origins of illegally obtained money, typically utilizing transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses.
- Counterfeiting: The act of illegally creating facsimiles of a product, document, or currency.
- Espionage: refers to the act of spying or using/hiring spies to gain political or military information, traditionally used by the government.
- Identity Theft: happens when someone steals your personal information to commit fraud. This includes stealing your birth certificate, social security, government ID, any passwords, and credit card numbers or account information.
- Ponzi Scheme: Named after the famous encounter with Charles Ponzi, it is a form of fraud in which quick returns are paid to the first investors from money invested by later investors, fostering the belief in the success of the nonexistent enterprise.
Classifying White-Collar Crimes
White-collar crime is commonly subdivided into two broad, general categories:
- Individual Crimes: Individual crimes are financial crimes committed by an individual or a group of individuals. This category includes identity theft, hacking, counterfeiting, and any of dozens of fraud schemes.
- Corporate Crimes: Some white-collar crime occurs on a corporate level. For example, a brokerage firm may let its trading desk employees engage in an insider trading scheme. Money laundering may also be conducted on a corporate level.
If you find yourself facing any criminal or family law charges, you need a professional attorney on your side. Russell Spatz, of the Spatz Law Firm, PL, has decades of experience handling serious criminal and family law cases. Contact him at 305-442-0200 to discuss your case.