White-collar crimes are in general a group of non-violent crimes with the motive of financial gain. The term derives from the most common offenders, prominent people in financial professions. There are several types of white-collar crimes in Vista, California, that are the most common and come with stiff penalties.
Ponzi schemes are investment schemes that rank high among the commonly committed financial crimes taking the name from con artist Charles Ponzi. He promised investors they could make double the money with little risk by investing in his postal coupon scheme.
It seems like the scheme works, but the profit comes from the money of other investors. However, the scam needs new clients to keep paying the old recruits, or they soon fail.
Embezzlement occurs when someone misuses property or money placed in their care, such as an executor or cashier. Examples of embezzlement include:
- an employee taking money from the register
- someone using charitable proceeds for their own benefit
- taking company supplies home
- selling an heir’s property without telling them
- cashing a relative’s Social Security check without permission
The offender commonly funnels money into their account and falsifies records to avoid detection, which could continue for years. Embezzlers aren’t always off the hook after the sentencing, since civil suits can be filed against them.
Money laundering is an attempt to conceal large amounts of money, so it appears to come from legal transactions. The first stage is called placement, in which the offender deposits the illegal money in a legal financial institution.
The “laundering” part involves depositing small amounts of money to make it look legitimate, which is the layering stage. The integration stage involves the money making it back to the offender in a legal setting, such as a restaurant.
White-collar crimes may include penalties of fines, incarceration, and restitution. However, the prosecution must prove the defendant committed these crimes intentionally.