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What is white-collar crime?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2018 | White Collar Crime

The term “white-collar” crime was first used in 1939 at a meeting of sociologists to describe acts or crimes that a person with a high social status commits through his or her job. Today it is used in Buffalo and throughout the U.S. to describe nonviolent crimes committed for financial gain.

There are several types of crimes that fall under the umbrella of white-collar crime, according to FindLaw, and you are most likely to have heard of them already. Security frauds, such as Insider trading, Ponzi schemes, insurance fraud and even tax evasion all are types of white-collar crimes.

Tax evasion

Tax evasion can be something as simple as knowingly filing an income tax statement that has incorrect information or transferring property in attempting to avoid paying taxes on it. Tax evasion is something that both businesses and individual people can commit.

Securities fraud

One of the best-known types of securities fraud is insider trading. This crime occurs when someone uses confidential information about an investment or company to make trade decisions, such as selling or buying stocks, in hopes of earning money.


Embezzlement is another crime that involves someone taking money from another to whom you owe a duty or responsibility. This is most typically done when an employee steals from his company by channeling money into a private account.

Other fraud

Insurance fraud and mortgage fraud are the most common types of white-collar crimes. This crime can be lying on an insurance claim form and pursuing a settlement or perhaps a company scheming to defraud customers, investors or others.

White-collar crimes can involve several laws at both the federal and state levels, with a variety of punishments attached. If you are charged with a white-collar crime, an experienced attorney can help you understand and develop a defense against criminal liabilities.

This article is informational in nature and is not intended to be legal advice.