What Is A White-Collar Crime?

White Collar Crimes / Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Big banks and massive corporations have made a name for stepping on the little guy in order to earn another buck, and it’s a reputation they’ve earned. When business or government entities commit a nonviolent crime in order to save some cash, it’s called white-collar crime. This term is further broken down into categorizations that more accurately describe each type of crime that can be committed: fraud, Ponzi scheme, bribery, embezzlement, racketeering, insider trading, cybercrime, money laundering, and more. This is what each one looks like.

More broadly, fraud can be perpetrated by anyone with the right know-how. Basically, it’s deception made for the purpose of acquiring some cash. Someone might commit identity fraud by stealing a social security number. A more simple type of fraud might occur when a criminal writes a check for an amount not present in the bank, or for someone else’s account.

A Ponzi scheme relies on deceiving would-be investors into thinking that a reputable business exists when none does. The initial investment is made. When it comes time to pay back the initial investment, other investors are used to do so. Usually, these are contrived by offering these investors unusually big returns.

Embezzlement may occur when an employee misrepresents the funds available in an employer’s account in order to steal some for him or herself. Cooking the books is just one method of embezzlement. Sometimes it’s possible to skim just enough off the top so no one notices.

Racketeering refers to dishonest business. The business in question will create a problem that a consumer would not normally have, and then offer a solution to the problem. Racketeering is often closely associated with bribery, extortion, and money laundering.

Insider trading as a crime occurs when an investor makes an investment decision based on information that isn’t readily available to the public. The term can also refer to a business opportunity that is completely legal, but investors should be urged to take caution when they’re not sure.

Cybercrime occurs when criminal activity is made using the internet. This can relate to a number of other crimes that include fraud or phishing for personal information that a person would not normally give out. Hacking is a type of cybercrime. Some types of copyright infringement are a cybercrime. Distribution of malware is a cybercrime.

Money laundering occurs when a profitable business is really just a front for another illicit business, such as drug trafficking. The purpose is to cover up the money trail made by the illicit portion of the business. In this way, a person can use illicit profits that would otherwise be impossible to use by claiming taxes.