How does White Collar Crime Affect Society?

White collar crime creates the mental image of men in business suits doing something illegal and reaping the benefits of that action. Most people assume white collar crime is something that “just happens”and that the effects of it are seldom felt by the average person. However, white collar crimes vary in number and degree and can affect society in many unpleasant ways. 

What are White Collar Crimes? 

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) website, white collar crimes, “…are not violent, but they are not victimless. White collar crimes can destroy a company, wipe out a person’s life savings, cost investors billions of dollars, and erode the public’s trust in institutions.” White collar crimes cost the United States about $300 billion annually. 

There are five main types of White Collar Crime. They include: Corporate Fraud, Money Laundering, Securities and Commodities Fraud, Mortgage and Financial Institution Fraud, and Intellectual Property Theft/Piracy. 

Corporate fraud are crimes committed by corporate executives and generally revolve around falsifying financial documents or making “deals” on the side for financial gain. The covering up of these types of activities also falls under the “Corporate Fraud” umbrella. 

Money laundering is probably the most common type of crime that comes to mind when considering White Collar crime. It is a very popular type of crime depicted in gangster and mafia movies and involves turning “dirty” money collected from a crime into “clean” money by making it look like it was acquired through a legal business.  

Securities and Commodities Fraud is most recently well known because of Bernie Madoff and the scheme that he created to steal billions of dollars from his clients. This type of fraud is basically misrepresenting information to make a profit in the financial market. Madoff committed other White Collar crimes such as money laundering along with securities fraud. 

Mortgage and Financial institution fraud is when banks, credit unions or other financial institutions are targeted. With financial institution fraud, the client or customer of these institutions has their account compromised. Mortgage fraud happens when lies are told in order to influence a financial lenders decision about a mortgage. 

Intellectual Property Theft/Piracy is stealing someone’s idea, innovation, logo,trademark, etc. It is a relatively easy and cheap crime to commit. Think about all of the counterfeit merchandise that exists in our society from fake designer purses to fake trademarked tennis shoes, there is an abundance in our society that costs companies a lot of money. 

What to do if you are accused of a White Collar Crime? 

If you have been accused of committing a white collar crime, you should find an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you with your case. Oftentimes white collar crime cases take years to build. The vast amount of information and evidence that must be reviewed to craft your defense should be conducted by a seasoned professional. 

How can you secure a criminal defense attorney? 

Look for an attorney who is not only passionate about what they do, but experienced in the court system in the state you’ve been charged in as well. According to the American Bar Association, “Defense counsel is the client’s professional representative, not the client’s alter-ego. Defense counsel should act zealously within the bounds of the law and standards on behalf of their clients” 

Why should you secure a criminal defense attorney? 

A criminal defense attorney is someone working on your behalf. That person wants to do the best job possible to help you and establish for themselves a solid reputation of defending their clients to the highest degree. 

The amount of work including reading evidence, researching past cases, providing unbiased feedback and presenting your case in court is something that should be put in the hands of an experienced professional. 

If you find yourself in the position of being accused/charged with a white collar crime, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot. With over 50 years of experience in criminal defense in New Jersey, they will protect you and your rights. 
Contact us today for your confidential consultation!