A person who commits a white-collar crime intends to scam, defraud or steal money or property. These are not normally violent crimes but can be extremely damaging to victims.
Although movies and television often portray white-collar crime as glamourous, it is not. It is sometimes called a faceless crime, but there are often very clear victims.
1. Corporate fraud
Corporate fraud is the most common form of white-collar crime. People sometimes refer to this type of crime as business fraud. Examples include:
- Perpetrating charity scam: Securing donations for a charity that does not exist or misrepresenting themselves as a legitimate charity
- Withholding owed money: Intentionally not paying for goods or services rendered
- Defrauding a company: Misusing of corporate resources for personal gain, insider trading or tax violations
- Falsifying accounts: engaging in false trades, using deceptive accounting or evading regulations
There are many more types of corporate fraud. Most corporate fraud relies on deceitful practices, either personally or at the corporate level.
Embezzlement is the misappropriation of funds or property. People do this when they are in a position of power and control large sums of money. This is also known as skimming.
Blackmail is a good example of extortion. This means that an individual forces another to turn over property or money. In return, the extorter promises not to expose or harm the victim. Another form of extortion is to offer protection from harm in exchange for money or property.
Though white-collar crimes may sound nicer than other types of illegal behavior, these crimes often have devastating economic and non-economic impacts on victims. Because of this, convictions typically result in significant penalties.