David L. McCormick

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What are white-collar crimes?

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2021 | White Collar Crimes

Crimes happen daily throughout Minnesota. Although many people automatically think of offenses like murder, rape or robbery, some crimes are different. White-collar crimes are very prevalent and can result in serious penalties. You should know what is considered a white-collar crime and what they entail.

What is a white-collar crime?

The term “white-collar crime” can be traced back to the 1930s. Criminologist Edwin Hardin Sutherland created the term. It means a crime that is committed by a person who is part of high society and holds a respectable, professional job.

These days, however, the term means something more. When a person is described as having committed a white-collar crime, it means they have engaged in certain criminal activity to financially benefit at other people’s expense. These crimes aren’t violent but involve illegally and fraudulently obtaining the money of others.

What makes white-collar crimes different from other crimes?

White-collar crimes are non-violent. However, they have another aspect that makes them different from other types of crimes. They can go on for years without being known. Most occur over a period of years before the damage is even known. Usually, the individuals who commit these offenses have special insider knowledge that gives them an edge that makes them difficult to track.

What are a few examples of white-collar crimes?

While there are many different types of white-collar crimes, some are more common than others. The most common include the following:

• Identity theft: This type of crime occurs when a person deliberately and knowingly steals another person’s personal information to use it as their own. Often, they commit additional crimes while using someone else’s identity for financial gain.
• Credit card fraud: Credit card fraud happens when a person opens a new credit card account in someone else’s name. It often occurs when a person has stolen another’s identity.
• Tax evasion: Deliberately not paying taxes to the government is a common type of white-collar crime.
• Embezzlement: This crime occurs when a person deliberately takes funds from their employer for their own benefit. The person might be in a financial position within the company such as an accountant, but they don’t necessarily have to work in finance.

There are statutes covering these offenses at both the state and federal levels. If you have been accused of committing one, it is in your best interests to counter these allegations as quickly and as forcefully as possible.