White Collar Crime in Legal Terms
On December 20, 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Stolen Valor Act, which made it a federal crime to fraudulently claim the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, the Air Force Cross, the Purple Heart and other awards and medals awarded by the President or the United States Armed Forces. The Act was intended to prevent public fraud and preserve the reputation and importance of military service medals. The term “white-collar crime” is believed to have been coined in 1939 and has since become synonymous with the full range of scams committed by business and government professionals. White-collar crime is generally nonviolent and includes public corruption, health care fraud, mortgage fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering, to name a few. Economic fraud can destroy a business, destroy families by wiping out their lifetime savings, or cost investors billions of dollars (or even all three). Today`s fraud schemes are more sophisticated than ever, and the FBI is eager to use its capabilities to track down perpetrators and stop scams before they begin. More information can be found on our white-collar crime website. There are two basic elements to the definition of white-collar crime: it is a non-violent crime and it is a kind of financial gain for the offender.
Most of those accused of such crimes are business owners, politicians, financial workers and other types of professionals. Crimes that can be considered white-collar crimes include: Currently, prosecutors can rely on the RCO doctrine when a company or corporation engages in white-collar crimes. Business lawyers work either for the government (or affiliated organizations) as prosecutors — including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center — or in private practice at law firms (Chambers list of DC`s top commercial law firms). This type of crime is usually committed by people in the business world who, because of their professional position, may have access to large sums of money from other people. Examples of white-collar crimes include: tax evasion, insider trading, insurance fraud, corruption, embezzlement, and money laundering. Some financial crimes are not directed against a particular person or company, but they are considered criminal because they have an overall negative impact on the public. Insider trading, for example, is considered an unfair advantage in the market, harming investors who do not have access to inside information. Counterfeiting can harm merchants who accept counterfeit notes and believe they are genuine.
It also potentially harms the economy by destabilizing the currency. Conducting internal or external investigations is an essential part of the job of a corporate lawyer/FCPA. Internal investigations may include the development and implementation of investigative policies and protocols, as well as the management of resource issues – government regulatory expectations and compliance resources. They will also examine the creation of a mediation programme and respond to complaints from whistleblowers. As a government employee/FCPA lawyer, a large part of the job is to ensure that the company`s existing policies and protocols comply with the rules and guidelines set by the government and its respective regulatory bodies. White-collar crime is an informal collective term, not the name of a specific crime. For this reason, white-collar crime includes a variety of criminal activities. The common denominator is that it is a non-violent crime committed for financial reasons.
The “responsible leader” doctrine (also known as the “responsible relationship doctrine”) creates the presumption that a senior business leader is aware of his or her company`s fault. As such, a senior executive could be convicted of a crime of which he or she was unaware. This doctrine was established in two Supreme Court cases, United States v. Dotterweich, 320 U.S. 277 (1943), and United States v. Park, 421 U.S. 658 (1975). Corporate fraud is sometimes considered the most complex white-collar criminal law. It can run through large corporations or government organizations, span countries, and span millions or even billions of dollars. Crimes of this magnitude can affect the economy, change investor behaviour and result in significant losses for employees and investors. Individuals and companies can be charged as defendants in white-collar crimes. While individuals could see jail time as a result, companies can face massive fines for their misdeeds.
Criminal laws that regulate white-collar crime can be found at both the state and federal levels. For definitions of other relevant legal terms, see the FindLaw Legal Dictionary. Sutherland`s ideas have since influenced laws regarding white-collar and financial crimes. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) proposes a simplified definition of white-collar crime: “lying, cheating, and stealing.” The Wall Street crisis, which began in 2008, has led to prosecutions for fraud and other financial crimes, although many critics may say that too few prosecutions have taken place. Previously, financial upheavals such as the savings and credit scandal in the early 1980s and the Enron scandal in the early 2000s were also prosecuted for various economic crimes. Misappropriation is a good example of how the statute can distinguish “white-collar crime” from gardening-related crime. A cashier pulling twenty-dollar bills from a cash register would likely be charged with theft and would not be considered a white-collar criminal. However, if the CFO of the same company used fraudulent accounting practices to pay bills to a shell company that secretly owns them, that would be considered a white-collar crime of embezzlement. The term “white-collar crime” is a term first coined in 1949 by sociologist Edwin Sutherland, who defined it as a crime committed by a person of high prestige and social status while employed. Employees have historically held non-functional clerical positions, while blue-collar workers traditionally wore blue shirts and worked in factories, factories, and factories. Although non-violent, state and federal laws treat these crimes seriously. Federal and state agencies routinely investigate and prosecute individuals and organizations involved in financial crimes.
The penalties depend on the exact crime and the amount of money involved, but many white-collar crimes are crimes punishable by a significant prison sentence. Perhaps the most famous example is Bernie Madoff, who was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his decades-long multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. White-collar crime is a non-violent crime that is often characterized by deception or concealment in order to obtain or avoid money or property, or to obtain personal or commercial advantage. Government agencies can also investigate investment fraud. In a unique attempt to protect its citizens, the state of Utah has established the nation`s first online white-collar crime registry, posting photos of people convicted of a second-degree or higher fraud crime. Money laundering is the acceptance of money from illegal activities such as drug trafficking and makes money appear as income from legal business activities. Criminals often filter money from crimes such as human and drug trafficking, public corruption, and terrorism in a three-step process: white-collar crime also includes companies that operate internationally, which falls under the Foreign Bribery Practices Act (FCPA). The FCPA prohibits U.S.
companies from making payments to government officials to obtain or maintain business and contracts abroad; It also prohibits payments to third parties, including joint venture partnerships, where payments are made to third parties knowing that the payment will be passed on in whole or in part as a bribe to a foreign government official. Criminal tax evasion is a criminal white-collar crime law in which the offender tries to avoid taxes that he or she otherwise owed. Tax evasion can range from simply filing tax forms containing false information to illegally transferring or concealing assets to avoid tax obligations. Individuals and businesses can commit criminal tax evasion. Authorities prosecuting tax evasion sometimes resort to civil lawsuits (prosecutions) to collect unpaid taxes and penalties, but the threat of criminal prosecution for these crimes often encourages the settlement and payment of outstanding tax bills. Many white-collar crimes are particularly difficult to prosecute because perpetrators use sophisticated means to conceal their activities through a series of complex transactions. Whistleblowers are particularly useful for white-collar prosecutors, as they report internal misconduct to whistleblowers. The number of whistleblowers has continued to rise; In 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission received 3,923 reports of corruption, bribery and other economic crimes. The main organizations investigating white-collar crime are: Public corruption, whereby officials abuse their authority for profit, is also considered a financial crime.
Corruption is a common example, such as when a company offers financial payments to a public official in exchange for favorable treatment, or when organized crime pays law enforcement officials to look the other way.