In the United States, not all crime is created equal.
Generally speaking, crimes are considered to exist in two main categories: white-collar crimes and blue-collar crimes.
White-collar crimes are nonviolent crimes committed for financial benefit, whether that be for business or personal purposes. There are many white-collar crime examples, and these often involve some type of deceit.
White-collar crimes are generally investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). State authorities also play a role in this type of law enforcement.
Conversely, blue-collar crimes are more common, “everyday” types of crimes. These may or may not be violent in nature, and tend to be smaller-scale. Examples of this include breaking and entering, illicit drug sale and use, and sexual assault.
While they may be more complicated and elaborate than blue-collar crimes, there are a handful of white-collar crime examples that tend to reoccur often. Read on below to learn more!
#1. Securities Fraud
As global trade and markets have expanded exponentially over the years, fraudulent activities, have followed the same trend. With such a complex underlying structure, there are many opportunities for criminals to take part in fraudulent investment schemes.
Common criminal offenses in this field include investment fraud, Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, and market manipulation.
#2. Corporate Fraud
Corporate fraud is one of the most dangerous types of white-collar crime and is a major target for the FBI.
The real danger with this type of crime is its potential to affect a wide net of victims. Not only does this include shareholders and employees, but the overall US economy can be affected as well.
Most often, corporate fraud cases investigated by the FBI focus on accounting schemes employed to paint a false picture of the company’s financial condition. This may be done to deceive investors, auditors, and/or regulators.
#3. Money Laundering
Money laundering is another huge focus of the FBI. This occurs when criminals redirect illegally-obtained funds to make it appear that they are legitimate.
Money laundering carries a whole host of other consequences, including tax evasion, illegally-increased profits, and obstruction of justice. This undermines the integrity and stability of key financial systems, as well as the overall economy.
#4. Grand Larceny
By its legal definition, grand larceny occurs when property totaling over $1,000 in value is stolen.
Larceny cases can include a credit or debit card when the value of this account exceeds this amount. This can occur as part of other crimes, including embezzlement, identity theft, and bribery.
Now You Know Common White-Collar Crime Examples
Now that you have a handful of white-collar crime examples in mind, you can begin to understand the key differences between white and blue-collar crimes. Especially in the view of the legal systems, there are key differences between the types of crimes and their subsequent punishments.
If you found this information helpful, check out our other legal articles!