Different types of business crimes are committed every year. Sometimes the perpetuators are discovered and prosecuted. However, some of the crimes can go undetected for years. When a person is charged for a white-collar crime, he will face a variety of state and federal charges that will classify the crime as a serious felony.
The common elements of white-collar crimes are deceit, concealment and violation of trust. Most of the crimes are committed by business professionals who are motivated by the desire for financial gain. It generally involves fraud without any threat of violence; however, they can destroy companies and the financial stability of clients, employees and communities.
Types of white-collar crimes
Ponzi scheme is a form of high-profile business crime that promises investors low-risk investment opportunities with high rates of return. Old investors are paid high rates that come from the money of new-acquired investors. The rates of return on the investments are not affected by the performance of the market. The problem, however, is when investors attempt to withdraw their funds; the organization will not be able to provide reimbursement.
Larceny and embezzlement are the most popular business crimes. Larceny is a type of theft wherein a person takes the property of another person or business. For example, if an employee takes the computer of his co-employee with the intention of stealing it, he can be guilty of larceny. On the other hand, embezzlement is a crime where a person who is entrusted with an item refuses to return it. An example of low-profile embezzlement is an employee who is entrusted with the petty cash of the company and purposely takes the money for himself. In high-profile cases of embezzlement, millions of dollars can be lost within a few years.
Racketeering involves activities like money laundering, loan sharking, and blackmailing. Racketeering used to be applied to organized crime but now it describes all entities. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a federal law that aims to prevent and prosecute business crimes and organized crime syndicates. Nowadays, even health insurance companies and other legitimate businesses are being accused of racketeering similar to organized crime syndicates. Claims include allegations of lying about the actual costs of health care and attempting to control the doctor-patient relationship through lies and pressure tactics.
Bribery is illegal. It involves monetary payment, good, services, information or anything of value in exchange for a more favourable and desired action. An example of bribery is a pharmaceutical company that offers special benefits to certain individuals to make them agree to prescribe their medications. High-profile bribery cases usually involve American companies that provide payments to foreign government officials to influence business results.
It is important to know that people who have been charged with different types of business crimes are not necessarily guilty of the offense. Individuals who are being investigated for white-collar crimes must hire a highly competent lawyer to defend them particularly if they are innocent of the charges. Without the support of a lawyer, it will be easy to be involved in a crime perpetuated by co-workers.