A white collar crime is a crime that is committed through financial motivation. Most people tend to think that white collar crimes are only committed by those that are wealthy with high social status or government officials, but white collar crimes can be committed by anyone. White collar offenses can potentially lead to civil lawsuits filed by persons victimized by the crime, or even the government.
In the civil lawsuit the accused does not have the right to remain silent and may possibly have to testify during their own trial. The accused will also not be appointed a criminal attorney if they are unable to afford one on their own. Those convicted of a white collar crime face penalties which can include a payment of fines, criminal forfeiture, restitution, and imprisonment.
A few common white collar crimes include:
- Credit Card Fraud – Illegal use of a credit card to make a purchase.
- Insurance Fraud – Illegal obtainment of money from an insurance company.
- Tax Evasion – Committing fraud when filing or paying taxes.
- Identity Theft – Assuming another’s identity through the use of social security number, credit cards, driver’s license, or another form of personal identification.
- Computer Hacking – Illegally accessing a computer system to steal data or send viruses.
- Blackmail – Threatening a person for money in exchange for not causing them harm or to not reveal a personal secret.
- Extortion – Obtaining money illegally through the use of threats.
- Forgery – Intentional circulation of fake money, a worthless check, or other types of counterfeit funds while passing it off as having real value.
- Mail Fraud – Fraudulent use or handling of mail.
- Embezzlement – Illegally appropriating another’s money or property.