White-collar crime has recently been characterised as the use of a substantial position of authority for illegal gain, resulting in financial loss, bodily harm, and damage to the community’s moral atmosphere.
Most academics agree that white-collar crime has a significantly greater economic impact than ordinary crime.
White-collar crime can threaten employees through unsafe working conditions, harm consumers through dangerous products, and pollute a community.
Sociologists have stated that white-collar crimes are especially damaging to society because they are committed by people in positions of authority who are expected to set a moral example and act responsibly.
If someone is accused of committing white-collar crime, they can safeguard their liberty and reputation by hiring a white-collar crime attorney who will fight for the restoration of their lost reputation in the organisation.
White-collar Crime Is the World’s Fastest Growing Crime
White-collar crime is one of the world’s fastest-growing categories of crime. Almost every type of white-collar crime has increased in recent years.
For example, in the early twenty-first century, annual losses from fraudulent use of identity increased by more than $300 million in the United States over the course of two years. (For further information, see Identity theft and violation of privacy.)
Similarly, whereas practically every other sort of civil litigation in the United States fell around the start of the twenty-first century, the number of government and private lawsuits for white-collar offences more than doubled.
Because federal officials investigate and prosecute the majority of white-collar crimes, defence attorneys must enjoy going to court against the government.
White collar crime attorneys frequently come from the government, making this a more senior field of business with more senior attorneys assisting their clients through government investigations, compliance concerns, and maybe trial. The white-collar community is deemed smaller, and they “all know each other.”
This was part of a trend in the United States that began in the late twentieth century with a number of high-profile white-collar convictions. They included the prosecutions of financiers Ivan Boesky (1986) and Michael Milken (1990) for billions of dollars in securities fraud,
The convictions of banker Charles Keating (1992 and 1993) for looting his own savings and loan (S&L), sparking what became known as the “S&L Crisis,” and the guilty plea entered by Enron Corp.’s chief financial officer, Andrew Fastow (2004), on charges of manipulated off-balance-sheet transactions (in this case,Enron’s downfall was caused by the shifting of debt liabilities to offshore partnerships).
In a related case, Arthur Andersen LLP, Enron’s accounting company, was convicted of obstruction of justice (2002; overturned in 2005), forcing the firm out of business.
Similar incidents have occurred all around the world. Barings Bank in London went bankrupt in February 1995 as a result of three years of fraud by one of its futures traders.
In Canada, two people pled guilty in 2001 to defrauding financial institutions, including the Royal Bank of Canada, of $92 million by arranging 52 bogus leases for nonexistent medical equipment.
A common attitude articulated in government reports and professional papers is that the public does not consider white-collar crime to be severe. However, some empirical research has validated this stance. In contrast, most studies on perceived crime seriousness indicate that the public considers white-collar breaches, particularly embezzlement and actions that end in the death or injury of individuals, to be significant.
Furthermore, scholars have largely ignored the harm done to society’s morality and structures by white-collar crime. Alienation from society, with resulting feelings of normlessness and impotence, and public trust in major organizations are two areas that merit examination.
The last review of challenges involved with assessing each type of impact covers data sources on white-collar crime, public views of white-collar crime, corporate efforts to fight government regulation of their activities, and victim group identification. There are almost 50 references supplied.
A white collar criminal may occasionally use domestic violence as well. For instance, a wealthy person who controls or threatens their partner using their resources and power may be engaging in both white collar crime and domestic abuse. In these circumstances, the person might be charged with both categories of crimes.
Regardless of the occupation or social standing of the abuser, it’s critical to get support from a domestic violence lawyer if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence.
FBI White-collar Crime Program and the Positive Role of White-collar Crime Attorneys
The FBI’s white-collar crime program focuses on gathering intelligence and solving complex investigations, which frequently involve organised crime.
Our white-collar crime investigations can be local, national, or international in scope.
The FBI collaborates closely with law enforcement and regulatory partners such as:
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- The United States Postal Inspection Service
- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission
- The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Treasury Department
Examples of White Collar Crime and Its Handling and Eradication Process and Procedure
- Fraud in the Health Care System
Healthcare fraud does not have any singular victims. It impacts everyone, both individuals and organisations, and costs tens of billions of dollars each year.
It has the potential to increase health insurance premiums, expose you to unneeded medical treatments, and boost taxes.
Medical practitioners, patients, and others who purposefully defraud the health care system in order to get illegal benefits or payments may commit health care fraud.
The FBI is the primary investigative agency for both government and commercial insurance programs.
- Corporate Fraud and Deception
The FBI, as the principal agency investigating corporate fraud, focuses its efforts on instances involving accounting scams, self-dealing by company executives, and obstruction of justice (activities designed to conceal this type of criminal conduct).
The FBI’s corporate fraud investigations are primarily concerned with financial information falsification:
- False accounting and/or financial condition misrepresentation
- Fraudulent transactions intended to increase profits or conceal losses
- Illicit transactions intended to avoid regulatory scrutiny
- Insider Trading by Corporate Executives
- Trading by insiders (stock trading based on material, non-public information)
- Personal benefit from corporate property
- Individual tax evasion due to self-dealing
- Laundering of Funds
Money laundering is the process of rendering “dirty” money “clean” by making money obtained via criminal activity look like it comes from legitimate sources.
Criminals can use money laundering to:
- conceal and gain riches to escape prosecution and taxes
- Boost revenues through reinvestment to fuel additional illicit activity
The FBI focuses on money laundering facilitation, specifically targeting professional money launderers, key facilitators, gatekeepers, and complicit financial institutions.
- Fraud in Securities and Commodities
The development of complicated investment vehicles, as well as the massive increase in the quantity of money invested, have increased the chances for people and corporations to perpetrate fraudulent investment schemes.
The Bureau works closely with numerous government and business groups to investigate securities and commodities fraud in order to help prevent fraudulent activities in the financial markets.
- Mortgage and financial institution deception
Criminals commit financial institution fraud when they target banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. An example of this is by compromising the accounts or personal information of clients.
Embezzlement and misappropriation of funds are two typical financial institution fraud offences investigated by the FBI. Fraud can sometimes be severe enough to cause a bank or credit union to fail.
- Piracy/Theft of Intellectual Property
Intellectual property theft is the stealing of people or corporations’ ideas, inventions, and creative expressions, which are known as intellectual property. This might range from corporate secrets to private items to films, music, and software.
Every year, intellectual property theft costs American firms billions of dollars.
The FBI’s intellectual property investigations are focused on trade secret theft and copyright infringement on products that potentially endanger people’s health and safety, such as counterfeit vehicles and electronic parts.
To investigate these instances, the FBI collaborates with private sector partners and other law enforcement agencies at all levels.
Every year, white-collar crime costs the South African economy a fortune. According to one expert, the figure is R930 million each year, with weak conviction rates fueling a 50% increase in this type of crime.
“White-collar crime is difficult to identify, and it can be difficult to bring criminals to justice, recover stolen money, or restore the harm done,” says David Loxton, a partner at Johannesburg law firm Dentons SA who specialises in corporate investigations and compliance.
“It makes perfect business sense to put safeguards in place to prevent employees from jeopardising your company’s reputation.”