What is a White Collar Crime in Ohio?
White collar crime, a phrase which was first used by Edwin Sutherland in the year 1939, is the term used to refer to crimes that are nonviolent in nature and are committed to acquire money illegally. Examples of white collar crime include copyright infringement, identity theft, embezzlement, insider trading, insurance fraud, Ponzi schemes, bribery, forgery, and money laundering among others.
Perhaps the most well-known example of white-collar crime is the Enron Scandal from 2001. It was at this time that Enron’s executives confessed to inflating the earnings of the company, thus deceiving the investors.
Although the majority of well-known white collar crimes were committed by executives and upper management, individuals from any occupation and job level can commit these crimes. From 1974 onwards, the FBI created an entire unit to combat white-collar crimes. Despite this, however, it is estimated that approximately $300 billion is lost to white-collar crime in the U.S. annually.
White collar crime is often very complex. Even the most experienced can find it hard to stay on top of the financial terms and violations associated with these crime. Because of this, it is not uncommon for individuals to commit white-collar crimes without even being aware of it. Oftentimes, it is because they do not completely understand their contracts and the obligations they have therein.
Perhaps one of the most common white-collar crimes, and one that is most performed unwittingly, is insider trading. This involves selling or buying company stock while having illicit information. For example, if an employee shares private information about a company’s stock with another, who then trades stock, both individuals could face charges. Securities fraud, another example of company misrepresentation, can result in people making poor investments based on deceptively positive data.
Embezzlement is yet another white collar crime that often comes hand in hand with money laundering. For example, an accountant or other individual will secretly remove funds from his or her company. While not an easy crime to commit, it is more common than you would think. Often, in order to conceal the theft, the person will perpetrate yet another crime: money laundering.
One of the most common forms of white-collar crime is bribery, which consists of an unethical exchange of goods between two persons in the hopes of personal gain. Bribery can have enormously negative impacts, particularly when it occurs on a political level.
Perhaps one of the most tempting types of white-collar crime is tax evasion. Individuals, as well as companies, commit this crime by neglecting to be honest about their earnings, therefore paying less in taxes.
These are just some of the many types of white-collar crimes. Many of the perpetrators of these crimes mistakenly believe that their crimes are victimless, but this could not be further from the case. There are always victims, even if they don’t seem to be obvious. Whether they are taxpayers, a poor guy who was tricked into paying for bad stock, or the public in general, white-collar crime always has serious repercussions.
White-collar crime can often be a difficult concept to understand and varies between cultures and countries.
Although progress has certainly been made when it comes to catching those responsible for these types of acts, there is still much work to be done in both defining the crimes themselves as well as preventing them.