White Collar crimes are committed by people of high social status in business or corporate settings. These crimes largely relate to financial matters and are void of physical violence. Common examples of white collar crimes include conspiracy, extortion, tax evasion, corruption, embezzlement, and money laundering. Execution of such crimes normally requires a powerful position and a good deal of intellect, which is why they are a lot more complex than conventional crimes. White collar crimes are often glamorized by media and films. Viewers are so fascinated by the well-dressed and highly educated individuals involved in financial fraud that they forget these people are in fact criminals.
Corporate crimes seldom make the news because the intrinsic details hardly make sense to the average person. They are considered dull or boring against crimes demonstrating aggression, sadism, and bloodshed. It is no wonder that there are so many misconceptions and delusions surrounding the topic. Here are five revelations that will improve your understanding of white collar crimes in the U.S:
1. The origin of the term ‘White Collar’
The term ‘white collar’ is widely associated with honorable and respected personnel. The term refers to individuals for whom it is practical to wear white collar shirts. People who work inside offices do not have to get their hands dirty, hence they need not worry about staining their white shirt. Even if the shirt does get stained by chance, they can easily afford to get it dry-cleaned. Criminal Defense Attorney Walnut Creek, CA conveys that a crisp white collar shirt might make you look decent and proper, though it won’t help dismiss criminal charges.
2. The Typical White Collar Criminal
White collar crimes can be committed by anyone having influence in an establishment, irrespective of age, race, color, and gender. However, there is no denying that the average white collar criminal is a white man in his forties. Women have been found guilty of financial fraud as well, but their schemes were relatively meager. One might argue that corporate culture does exhibit male dominance, which is not entirely incorrect.
3. White Collar Crimes are not Harmless
You might believe that stealing from corporate giants doesn’t really hurt anyone, but you are wrong. The primary victim of white collar crimes is the American economy, which has to bear an estimated cost of $500 billion per year. In contrast, violent crimes (also known as blue collar crimes) only cost about $15 billion annually. Corporate criminals may not exhibit terror, but their transgressions are no lesser crimes.
4. White Collar Crimes are not Rare
One does not hear about white collar crimes that often. These crimes only make the news if the amount of money in question is massive or a renowned celebrity is involved. The story behind most white collar crimes is simply not as appealing in comparison to a homicide, kidnapping, or drug trafficking operation. White collar crimes are a norm in the money making businesses, but nobody cares if a few thousand dollars went missing.
5. White Collar Crimes are severely Punishable
Popular belief is that white collar criminals are rich and famous, thus the law cannot touch them. White collar criminals are certainly well off, but they cannot escape legal consequences once their scams are exposed. The penalties depend upon the value of loss, i.e. the amount of money conned. In most cases, big bucks are involved, so the crimes are categorized as felonies. The offender has to pay extravagant fines and spend a long time in jail.