White collar crime claims to refer to crimes committed at a business by a businessman or woman. Criminology expert and sociologist, Edwin Sutherland, in a 1939 speech, coined the term. A white collar criminal is considered less likely to commit another crime, and punishment may be softer than for crimes involving violent. Evidence in a white collar crime typically involves a "paper trail," of evidence that investigators use to prosecute the case.
Types of White Collar Crimes
- Embezzlement – the taking of someone's property by a person with which it is entrusted.
- Bribery – occurs when someone gives or takes a bribe.
- Larceny – involves taking someone's property without paying for or returning it.
- Extortion – also known as blackmail.
- Fraud – this often includes but is not limited to health care fraud and tax fraud.
- Price Fixing – an agreement between two parties to set prices for a certain product, thereby violating free market operations.
- Racketeering – the extortion of money by force or a pattern of criminal activity committed to further the interests of a criminal syndicate.
- Computer Fraud – using a computer to commit a crime.
- Obstruction of Justice – interfering with the criminal process by impinging an investigation.
- Perjury – linging while under oath in a judicial proceeding.
- Securities and Commodities Law Violations
- Environmental Law Violations
White collar crimes can be prosecuted at the state or federal level, depending on whether a state or federal law was broken. If convicted, these crimes usually result in jail time, large fines, and restitution to the victims of the crime. For people who have been victimized by white collar crime, firing a criminal attorney is often helpful when trying to recover monies lost.