A Colorado white-collar crime is a nonviolent crime committed for financial gain. The FBI defines white-collar crimes as concealment, deceit, or breach of trust. This kind of crime is committed to gain a personal or business advantage, avoid loss of money, property, or services, or both.
What Types of Crimes Are Considered White-Collar?
In a nutshell, white-collar crimes are nonviolent crimes committed to enriching the perpetrators financially. Since Edwin Sutherland, a sociologist, coined the term in 1949, these crimes have been associated with educated, wealthy individuals. They might involve phony investment opportunities or a company’s finances being misrepresented.
Examples of white-collar crimes include:
Corporate fraud: The FBI prioritizes this crime due to its potential to harm the economy and investor confidence and cause significant losses to investors. Falsification of financial data (accounting schemes designed to deceive others) or self-dealing, in which employees act to benefit themselves at the expense of investors or other parties (insider trading is a well-known example) are examples of corporate fraud.
Money laundering: This is the act of making “dirty” money from illegal activities like drug trafficking look like “clean” money from a legal business. Real estate, international trade, precious metals, Bitcoin, and other virtual currencies are frequently used to wash money.
Embezzlement: The act of misappropriating funds by a person entrusted with managing money or property by an employer or another individual constitutes embezzlement. A politician who uses campaign funds for personal expenses is one example.
Ponzi schemes: The perpetrator of a Ponzi scheme uses funds provided by new investors to pay promised returns to previous investors. When the demand for returns from existing investors exceeds the funds from newly recruited investors, this scheme fails because it requires continuously recruiting additional investors.
Extortion: Threatening a person or institution to give money, property, or services is an example of this. Blackmail, in which the victim demands payment in order to prevent the perpetrator from disclosing certain information, is one example. Another example is businesses’ payments of “protection money” to local gangs.
Bankruptcy fraud: Bankruptcy is designed to provide financial relief for individuals and businesses burdened with overwhelming debt. Since creditors can only collect a small portion of the debtor’s non-essential assets, this is done at their expense. In bankruptcy fraud, assets or property are deliberately hidden from creditors during the bankruptcy process.
Penalties can be severe upon conviction of a white-collar crime. If you face corporate fraud, embezzlement, or another white-collar crime, it is best to consult an experienced Colorado White Collar Crime Lawyer as soon as possible.