According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the term “white
collar crime” was reportedly coined in 1939. Today,
white collar crime is associated with a wide range of fraudulent crimes, which are often
committed by businessmen, corporate officers, and government professionals.
Sometimes they’re also committed by everyday individuals who engage
in complex scams.
White collar crimes involve concealment, lying, cheating, stealing, and
deceit, and violations of trust, however, they are not dependent on threats
of force or physical violence.
With white collar crimes, the motivation is always financial – the
purpose is to obtain goods or services, or money, to avoid losing money,
or to secure some kind of a personal or financial advantage.
The FBI makes it clear that white collar crimes are not victimless. One
scam for example, can wipe out a couple’s entire life savings, it
can cause investors to lose billions, and it can destroy a company.
With advances in technology, today’s
fraud scams have reached the highest level of sophistication, and that’s
one of the reasons why the FBI has dedicated entire teams to tracking
down white collar criminals and prosecuting them in federal court.
FBI agents don’t work alone to hunt down fraudsters; they team up
with various agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission,
the Internal Revenue Service, the Treasury Department’s Financial
Crimes Enforcement Network and others to target the scam artists that
are trying to harm individuals and the American economy.
Some of the major threats include:
Are all white collar crimes prosecuted in federal court?
Many white collar crimes are criminalized under both state and federal
law, while others are solely illegal under federal law. For example, identity
theft is criminalized under both
If a crime violates state and federal legislation, the state and federal
prosecutors will decide whether to prosecute in state or federal court.
As a general rule, if a crime violates state and federal law, the penalties for the
federal offense are significantly higher than the penalties for the same offense on the
Are you facing state or federal charges for a white collar crime, such
as identity theft or healthcare fraud? If so,
contact our Plano and Dallas criminal defense firm today!