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What are some common types of white collar crime?

While white collar crimes are not usually associated with violence, they are still taken very seriously by law enforcement. Many types of offenses fall into this category, all of which are enacted in pursuit of financial gain by unlawful means. FBI.gov offers the following insight into common white collar crimes.

Money laundering

The concept behind money laundering is relatively simple. When money is gained through illegal means it must be funneled through a legitimate channel to avoid detection by law enforcement. This can involve many different scenarios, such as buying real estate, trading on the international market, investing in gems or precious metals, and converting it to virtual currency like bitcoin. The goal is to make the ill-gotten funds look as though they came from a legitimate source.

Securities and commodities fraud

Ponzi and pyramid schemes both involve compensating current investors with money obtained from new investors, and both often have complex structures that make it hard for participants to comprehend. With pyramid schemes, investors receive more funding the more people they introduce to the scheme, which incentivizes participation. With market manipulation, penny stocks, which are stocks valued at less than a dollar, are sold with an inflated price using manipulative sales tactics and misinformation. There is also broker embezzlement, in which brokers use nefarious means to steal funds directly from clients.

Corporate fraud

Corporate fraud can entail internal theft, which includes using corporate property for personal means, as well as insider trading, which involves using information not known to the public to boost the value of your stocks. Tampering with financial information to increase profits is also unlawful, as is misrepresenting a business’s financial status for tax purposes.

 

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