How Does It Differ from Other Crimes? What Are Some Common Examples?
There’s an entire category of criminal activity commonly referred to as white-collar crime. Though the term is a relatively modern one, first used in 1939, the offenses that fall under its definition have become more and more prevalent, particularly as our culture has moved fully into the digital world.
What Is White-Collar Crime?
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), white-collar crime is a specific type of illegal activity, generally non-violent in nature, that is almost universally financially motivated. It may be committed by individuals, businesses or government employees. The term, as first used, was identified as being “committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of their occupation.” Like all other crimes, white-collar crime is defined and enforced by statutes enacted by legislative bodies.
What Are the Most Common Examples of White-Collar Crime?
The white-collar crimes most often prosecuted in Texas include:
- Embezzlement—This crime involves the theft of money, goods, services or other things of value by a person in a position of trust or authority. Most often, it’s committed by an employee who has access to financial information, financial accounts and ways to transfer funds or property from business to personal accounts or for personal use.
- Money laundering—This offense involves taking ill-gotten gains or revenues from an illegal enterprise and funneling them into a legitimate business, then distributing them in the ordinary course of the legitimate business. It commonly involves a business that takes in much of its revenue in cash.
- Tax evasion—This can involve individuals or businesses, and can be perpetrated in a number of ways. It may involve filing false tax returns, claiming non-existent deductions or credits, failing to file a required return or intentionally misrepresenting or misstating tax liabilities.
- Securities fraud—This may involve the sale of bogus stocks or bonds, or it may result from a failure to disclose a conflict of interest in the purchase or sale of securities. It’s also a white-collar crime to wrongfully use insider information for financial gain.
What Other Actions May Be Prosecuted as White-Collar Crimes in Texas?
Though less common, the following acts may lead to charges of white-collar criminal activity in Texas:
- Bribery, typically of a public official for private gain
- Counterfeiting—Passing off or attempting to pass off bogus bills, coins or other financial instruments
- The theft or unauthorized use of patents, patented goods, trade secrets, copyrights, copyrighted materials and trademarks
- Identity theft—Wrongfully using the identity or personal information of another person for financial gain, including theft of banking or credit card information, or the use of another person’s identity to secure credit
- Most forms of fraud, including healthcare fraud, bankruptcy fraud, credit card fraud, insurance fraud and mail fraud
Contact the Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we have a comprehensive understanding of the state and federal laws governing white-collar crime. We offer a free initial consultation to every client. To speak with an proven criminal defense lawyer, contact us by e-mail or 844-402-2992 call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.