White-Collar Crimes in Business

A white-collar crime refers to any criminally illegal action by the accused party which is committed while conducting business, in order to gain illegal financial advantage of any sort. It does most often include nonviolent actions, but depending on the particular case, the effects could cause financial and/or indirect physical harm to multiple victims of the crime. Taking a look at some of the most common white-collar crimes helps us understand the definition and extent of the term better.

Corporate Fraud

Corporate fraud is likely the most common term in white-collar crime, and although we only hear about the really big ones like the accounting fraud with Enron or the falsification of profits by America’s biggest trash management corporation, Waste Management, the FBI reports that numerous corporate frauds are committed every single year, where companies or particular individuals in the corporations try to cook the books or steal money in some other way.


Embezzlement refers to a long range of crimes, but it can be defined at its core as the act of stealing or utilizing funds through the use of his/her position in the business or any other institution for private gains, that do not belong to the person or company. Politicians and accountants are often the most common professionals associated with embezzlement.

Ponzi Schemes

A Ponzi scheme can be the worst kind of white collar crime as it can and often has allowed criminals to steal the lifetime earnings of multiple hardworking Americans over the years. While there are variations, it mostly consists of promising impossibly high returns with zero risks. The people running the scheme keep paying the investors initially and for as long as they can attract new investors. Once the number of new investors shrinks, the schemers usually run with the money or declare bankruptcy, effectively stealing the money of everyone who invested in their scheme.

How Serious is a White-Collar Crime?

The severity of a white-collar crime is often downplayed by pop culture and mass media, leading us to believe that it isn’t something very serious, which is just about as far away from the truth as possible.

Unfortunately, even errors in accounting can be turned against a business under certain circumstances and a respected businessman can be labeled as a criminal soon after. If you are ever charged with something similar, you need a criminal defense lawyer who understands and handles white-collar criminal cases on a regular basis, to clear your name and retain your reputation.

In New Mexico, things can get particularly complicated as the state laws regarding any crime are among the strictest in all fifty states. Put in a call to the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices and hire a criminal defense lawyer to defend a party accused with anything from ID theft and forgery, to wire frauds, embezzlement and bank fraud. Seeking legal help is extremely important and the party should refrain from saying anything before the representative lawyer arrives at the scene, even if arrested and interrogated by the law officials.

If you sense someone is at risk of being arrested or detained on the accusation of any white-collar crime, it is important to not take it lightly, since certain scenarios can lead to a lifetime of prison sentences, after being proven guilty of multiple offences. Declaring the crimes might even be necessary, but never take a single step without first consulting with your attorney.