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What are white-collar crimes?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Criminal Defense

White-collar crimes are those that aren’t violent but are instead committed in an effort to facilitate financial gain. They are distinguished by violations of trust and marked by deceit. In some cases, they’re concealed for prolonged periods.

These crimes involve the manipulation of financial transactions, corporate structures or personal data to obtain or conceal money, property or services unlawfully. Understanding some of the more common white-collar crimes provide an insight into their complexities and how to avoid being accused of these kinds of wrongdoing.


Embezzlement is a white-collar crime where someone in a position of trust or responsibility over someone else’s assets or property unlawfully takes it for their own use. This crime can range from an employee diverting small amounts from a company’s accounts to executives misappropriating large sums of investor funds.

The key element that defines embezzlement is the breach of trust. The person legally has access to the money or property but uses it in ways that the owner doesn’t authorize. Detection and prosecution of embezzlement require thorough financial audits and a deep understanding of the legal frameworks governing financial stewardship and responsibility.


Fraud is a broad white-collar crime category involving obtaining money, property or services through deceit. Common types of white-collar crime include:

  • Securities fraud: Investors are misled about the health or activities of a company
  • Insurance fraud: False claims to receive payouts
  • Identity theft: Personal information is stolen to gain access to financial resources or credit

Fraud crimes hinge on the misrepresentation of facts, whether by omission or active deception when victims rely on these falsehoods to their detriment. Legal proceedings for fraud cases often center on proving the intent to deceive and the resultant harm to the victims.

People who are facing white-collar crime charges should ensure they have legal assistance to review the case against them. Determining a defense strategy can be a complex undertaking, partially because of the lengthy paper trail in these cases. Because of the vast amount of information that’s involved in these matters, it’s best to get started on the defense strategy immediately once charges come to light.