To better protect consumers and business owners, courts have been punishing those who commit white collar crimes more severely. After the banking system in the United States nearly collapsed, the prosecution of Bernie Madoff, Martha Stewart, Enron executives, and many other high-profile cases took center stage. Many executives of large organizations find themselves under unprecedented federal scrutiny.
The term “white collar” was initially used in the 1930s to describe criminal acts that were not violent. Frequently, individuals faced charges of white collar crimes when more serious criminal violations could not be proven. Think of Al Capone’s conviction of tax evasion in 1931.
There are many crimes that are categorized as white collar violations. Most are related to money or property that was the responsibility of an organization’s trusted employee. The most common form of a white collar crime is embezzlement and is often committed by accountants, payroll clerks, and bookkeepers. Depending on the amount of money or the value of property stolen, embezzlement can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor.
The Types of White Collar Crimes
In addition to embezzlement, other forms of white collar crimes include:
- Receiving stolen property
- Extortion- Obtaining property, money or other services through threats, force, or other method of coercion
- Credit card fraud
- Forgery- Producing an unauthorized copy of a signature, banknote, work of art, or document
- Health care fraud
- Money laundering- Concealing the origin of money that is illegally acquired, typically by transferring funds to legitimate business or foreign banks
- Stealing someone’s identity
- Bribery- Favor, consideration, or money given to influence the conduct of a person in a position of trust (i.e. a judge, a police officer, etc.)
- Commercial burglary- The entering of a store, office, shop, or any commercial building with the intent of stealing something
- Perjury- Willfully stating a falsehood in court after taking an oath
- Insider trading- Illegally trading on the stock exchange to one’s own advantage after receiving confidential information not available to the public
The majority of those facing crimes of this nature do not have a criminal record and have no prior interactions with their state’s criminal justice system. A white collar defense attorney can speak to you about the other types of white collar crimes and answer any of your questions.
Hire a White Collar Crime Defense Attorney in Chicago Today
White collar crimes are similar to any other crime in that the accused has rights and is entitled to a sound legal defense. But the legal theories and principles are complex because evidence is largely based on mountains of documents and related paperwork.
Regardless of the situation, if you or a loved one are facing charges of a white collar crime, you will need the skills and expertise of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. David L. Freidberg understands the nature of business regulations and related practices. He will work diligently to reduce or refute the charges leveled against you.
Call (312) 560-7100 or schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can represent you in court.
(image courtesy William Stitt)