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What Are the Most Common White-Collar Crimes

Financial crimes are unique in that they don’t involve violence or force. However, the criminal justice system takes these crimes seriously. If someone close to you is facing a white-collar crime, you likely want to take immediate action to secure their release from jail, so they can start working on their defense.

Below, our team at Apex Bail Bonds discusses the most common white-collar crimes. If you need a white-collar crime bond to get your loved one out of jail, speak to one of our bail bondsmen now.

White-collar Crime Definition

The American criminologist, Edward Sutherland, coined the term “white-collar crime” in 1939, referring to the attire that perpetrators typically wore at the time.

White-collar crimes involve illegitimate concealment or deceit to gain a financial advantage, prevent the loss of money or property, or promote corporate interests. Another characteristic of white-collar crime is that it involves abusing a position of power or trust. Financial crimes are generally more challenging to detect than other crimes due to sophisticated cover-ups.

The Most Common White-collar Crime Examples

Traditionally, white-collar crimes included fraud, bribery, embezzlement, money laundering, and tax crimes. Today, the term also refers to crimes relating to commerce and technology, for example, cybercrime, intellectual property crimes, and healthcare fraud.

The sections below take an in-depth look at the different types of corporate fraud, which make up most white-collar crimes in the United States.

Self-dealing

Self-dealing is when a business agent (fiduciary) promotes their self-interests via specific transactions. This conduct constitutes an offense because a business agent has a fiduciary duty to act in the interest of their clients, principal, employer, or partners.

Common examples of self-dealing include:

     

      • Withdrawing business funds as a personal loan

      • Using or divulging insider information that is not in the public domain to make stock investment decisions

      • Taking advantage of a business opportunity for personal gain instead of making it available to the company or other partners

    A fiduciary can be a corporate officer, trustee, board member, broker, financial adviser, or attorney.

    Financial Information Falsification

    Falsifying financial information is a common form of white-collar crime. This type of fraud involves implementing an accounting scheme to deceive auditors, investors, or other stakeholders about a business’s financial situation. In practice, this offense involves manipulating financial records by:

       

        • Overstating sales, profits, or assets

        • Understanding expenses, losses, or liabilities

      People typically falsify financial statements for personal gain. For example, if a person’s bonus depends on their department’s revenue, they have the motive to inflate their department’s revenue figure on the income statement. Similarly, business owners may falsify financial information to deceive lenders and attract investments.

      Money Laundering

      Money laundering is implementing a process to make it seem like the returns from illegal activities are earnings from legal business activities. In other words, money laundering involves hiding the illicit source of income so that the launderer can use the funds freely.

      The money laundering process consists of three steps:

         

          1. Placement: The first step is moving the money from criminal activity into a legitimate business or financial network.

          1. Layering: After placement, the funds move through several transactions, so tracking the money’s illegal origins is impossible.

          1. Final integration: The funds return to the launderer from a source that appears to be legitimate.

        According to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), there are several red flags for money laundering. These warning signs include frequent and high-dollar cash transactions, multiple wire transfers with bank secrecy havens, and large cash payments when checks or electronic transfers are more convenient.

        Securities Fraud

        In addition to corporate fraud, white-collar crime can include commodities and securities fraud. Common examples of these offenses include:

           

            • Investment fraud that involves a false promise of high returns with minimal risks

            • Pyramid schemes that take funds from later investors to pay earlier investors

            • Broker embezzlement schemes that involve stealing directly from clients

          Late-day trading is executing a trade after the market closes but charging the price at which the share traded while the market was open.

          Bond for White-collar Crimes

          At Apex Bail Bonds, we offer white-collar crime bonds to secure the release of a loved one awaiting trial. With this service, you don’t need to pay the court’s high bail amount for a white-collar crime. Instead, rely on our team to provide you with an affordable bail bond with flexible payment plans.

           

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