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Understanding White-Collar Crimes

The term "white-collar crime" was reportedly coined in 1939 to refer to offenses that use deceit, concealment and violation of trust for the purposes of financial gain. These crimes are typically committed without threat of or actual physical force or violence.

These types of crimes are complex and convictions can have serious consequences. In fact, many of these activities garner considerable attention from the FBI. If you are accused of or under investigation for a white-collar crime, it is vital to seek experienced legal representation as soon as possible to preserve and protect your rights.

A comprehensive list of white-collar crimes is included on the FBI's website, particularly those that catch the attention of the Federal government, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. This list includes these common offenses:

  • Fraud - This broad category includes a range of offenses, from insider trading, corporate fraud and Ponzi schemes to healthcare fraud, telemarketing fraud and mortgage fraud.
  • Embezzlement - Illegally taking money from someone who you owe a specific duty, which can include improperly using client funds or siphoning money from an employer.
  • Identity theft - Includes everything from producing fake IDs and forging checks to online financial theft, theft of benefits and illegally using someone else's health insurance.
  • Money laundering - Usually committed in conjunction with another crime, this involves filtering money obtained illegally through various sources to make it appear legitimate.

Bribery, tax evasion and anti-trust are additional examples of white-collar crime. Law enforcement officers, including the FBI, can make mistakes when accusing a person of a white-collar crime. The investigation, prosecution and defense can be lengthy and often involves large amounts of documents and computer data. A lawyer experienced in white-collar defense might be able to establish that the defendant did not commit the white-collar crime.

For a strong defense against white-collar criminal charges, contact the Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A., P.A. to discuss your case.