White collar crimes are not one specific crime. The term goes back to 1939 when Professor Edwin Hardin Sutherland defined them as “crimes committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.” Essentially, these are crimes committed by upper class people, which has also been labeled “corporate crime.” The root elements in many white collar crimes are lying or cheating. When business professionals commit these crimes, they are often covered by what appears to be normal business activities.
Common white collar crimes
While it would be a challenge to identify all possible white collar crimes because they are so broad, there are several that are quite common:
- Bribery or Extortion – essentially someone influencing another to perform an official act, or being persuaded to do (or stop from doing) something in violation of their official duties. It is common for bribery to occur in government entities. Both the briber and receiver can be prosecuted for participating in a bribe, whether it was only promised or actually occurred. Extortion is usually referred to as blackmail.
- Embezzlement – this is when someone takes money or property through misuse of their official position of trust. This is one of the white collar crimes that can be committed under many different appearances. It can be as simple as pocketing some cash, or as complex as transporting millions through electronic bank accounts.
- Fraud – fraud is quite rampant in the business arenas. There are many different types of fraud, including: healthcare fraud, tax fraud, credit card fraud, insurance fraud, internet fraud, and mail fraud. The basics of fraud is that someone, usually a business professional, lies about their product or service with the intent of persuading someone to trust the lie and give up something of value.
- Obstruction of justice – this is one of the white collar crimes that has a very broad scope, including many varieties of acts. It is basically acting in any way to interfere with one of the three branches of government.
If you or someone you love has been charged with a white collar crime, it is imperative to understand the full extent of the law, punishments, and the rights of the accused. At Downtown LA Law
, our attorneys are skilled in handling white collar crimes. We have an extensive background in this area, with some attorney’s who’ve experienced both sides of the spectrum to give a full analysis of the situation. They will work in your favor, to build the best case for you to either minimize your charges or dismiss them. Call our offices today, you have nothing to lose from one phone call, we’ll handle your case with discretion and aggressive professionalism.