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What is White Collar Crime

White collar crimes are financially motivated nonviolent crimes committed by people and business and often involves fraud, embezzlement, insider trading, and other forms of deceit for personal or corporate gain. A white collar crime conviction and sentence in generally based on the level of involvement and the dollar loss exposure. 

1. Securities Fraud:

Involves deceptive practices in the stock and commodities markets such as insider trading or presenting false information on a company’s financial statement. The applicable statutes are the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Investigated by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). Penalties include fines, restitution, and imprisonment.

2. Insurance Fraud:

This crime involves fraudulent activities against insurance companies, such as falsifying claims to gain insurance money. It is governed by both federal and state laws, such as 18 U.S.C. § 1033 and § 1034. It is primarily investigated by the FBI. Penalties can include fines and imprisonment.

3. Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud:

Involves using interstate mail or electronic communications to carry out a scheme to defraud. It is covered under 18 U.S.C. § 1341 for mail fraud and 18 U.S.C. § 1343 for wire fraud. The USPS (United States Postal Inspection Service) and FBI are typically involved in these investigations. Penalties include fines and imprisonment.

4. Credit Card Fraud:

This involves unauthorized use of credit card information to illegally obtain funds or to purchase goods and services. This crime is typically prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. § 1029. Investigated by the Secret Service and FBI. Penalties include fines and imprisonment.

5. Tax Evasion:

A form of tax fraud involving the deliberate underpayment or non-payment of taxes owed to the government. It is prosecuted under 26 U.S.C. § 7201. Investigated by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). Penalties include fines, imprisonment, and repayment of back taxes with interest.

6. Embezzlement:

Involves dishonestly withholding assets for the purpose of conversion (theft) of those assets by one or more individuals to whom the assets were entrusted. The applicable statute is 18 U.S.C. § 656. Often investigated by the FBI. Penalties can include fines, restitution, and imprisonment.

7. Money Laundering:

 Involves the process of making illegally-gained proceeds appear legal by disguising the sources of this money. It is punishable under 18 U.S.C. § 1956 and § 1957. Investigated by various agencies including the FBI, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), and IRS. Penalties include fines, forfeiture of assets, and imprisonment.

8. Bankruptcy Fraud:

 Involves the concealment of assets, misrepresentation, deceit, or other fraudulent actions related to a bankruptcy proceeding. It is covered under 18 U.S.C. § 152. Investigated by the FBI. Penalties can include fines and imprisonment.

9. Health Care Fraud:

 Involves filing dishonest health care claims to turn a profit, often perpetrated by health care providers or consumers. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) includes provisions against this kind of fraud. Investigated by the FBI and HHS (Department of Health and Human Services). Penalties include fines, imprisonment, and exclusion from participation in federal health care programs.

10. Identity Theft:

Involves the deliberate use of someone else’s identifying information, usually for financial gain. It is generally prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. § 1028. Investigated by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and FBI. Penalties include fines and imprisonment.

11. Bank Fraud 

(18 USC 1343): Involves using deceitful means to obtain money or assets from a financial institution. Sentencing may result in significant fines and a lengthy prison term.

12. Conspiracies

An agreement between two or more parties to commit a crime at some point in the future. Sentencing depends on the intended crime, ranging from fines to imprisonment.

13. Embezzlement

Misappropriation of funds placed in one’s trust or belonging to one’s employer. Sentences include restitution, fines, and prison, with severity based on the amount embezzled.

14. Mortgage Fraud

Intentionally misrepresenting information on a mortgage application. Penalties can range from fines to prison time, depending on the fraud’s scale.

15. Perjury 

Willfully lying under oath. Sentencing can result in fines and incarceration, reflecting the gravity of undermining the judicial process.

16. Obstruction of Justice

Interfering with the administration and due process of the law. Sentencing varies, including fines and imprisonment, based on the obstruction’s impact.

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