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White collar crime more prevalent than some realize

When it comes to the criminal justice system, it is common for St. Louis residents to think of drug crimes and similar offenses that they hear about most often. Many may think that charges for white collar crime are rarely, if ever, brought against individuals. This is simply not the case, however, as federal charges are often brought for various kinds of white collar crime.

Part of the misconception about white collar crime may stem from its definition. White collar crime is not limited to Ponzi schemes, but includes a variety of offenses, such as money laundering and embezzlement. It is reported that 9.4 percent of all charges for federal crime involve white collar crime of some variety.

While charges for white collar crime may be more prevalent than some may realize, those charged with white collar crime tend to serve less prison time than those charged and convicted of other offenses. Only about 5.9 percent of the inmates are in prison for white collar related offenses, as opposed to much higher percentages for drug offenses and other matters.

The particular result in an individual's case will depend upon the facts and circumstances of that case. If there are strong defenses available, the individual may be in a good position to argue for dismissal of the charges, or at least strike a plea bargain with more favorable terms for the individual or a lessening of the charges. Accordingly, it is important that each case be analyzed on its own merits, and that all issues be examined to determine what defenses may be available.

Source: Fortune, "Orange is the new white collar," Daniel Roberts, July 7, 2014

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