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What Qualifies as a White Collar Crime?

Statistics released by the US Attorney’s Office show that white collar crimes accounted for 12 percent of all crimes in Nevada during 2012. However, exactly which types of behavior ought to be included within the definition of white collar crimes remains a debate among lawmakers, lawyers and academics.

For example, some argue that it should be defined by the type of offender, while others argue that it should be defined by the type of offense. The uncertainty about how to define white collar crime also makes accurate reporting of statistics more difficult, with the Uniform Crime Reporting data showing only which crimes were carried out, not who carried them out. The approach of the FBI has been to define white collar crimes as acts that involve deceit, violation of trust or concealment — without violence being involved. These acts are carried out with the goal of obtaining money or property, avoiding the payment or loss of money, or gaining some other personal or business advantage.

Examples of white collar crimes can include:

  • Bribery — Offering something of value to a public official with intent to influence the official’s act or decision.
  • Hacking — Intentionally accessing, modifying or destroying electronic data without authorization.
  • Embezzlement — Fraudulently taking the property or money of another person that was entrusted to you, such as client funds.
  • Ponzi schemes — Defrauding investors by paying them returns from their own money rather than from profits.
  • Insider trading — Using confidential information obtained as an insider within a company or brokerage to make a profit by buying or selling stock.
  • Tax evasion — Using fraudulent means to misrepresent your financial situation in order to pay less tax, such as underreporting your income.

If you fear that you are being investigated for a white collar crime, make sure you get in touch with a determined Nevada white collar crime attorney to protect your rights.

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