What is White Collar Crime?
Examples of White Collar Crimes
If a politician takes campaign funds from a corporation but shows that the money was donated by an individual, a white collar crime has been committed because the politician is covering up the origin of the funds.
When you hear in the news that an executive, maybe a CFO, embezzled (stole) funds from a company, a white collar criminal lawyer is hired to defend the embezzler accused of the white collar crime.
Criminal money laundering is another form of white collar crime. People often associate money laundering with the mob or with drug dealers. But money laundering is the hiding or the “cleaning” of where money comes from.
A person or business that tries to hide money’s source may be accused of money laundering. Money laundering is the use of “dirty” money—money that was earned, donated, provided, sourced from an illegal source—but is shown to come from a “clean” legal source.
When a senior citizen is scammed out of life savings, this is a non-violent crime that requires a white collar attorney.
Financial firms that handle securities for funds, groups, businesses, individuals, non-profit organizations need a white collar lawyer if funds are improperly invested, invested for clients without permission, or invested or used for illicit procedures.
When a brokerage firm intentionally sells fake products to investors that are told fraudulent information, a white collar crime has been committed and a white collar attorney is needed.
White Collar Criminal Attorney vs. Criminal Attorney
If someone is in a situation where they’ve either been charged with a white collar crime or they’re being investigated, let’s say, for some type of white collar activity that might be criminal they have to be clear that they need a white collar lawyer.
Looking for a criminal lawyer is often the first step. However, the criminal law firms that are contacted may turn you down as you look for representation. They may tell you that you need a different kind of criminal lawyer: a white collar lawyer because the crime is non-violent.
Yes, fraud, embezzlement, Ponzi schemes, money laundering, political fund misuse, political financial corruption and securities fraud are white collar non-violent crimes that require a white collar attorney.
White Collar Lawyers Handle Financial Fraud
White collar lawyers handle schemes and fraud that are non-violent crimes intent on deceiving one or many parties. Whether it’s dealing with a sale of stock or fraudulent investments or something along that line, a white collar criminal defense attorney needs some sort of special knowledge in white collar law.
Or are they an attorney who is, let’s say a very good criminal lawyer who got their friends’ kid off of a robbery charge? That is not white collar crime: white collar crime is non-violent.
And the answer is you most definitely need a different kind of lawyer. There are many, many extremely good criminal lawyers in Orlando. So when you’re talking about any crime for example driving while intoxicated (DWI or DUI) to armed robbery to spousal abuse to drug trafficking or any one of those that we would typically call blue collar or violent crimes.
But criminal lawyers should not be involved in white collar law activity. And the reason I would have that opinion is because you need to understand the business environment in which this alleged crime is supposed to have occurred.
For instance, if it has to do with let’s say some criminal activity in the sale of unregistered securities. Well if you don’t know anything about the securities business, stocks and bonds, and the types of activity that are now considered criminal in that area, then you may be a brilliant defense lawyer, but you’re now a defense lawyer who’s having to talk in a language that you don’t understand.