What is a White-Collar Crime?

Man using stolen credit card on computer

Criminal charges can vary in nature, severity, victim type, intent, and action. This also means that there are a number of ways that different crimes can be categorized. For instance, have you ever heard of a white-collar crime? While most may have heard this phrase, there are probably fewer who fully understand what a white-collar crime refers to. We will talk about this type of crime in more detail here.

What is a White Collar Crime?

Generally speaking, a white-collar is a financially motivated, non-violent crime. Because this type of crime is most commonly perpetrated by those in professional positions of power at the corporate level, they are known as “white-collar” as opposed to “blue-collar” crimes. These are individuals who commonly occupy well-compensated job positions and higher levels of social status. Criminologist and sociologist Edwin Sutherland coined the phrase “white-collar crime” back in the 1930s.

There are two broad categories within the white-collar crime category. There are individual white-collar crimes and corporate crimes. Individual crimes are those financially motivated crimes that are committed by an individual or several individuals. This category can include crimes like hacking, identity theft, counterfeiting, and more. Corporate crimes, on the other hand, are those white-collar crimes that occur at the corporate level. This could mean something like a brokerage firm engaging in an insider trading scheme with involvement by their trading desk employees. There are many other white-collar crimes, such as money laundering, that can and do occur at the corporate level.

With the continued advancement of technology, white-collar crimes have reached new heights and can often result in million-dollar losses for victims. Because of the increase in opportunity for perpetrating white-collar crimes as well as the financial toll these crimes can take on victims. Prosecutors have shown no mercy and will throw the full weight of their government resources at putting defendants away for the maximum allowable sentence.

Because of the sophistication and complex nature involved in almost all white-collar crimes, an investigation into alleged white-collar crimes can easily take years as prosecutors work to build a case. The amount of paper and files needed to sift through can feel endless. In fact, such an investigation can be so involved and take so much time that a person who is being targeted by investigation efforts may not even be aware that this is the case until formal charges are filed. If you even suspect that you may be involved or targeted by such an investigation, it may be best that you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. This is especially true considering that even if you may not initially be the target of the investigation, your potential exposure to criminal liability may appear sooner rather than later.

Kentucky Criminal Defense Attorney

Have you been charged with a white-collar crime? Do you suspect that you are under investigation for any involvement in potential white-collar crime activity? Do not delay in talking to the dedicated criminal defense team at Dickman Law. Contact us today.


Posted in: White Collar Crimes