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The demographics of white collar crime

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2020 | Criminal Defense

White-collar crimes are typically nonviolent crimes committed for some sort of financial gain. Victims of such crimes are often large companies or affluent people or professionals. Examples of such crimes include fraudulent schemes, including securities fraud, insurance fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, identity theft and more.

Because of the nature of white-collar crimes, Forbes explains that suspects in these cases are commonly outside of what many people associate with “criminals.” A quick search of recent white-collar crime cases can reveal this. Recent defendants in white collar prosecutions include celebrities, professionals, millionaires and more. The reasoning behind the surprising demographics of those who commit or are suspected of committing white-collar crimes can generally be tied to the following characteristics:

1. They are a respected member of the community

Those convicted of white-collar crimes are often respected members of the communities in which they live. People think of them as role models and nice people. They often live in nice houses and may even do a lot for the community through charitable work. They appear to be model citizens. 

2. They have earned a high level of trust

One characteristic of those who commit white-collar crimes is that they are often in a position of trust. They can initially get away with the crimes because nobody suspects they would do something like that. Everyone around them trusts them to do the right thing and to have high ethical standards. 

3. They have a clean background 

Most people who end up with a white-collar crime conviction have no previous criminal background. This is the person’s first encounter with the law. The people who know them would never guess they were even capable of committing a crime. 

4. Nobody would expect it

The defining characteristic is that in most cases, nobody ever suspects this person would break the law in any way. They are shocked that the person committed a crime. 

Charges for white-collar crimes or employment crimes can put a lot at stake. Your career, reputation and financial standing may all be on the line. Those facing charges may benefit from seeking the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney from the start.