White-collar crime is a non-violent crime where the primary motive is typically financial in nature. White-collar criminals usually occupy a professional position of power and/or prestige, and one that commands well above average compensation.
Types of White-Collar Crime White-collar crime encompasses a wide range of offenses, including the following: Fraud
Fraud is a broad term that encompasses several different schemes used to defraud people of their money. One of the most common and simplest is the offer to send someone a lot of money (say, $10,000) if they will simply send the fraudster a little money (say, $300 – the fraudster may represent the smaller sum as being a processing or finder’s fee). Of course, the fraudster gets the money that is sent to him but never sends out the money he promised to send. Insider trading
Insider trading is trading done with the benefit of the trader possessing material, non-public information that gives him or her an advantage in the financial markets. For example, an employee at an investment bank may know that Company A is preparing to acquire Company B. The employee can buy stock in Company B with the expectation that the company’s stock will rise significantly in price once the acquisition becomes public knowledge. Ponzi scheme
Named after Charles Ponzi, the original perpetrator of such a scheme, a Ponzi scheme is an investment scam that offers investors extremely high returns. It pays such returns to the initial investors with the newly deposited funds of new investors. When the scammer is no longer able to attract a sufficient number of new clients to pay off the old ones, the scheme collapses like a house of cards, leaving many investors with huge losses. Identity theft and other cybercrimes
Identity theft and computer system “hacking” are two of the most widespread computer crimes. It’s estimated that losses from identity theft in the United States alone totaled nearly $2 billion in 2019. California, with over 73,000 cases of identity theft reported, was the state whose citizens suffered the most from the crime – Florida was a very distant second with 37,000 reported cases. Embezzlement
To “embezzle” means to willfully take or convert to one’s own use, another’s money or property by reason of some position of trust. Intangible Personal Property; Commercial Paper, such as checks, promissory notes, bonds, or stocks; and written documents, such as deeds or contracts, may also be the subject of embezzlement. The elements of embezzlement are as follows:
There must be a relationship such as that of employment or agency between the owner of the property and the defendant;
The property alleged to have been embezzled must have come into the possession of the defendant by virtue of that relationship; and
There must be an intentional and fraudulent appropriation or conversion of the property.
The law governing embezzlement, 21 O S §1451, defines embezzlement as, “the fraudulent appropriation of property of any person or legal entity, legally obtained, to any use or purpose not intended or authorized by its owner, or the secretion of the property with the fraudulent intent to appropriate it to such use or purpose, under any of the following circumstances:
Where the property was obtained by being entrusted to that person for a specific purpose, use, or disposition and shall include, but not be limited to, any funds "held in trust" for any purpose;
Where the property was obtained by virtue of a power of attorney being granted for the sale or transfer of the property;
Where the property is possessed or controlled for the use of another person;
Where the property is to be used for a public or benevolent purpose;
Where any person diverts any money appropriated by law from the purpose and object of the appropriation;
Where any person fails or refuses to pay over to the state, or appropriate authority, any tax or other monies collected in accordance with state law, and who appropriates the tax or monies to the use of that person, or to the use of any other person not entitled to the tax or monies;
Where the property is possessed for the purpose of transportation, without regard to whether packages containing the property have been broken;
Where any person removes crops from any leased or rented premises with the intent to deprive the owner or landlord interested in the land of any of the rent due from that land, or who fraudulently appropriates the rent to that person or any other person; or
Where the property is possessed or controlled by virtue of a lease or rental agreement, and the property is willfully or intentionally not returned within ten (10) days after the expiration of the agreement.
The possible punishment for conviction of Embezzlement varies with the amount embezzled, and a person’s prior criminal history, but a person could be facing up to ten years in prison custody for a conviction if they have no prior felony convictions. Prior felony convictions could increase that term.