White-collar crimes are economic crimes rather than violent criminal acts. They endanger an entity’s resources but not an individual’s safety or life, in most cases. Many cases go unsolved or unprosecuted, as it can be hard for authorities to track questionable transactions or fraudulent emails. Therefore, the true scope of white-collar crime is not really known.
However, there are certain offenses that are more common than others when considering the reality of federal crime statistics. These are the top three most common white-collar crimes in the U.S. right now.
1. Lying to investigators
In a significant number of white-collar criminal cases, the prosecution someone faces will be the result of an investigation, not necessarily a crime that is being formally prosecuted. The Martha Stewart insider trading case is a perfect example.
She did not serve jail time for specific financial transactions but rather for misrepresenting information to investigators. Prosecutors could not gather enough evidence to pursue charges of financial crimes against her, but they could prove that she lied to investigators, which is a crime.
2. Various forms of fraud
There is mortgage fraud which often affects financial professionals and would-be homeowners. There is healthcare fraud which often affects people who are unfairly obtaining medical treatment or improperly billing insurance companies. Wire fraud, mail fraud, insider trading and countless other forms of financial crime deprive individuals and businesses of their resources every year.
Unlike many white-collar crimes that require extensive investigation and years of effort, embezzlement crimes often come to light because a business draws attention to an issue.
Companies that want to hold workers accountable and recoup some of their losses may report suspected embezzlement, essentially providing prosecutors with all the information they need to pursue charges against the individual involved. Embezzlement is a widespread issue in the United States that can cost individual companies tens of thousands of dollars or more per incident.
Those accused of white-collar criminal offenses will often have to invest a lot of time and careful consideration in the development of their defense strategies. From thoroughly reviewing state evidence to learning more about the codes allegedly violated, there are many ways for defendants to prepare for their day in court.
Getting the right help can facilitate a more appropriate response if you stand accused of a white-collar criminal offense. These offenses may be common, but as the conclusion of your case will matter uniquely to you, it’s time to build the strongest case possible under the circumstances.