What is a White Collar Crime?

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Since the mortgage crisis and housing market collapse of 2008, white collar crime has been the subject of much media attention. But what, exactly, is white collar crime?

There is no precise legal definition of white collar crime, nor a specific list of offenses which fit the definition. Rather, “white collar crime” is a broad term for certain financially motivated crimes that typically involve deceit. Types of white collar crime include the following:

  • Embezzlement
  • Money laundering
  • Identity theft
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Internet crimes
  • Bankruptcy fraud

Even if the scheme is unsuccessful and the perpetrator does not actually profit, he or she can still be guilty of a crime.

White collar crime became a hot new topic in the early twenty-first century, as executives at Enron were aggressively prosecuted for fraud on a massive scale in 2000. Yet Wall Street emerged unscathed from the negative publicity and continued to maintain a culture of irresponsibility that led to the mortgage crisis of 2008. Once again, fraud was discovered on a massive, pervasive scale. The negative publicity hit Wall Street this time, and executive bonuses were a particular target of hostile media attention. There were also knee-jerk reactions in federal regulation. Yet, in the years since, the regulation and media scrutiny have died down considerably. The International Business Times rhetorically ponders whether the U.S. government has stopped caring about white collar crime.         

Of course, white collar crime is not just committed on a large-scale, national basis. Individual mortgage brokers, stock brokers, accountants, financial advisors, and other professionals can commit white collar crimes in a single transaction or against a single client. When this happens, financial professionals need an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect their legal rights. Victims, too, have legal rights in the criminal justice system, and an experienced criminal defense attorney can also represent the victim to secure criminal restitution for his or her losses. 

Call Randolph Rice Today to Speak with a Baltimore Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a white collar crime—or if you have been the victim of such a crime—you need the skilled legal advice of a Maryland criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Randolph Rice, Jr. has decades of experience in protecting the rights of criminal defendants and crime victims in the Baltimore area and throughout the state of Maryland. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule your free consultation today.


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