White collar crime is a popular term that is thrown around in movies and television shows, but it is not clearly understood by many people. White collar crime denotes a variety of offenses that are primarily financial in nature. It is called “white collar” because it is understood to be committed by white collar workers, such as accountants and lawyers. But anyone can carry out a white collar crime and, in fact, many people of various socioeconomic backgrounds commit these crimes.
Fraud is a general crime that has many sub-crimes within it. Fraud, in the most general sense, occurs when a person defrauds another person for some gain, it could be for money or property. For example, car sales associates that lie about the features on a car commit fraud (however that is a very slippery slope).
Securities fraud is a common type of white collar crime. Securities fraud is another broad-spanning crime that includes insider trading, inducing people to purchase securities by making false statements about the financial viability of the firm, and many other acts.
Insider trading occurs when a person with “inside” knowledge about a particular company or transaction uses that knowledge to trade or invest. Anyone can be an insider, they need only possess information that an average person would not.
Similarly, false statements is simply lying. Many people are arrested for making false statements by fudging the numbers on an account.
If you are facing allegations of a white collar crime, then you should call a defense attorney as soon as possible. White collar crimes may sound like a light sentence in a cushy prison but is not necessarily always true. Federal white collar crimes often carry sentences that are much more severe than homicide. A lawyer can go over the nature of your charge and inform you of your potential exposure, should you receive a guilty verdict. Criminal charges are too important to ignore or leave off to the last minute; a lawyer can help you prepare.