The term white-collar crime derives from the most common offender, which are people in high-end, respectable professions. There are several types of white-collar crime in Vista, California, though some occur more often than others.
Overview of white-collar crime
A white-collar crime is typically a nonviolent fraudulent act committed for financial gain by a group or individual. The FBI, the main investigating agency, defines them as schemes “characterized by deceit, trust violation, and concealment”. “White-collar” is a reference to the “suit and tie” atmosphere of professionals in office and management jobs who shun physical work.
Typical offenders are married white males in their late 30s to early 40s from middle-class backgrounds with some advanced education. Studies report less than 10% of women have been charged with white-collar crimes, with 8.6% involved in income tax fraud.
Types of white-collar crimes
A common white-collar crime is a Ponzi scheme, a scam that promises investors a huge return. The scheme’s name comes from Charles Ponzi, a swindler, who found a way to profit from foreign postage stamps. The scam appears to be lucrative, but the profits come from newer investors, and it soon fails without enough new recruits.
Money laundering is making illegal money look clean, commonly through a series of small transactions in different institutions. Offenders may also try to hide money through real estate, gambling, counterfeiting, and starting a shell company.
Insider trading involves getting access to information on stocks and other securities that are not known to the public. This is considered a breach of fiduciary duty, because it gives others an advantage to help them avoid financial losses.
The government takes white-collar crimes seriously because of the impact on the economy. A conviction could result in jail time and hefty fines, but the accused party may challenge the charges.