The category of white collar crimes is somewhat loosely defined. You might even say that white collar crimes exist in a gray area. In general, white collar crimes are thought to be those types of crimes which don’t involve violence or sexual allegations, but involve alleged dishonesty in a financial matter or some other business transaction. Because of the complexities of financial markets and systems, what actually constitutes a white collar crime can be very difficult to prove.
Some of the most common crimes that fall under the umbrella of white collar crimes are fraud of various types, such as computer fraud, mail fraud, medical or Medicare fraud, securities fraud and insurance fraud. Other crimes such as cashing a bad check, money laundering and embezzlement may also be considered white collar. Perhaps the most complex and confusing allegations of white collar crime are those involving securities transactions and antitrust violations.
Some estimate that white collar crimes account for some $300 billion in costs to taxpayers, investors and government entities. But oftentimes the line between compliance and illegal activity can be tough for laypersons, not to mention prosecutors, judges and regulators, to understand. Proving to a jury why failure to comply with some of the more stringent and confusing laws regarding complex financial transactions can be a heavy burden for prosecutors.
Now that Utah has a white collar crime registry in place, a conviction for a white collar crime may follow a person for many years, damaging their business reputation and subjecting them to additional scrutiny that could harm their future success. People who are facing allegations of white collar crime need a defense attorney who understands these complex laws and will vigorously defend their clients against these damaging accusations.
Source: Cornell Law, “White Collar Crimes” accessed Sept. 10, 2015