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What Are White Collar Crimes?

Common White Collar Crimes

The term "white-collar crime" is more of a term of art than an actual legal definition. The term is used to describe those prosecuted crimes that are inherently nonviolent and involve either fraud or dishonesty. White collar crime frequently involves financially motivated crimes committed by business executives or government officials.


These crimes are almost always financial in nature as opposed to more "physical" crimes such as assault and battery. The term “white-collar” comes from the fact that they are often perpetrated by professionals who are in a position of trust with respect to the assets of other people.


These types of crimes typically cause a significant loss for an individual or company. One unique aspect of a white collar crime is that a suspect will often not know they are under investigation until weeks, or even months have passed since the crime occurred. Many types of white collar offenses are a federal crime.


If you are under investigation or already charged with a white collar offense, contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at our law firm to closely examine the details and talk about immediate legal options. Don’t make any statements to police or federal agents as you may incriminate yourself.


Nonviolent white-collar crimes are considered to be serious crimes throughout Los Angeles County. In fact, the number of white-collar crime prosecutions has continued to increase in the state of California. Embezzlement, which involves the theft of property or money by an individual in a position of trust, is a very common criminal offense in Los Angeles. 


Common Examples of White Collar Crimes

A white collar crime refers to a wide variety of criminal acts, but some of the most common include the following:



Anyone can commit a white-collar crime, despite its name. While white-collar crimes occur more often in corporate settings, their commission is not exclusive to such a setting.


The Popularity of Embezzlement

Money makes the world go around. For many, this statement rings true. Individuals need money to pay for housing, food, and other necessities. Money is also necessary to purchase our desired luxuries.


The need for money can lead individuals to want to take some money to which they have access. Embezzlement occurs whenever an individual abuses their position of trust and misappropriates another's money or property.


Although stories regarding embezzlement tend to involve corporate executives and public official, embezzlement can be committed by any individual in a position of trust. This may include an accountant or even a secretary.


Embezzlement can be charged as both a felony and a misdemeanor in California. The classification will depend on different factors including the total value embezzled, whether or not the victims are of a protected class, and whether or not the funds embezzled were public funds.


Defending White Collar Crimes

Individuals charged with committing a white-collar crime do not forfeit their rights or legal defenses. Often, the general public finds white-collar crimes to be reprehensible and not deserving of legal counsel. This couldn't be more incorrect.


A prosecutor must always demonstrate that the defendant committed each element of the white-collar crime. If a prosecutor cannot prove that the defendant committed all the elements of the crime, the defendant cannot be found guilty. Moreover, a defendant may still raise legal defenses that negate elements of a crime.


A lack of legal counsel could result in many people who are actually innocent being found guilty unnecessarily. Some common legal defenses raised by an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney in white-collar crime cases include the following:



Impact of White-collar Crime Convictions

White-collar crimes convictions can have a negative impact on an individual's professional and personal relationships. A conviction can keep an individual from employment opportunities.


It may have a lasting financial impact, and even ruin relationships with family and friends. Importantly, people who are convicted of white-collar crimes may experience extremely significant professional consequences as a result of their criminal record.


White-collar crimes tend to involve dishonesty or deceit, which are often taken extremely seriously by professional licensing authorities and employers who are in a position of trust with respect to the assets of others. As a result, if a professional person engages in fraudulent or deceitful conduct for financial gain, it could make it impossible to find similar employment in the future.


Call a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

White-collar offenses are serious crimes with lasting impact. Fortunately for the accused, not every allegation of a white-collar crime leads to a conviction. There are often many ways that a skilled lawyer can mitigate the potential consequences a defendant is facing. 


You should consider contacting the experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Eisner Gorin LLP if you or a family member has been charged with a white collar crime. Our skilled lawyers are ready to help. Contact us by calling 877-781-1570.