The term “white-collar crime” has been around since the 1930s when a sociologist coined it. It has since become synonymous with business professionals (who traditionally wore suits with white shirts and collars) taking money from a business. Examples include not accurately reporting income to the IRS. It can also apply to politicians who use their office for financial advantage. It generally is applied to the ever-evolving list of the internet or tech-based fraudulent actions.
What makes it white-collar?
This wide range of crimes adds up to a cost of more than $300 billion annually. They have a few things in common:
- They are non-violent: These crimes generally focus on the intent of financial gain.
- They can apply to company: Whistler blowers famously notify the authorities of a company or organizations taking advantage of customers or the public for financial gain, or a cover-up to avoid losses.
- The penalties: White collar crimes sometimes have penalties involving long jail sentences if victims suffered severe financial harm, but typically they require the defendant paying restitution, forfeitures, fines, and addressing other financial considerations.
The courts often allow the following arguments:
- Intent: One can argue that there was a lack of intent in committing the crime and achieving the financial gain. They can also claim that they were forced by others to commit the crime.
- Entrapment: This happens when law enforcement offers the defendant the opportunity to commit a crime that they would typically not do independently.
- Duress: Some defendants are put under the extreme pressure of imminent harm or death if the crime was not committed. Generally, the threatened crime needs to be greater than the crime charged.
Attorneys are an essential part of any white-collar defense
The attorneys at Kammen & Moudy can provide a strong defense against white-collar charges. This is due to their experience in handling cases like these and their thorough understanding of the laws involved. Those with questions about white-collar charges and potential defenses often find it useful to discuss the details of their case with the legal professionals at our firm.