The terms “corporate crime” and “white collar crimes” are both used interchangeably as they are both non-violent crimes related to some financial activity. Additionally, the type of charges are often similar, including but not limited to, embezzlement, fraud, bribery and money laundering. There are some key differences between the two that revolve around who benefits from the crime and who pays for it. These differences are very important to understand for Ohio residents facing criminal charges.
As mentioned in previous posts here, white collar crimes are those that are not dependent on the threat of violence, but instead on conceit and violation of trust. The motivation behind these crimes is to get a financial advantage and the advantage does not have to be limited to money. It could be related to goods, services or financial instruments.
Corporate crimes also take place in a business setting, but are committed by corporations, who are also considered persons in law. Even though a person must be committing the crime on behalf of the corporation, the person is acting to benefit the company, not an individual. This is in contrast to white-collar crimes, where the individual facing charges is the one who has benefitted from it.
A person found guilty of committing white-collar crimes would typically serve some time in prison and also pay a fine. When a corporation is found guilty of a crime, the corporation is fined but the individuals involved, if not separately charged, are not held liable. Therefore, it is important to understand the criminal charges in a case to ensure an appropriate defense strategy is planned.