Every day, the local and national news stations report on crimes against citizens, most of them violent. You may not hear much about nonviolent crimes because they may not harm another person.

Victims of white-collar crimes may be individuals. However, others affected may include businesses, financial institutions, the government and religious organizations.

White-collar crime

The FBI defines white-collar crime as generally nonviolent. Although violence may not occur as a result of this type of crime, it can wreak havoc on companies and cost investors money. White-collar crimes may include the following:

  1. Public corruption covers a wide range of threats that may harm national security. Types of public corruptions are:
  • Prison corruption
  • Border corruption
  • Election crimes

The United States works with other law enforcement agencies in other countries to investigate and combat foreign corruption, such as U.S. citizens who may be complicit in paying bribes to foreign officials.

  1. Health care fraud involves filing false health care claims to gain a profit. Some schemes may include filing duplicate claims for the same date of service, altering dates and billing a non-covered service as a covered service. The government may prosecute anyone who commits these crimes under Title 18 Section 1347 of the United States Code covering health care fraud.
  2. Securities fraud covers illegal activities that involve deceiving investors or manipulating the financial market in some way. These crimes may involve:
  • Ponzi schemes
  • Foreign currency fraud
  • Broker embezzlement
  • Pyramid schemes

Fines for committing a crime such as these may be staggering. Some penalties may only cost $10,000, while others may go up to millions of dollars.

Punishments for white-collar crimes in California may include prison, jail, fines and restitution. The state has an additional law, California Penal Code Section 186.11, which allows for the enhancement of white-collar crime. The judge may add two to five years of prison time if you have two prior white-collar convictions that involve embezzlement or fraud.

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