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Matthew Radefeld & Dan Juengel
Matthew A. Radefeld and Daniel A. Juengel

White-collar crimes: what you need to know

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2021 | White Collar Crimes |

The charges for white-collar crimes are not taken lightly. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies often handle these cases, typically working with prosecutors to unravel rather complex matters.

When people hear the term “white-collar crime,” they might think of illegal activities committed by those who wear suits to work. However, there are a number of crimes that fall under this umbrella.

What is considered a white-collar crime?

White-collar crimes are nonviolent offenses committed for financial gain. These crimes include but are not limited to:

Many people think that white-collar crime is less severe than violent crime like murder or assault. However, these offenses can lead to severe penalties.

What are the penalties for white-collar crime?

White-collar crimes can be categorized as federal offenses or state offenses, depending on the type of crime and where it was committed. If a person is found guilty of committing a federal offense, they could face up to $1,000,000 in fines or 30 years imprisonment.

The penalty also depends on what laws were broken during the commission of the crime. Someone who commits embezzlement may be punished differently than someone who committed money laundering.

How do you know if you’re committing a white-collar crime?

White-collar crimes may sometimes be hard to identify because they are nonviolent offenses. A person may commit a white-collar crime without realizing it if they make an error on their tax returns or do not report certain assets that fall under federal jurisdiction.

What are the defenses for white-collar crime?

Not everyone who is accused of committing white-collar crimes is guilty. A person charged with a white-collar crime may have several different legal options to choose from as their defense depending on the circumstances of their case.

For example, suppose an individual is accused of conspiracy against another party involving embezzlement. They could claim that they were unaware of what was going on and did not knowingly break the law.

Another common defense for white-collar crime is to assert that the person did not have criminal intent. If a jury finds that the defendant lacked intent or their actions were reckless, they may be found innocent of any wrongdoing.