What is White-Collar Crime?

August 14, 2019

A white-collar crime is a type of non-violent crime perpetrated by people or corporate entities to defraud unsuspecting individuals, customers, or the public to secure financial or business advantages. These crimes can have dire impacts on investors and individuals who placed trust in a deceitful individual or institution. Many criminal offences ranging from elaborate corporate fraud to low-key scams fall under white-collar crimes.

Ponzi Schemes

One of the most high-profile types of white-collar crimes is a Ponzi scheme, which in recent years has been associated with Bernie Madoff, who falsely inflated the figures related to his fund’s earnings to attract investors. Madoff then used the money from these new participants to pay off departing clients until the money ran out and it became apparent that the fund did not have enough money to repay its stakeholders.

Securities Fraud

A common type of securities fraud is insider trading, which is when a person uses confidential corporate knowledge to make investment decisions. Another type of securities fraud involves a person or entity that inflates the worth of an asset to entice investors; these false statements amount to fraud.

Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud can be perpetrated by private individuals or companies that misstate circumstances to support an invalid claim to collect on an insurance policy.

Bankruptcy Fraud

Persons or companies may commit a crime if they hide assets in a bankruptcy filing. Once a debtor files, the lending institution becomes unable to collect on debts owed if the filing party shows that they are unable to pay. If the filer leaves out information with the intention to conceal the truth that they do, in fact, have the means to pay the debts, that constitutes fraud.

Tax Evasion

Paying a reduced amount in taxes than required by law becomes a crime if the tax paperwork is filed with inaccurate or incomplete information. Tax evasion can take the form of personal tax records that misrepresent earnings or a business lies to avoid taxes.

Money Laundering

Money laundering is another instance of criminal concealment of income. Laundering money occurs when money from criminal activity is mixed with legally obtained money, which is then deposited or invested into a series of accounts or investments to obscure its source.


Embezzlement occurs when a bookkeeper or someone trusted with access to business or private finances skims some of the money off the top. Often, embezzlement is carried out a little at a time over an extended period so as not to draw attention to the missing money.


Extortion is committed by crime syndicates or others who collect money from local businesses for the services of protecting against trouble, a veiled threat. Blackmail being demanded to keep embarrassing secrets from going public is another type of extortion.

West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Heather J. Mattes Represent Clients Accused of White-Collar Crimes

If you have been accused of a white-collar crime, the West Chester criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Heather J. Mattes can assist you in proving your innocence. For a free consultation, call us at 610-431-7900 or submit an online contact form today. Located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Chester County, Bucks County, Delaware County, Lehigh County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.

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