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What is Defined as a White-Collar Crime?

White-collar crimes are financial crimes that often involve a detailed plan to deceive the victims; the penalties vary according to the complexity of the crime and the amount stolen.

The term ‘white-collar crime’ is somewhat outdated. The phrase calls to mind unscrupulous businessmen wearing, yes, white-collared shirts under their suit jackets, forging a paper trail with pen and paper to obscure the origin of the stacks of banknotes in their briefcases. Even before the pandemic, it was generally accepted that not everyone with the means to commit major financial crimes wears a business suit or works in an office. Whether you were working from home or scamming from home, white-collar crime charges can still apply if you were using your mobile phone and wearing your pajamas. If you are facing criminal charges for embezzlement, identity fraud, or any other financial crime, contact an Atlanta white-collar crimes defense lawyer.

Common Types of White-Collar Crimes

These are examples of criminal offenses included in the definition of white-collar crime:

  • Financial identity fraud – As defined by Georgia Code section 16.9.121, financial identity fraud is when you use someone else’s identifying information, such as a social security number or bank account number, to make a financial transaction without the person’s consent. Financial identity fraud charges still apply if the victim was deceased at the time of the crime. They also apply if the victim consented to you knowing their identifying information but did not authorize you to make the transaction.
  • Embezzlement – Embezzlement, also known as theft by conversion, is when you use funds that have been made available to you for a specific purpose in an unauthorized way. It often involves diverting money from a company for which you work to your personal bank account or using it to make personal purchases.
  • Securities fraud – Also known as insider trading, securities fraud is when a member of the investment profession intentionally provides information about the value of certain investments from some parties while intentionally withholding it from others.
  • Money laundering – Money laundering is when you falsify financial records to make it look like money obtained by illegal means (such as through the sale of illegal drugs) is revenue from a legitimate business (such as a restaurant).

Penalties for White-Collar Crime

Even though white-collar crimes are non-violent, they can still result in felony charges, hefty fines, and long prison sentences. The sentence will depend on the specifics of the crime. The court might also order you to pay restitution, which is when you return the stolen money. If you are facing criminal charges for a white-collar offense, it is important to work with a skilled criminal defense lawyer.

Was it a Financial Crime or Just a Record-Keeping Mistake?

If you get criminal charges for making illegal transactions or falsifying financial records, a white-collar crimes defense lawyer can help you. Contact Ghanayem and Rayasam in Atlanta, Georgia about your criminal charges for financial identity fraud, theft by conversion, embezzlement, insider trading, or any other financial crime.