White-collar crimes are non-violent criminal acts that a person commits for financial gain. They can be committed against people, companies, governmental agencies and other groups, such as nonprofit organizations.
The moniker “white collar” is thought to have originated because the accused usually work in an office setting rather than being employed as manual laborers or other trade-related professions.
Typical white-collar crimes
While the term “white collar” was once associated with wealthier people, especially those who held prestigious or senior roles in companies, that stereotype has mostly vanished. Here are the most common types:
- Fraud: This crime involves wrongful or criminal deception intended for financial or personal gain. One example is falsifying records to fool the IRS or other agencies to avoid paying required taxes. It can also be committed against investors in a company by one or more employees to enrich themselves or gain some advantage.
- Bribery: Accepting payment from another person to gain an advantage. Bribes can come in the form of cash, assets or investments and can be made to government officials, employees of a different company or to another person.
- Blackmail: Using information against another person or entity for personal financial gain.
- Money laundering: The process of clearing funds gotten by illegal means by running it through a legal business. It’s often called doctoring, fixing or cooking the books as it means falsifying information to make the funds appear legitimate.
- Embezzlement: Using or selling company funds or assets for personal gain, usually by the person who is charged to manage the accounts where the money is located.
Seek experienced legal defense against white-collar charges
Many types of white-collar crimes are complicated and can involve multiple jurisdictions. If you are charged with fraud, embezzlement or other types of white-collar crimes in North Carolina, a defense attorney, who is also a former prosecutor, understands how the case works from both the prosecution and defense perspectives. You can benefit from an experienced attorney who will aggressively represent you while protecting your rights.