What is white collar crime?

White collar crime is a term that is used to cover a wide range of nonviolent criminal offenses. These crimes generally involve allegations of a person misappropriating money. Some of the more common charges include:

  • Mortgage fraud. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines mortgage fraud as a “material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission in relation to a mortgage loan which is then relied upon by a lender.” These allegations can be made in connection to information used on loan applications or information used to reduce future payments.
  • Identity theft. Federal law states that it is a crime to “knowingly transfer or use, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law, or that constitutes a felony under an applicable state or local law.” This is expanded to include allegations of misusing Medicare numbers, addresses, passwords and telephone numbers in addition to someone’s name, birth date or social security number.
  • Money laundering. Charges of money laundering are often tied to other criminal allegations. Money laundering is, essentially, a process that is used to remove money from its original, allegedly criminal connection. It is, in its most basic form, a way to “clean” the money so that it appears legitimate.

These are just a sampling of the many white collar crime charges present. Those who are accused of committing a white collar crime should take the allegations seriously.

What kind of penalties can come with an allegation of white collar crime?

Two different types of penalties apply. The first, and likely most well-known of the main types of penalties, are criminal penalties. The severity of the penalties will vary depending on the details of the allegations. However, they can include steep monetary fines and potential imprisonment.

In order for criminal penalties to apply, the charge must become a conviction. Before this happens the second penalty must be fought: damage to your reputation. Allegations that you have taken part in these criminal actions undermine your integrity and can destroy your career. As a result, it is important to take these allegations seriously and contact an experienced white collar crime defense attorney. This legal professional will advocate for your rights and work to better ensure a more favorable outcome.

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