White collar crimes are associated primarily with workers who are in a position that has to do with finances or who are in control of company assets. This can include executives, bankers, loan officers, appraisers, cashiers and people in similar positions. Individuals facing these types of charges are looking at the possibility of time behind bars, fines and other penalties.
Understanding what comprises a white collar crime can help some people to avoid them. For those who are already facing one, knowing a few points ahead of time can help as they set their defense strategy to answer the charge.
Types of white collar crimes
Fraud is one of the more common types of white collar crimes. This form encompasses actions related to mortgages, securities, loans and insurance. In all of these cases, everyone involved needs to ensure that they are being truthful. A person who works with securities or has inside information about a publicly traded company must ensure that they are using any knowledge in accordance with the law. Insider trading is a serious matter that is usually handled swiftly and harshly.
Tax evasion or fraud, money laundering and embezzlement are also forms of white collar crimes.
- Tax evasion: Failing to file income tax returns
- Tax fraud: Making untruthful statements on your tax returns
- Money laundering: Trying to filter money made illegally through a legitimate company to make it appear legal
- Embezzlement: Taking money or assets from a company that has given you control over them without permission or in an underhanded way
Thinking about your defense strategy
The exact defense strategy you employ has to be based on the charge and the circumstances of the case. Often, investigators and prosecutors have taken considerable time to gather massive amounts of evidence. Going through this and determining how to answer the charges sets out the options you have for your defense.
As you consider your defense, think about all aspects of your life on which a conviction will have a ripple effect. Your professional life might be impacted, so be sure to think about how this will affect your family members and income. Additionally, a conviction may make it difficult to find a new job so prepare for this struggle.