White collar crimes are generally nonviolent offenses that involve dishonesty, corruption, misrepresentation, deception, and/or monetary losses for fraudulent purposes. These offenses often occur in connection with a business, government functions, and/or business transactions, which can be committed by public officials, elected representatives, business professionals, government employees, entrepreneurs, and/or civilian contractors. However, it’s important to note that anyone can face this type of allegation. Any Texas criminal lawyer with experience knows that these are some of the toughest cases to win because the government doesn’t play fair.
When someone commits this type of crime, a financial motive and fraudulent activity are usually involved. These accusations are serious and the resulting charges can carry severe penalties, including significant fines and lengthy prison sentences. Both state and federal authorities may prosecute these offenses.
It’s important to mention that some offenses have different names when tried in state court, as opposed to the federal level. For instance, theft is often classified as embezzlement in Texas. That being said, here’s a quick overview of three common white collar crimes frequently committed in Texas.
Common White Collar Crimes
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- Bribery–This offense involves the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of goods and/or compensation to influence the actions of a business or an individual who holds a legal or public duty. This represents a white collar offense in which both the briber and payee could be criminally charged.
- Computer & Internet Fraud–This type of offense is a form of cybercrime and it utilizes a PCU, as well as an Internet connection, to misrepresent data to either encourage or discourage another to do something that can result in financial and/or another form of loss (e.g. hacking, phishing, personal data breach, identity theft, etc.).
- Embezzlement–This crime involves the theft, or misappropriation, of funds or property placed in someone’s trust or belonging to an employer (past or present). This offense is considered embezzlement whether someone holds onto the ill-gotten goods or transfers the gains to another entity or third party.
Additional forms of white collar crimes could include health care fraud, tax evasion, insurance fraud, money laundering, corporate fraud, credit card fraud, bankruptcy fraud, bank fraud, and/or other types of corruption that can lead to monetary gain or benefit. The FBI claims these types of offenses account for monetary losses of over $300 billion annually within the U.S. alone. Furthermore, with the advent of the technological age, it’s a form of crime that’s increasing exponentially and the culprits linked to committing these offenses are often atypical and permeate all walks of life.