Although there is no authoritative definition for it, white collar crime has been prosecuted with increasing frequency, especially in the wake of corporate scandals in the early 2000s and the recent economic downturn. Here, San Francisco white collar criminal lawyer Christopher Morales will explain to you what white collar crime is.
Edwin Sutherland first defined white collar crime in 1939 as “approximately…a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.” Since then, there have been many convergent definitions by government agencies, state and federal statutes, legal scholars, and the like.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has characterized white collar crime as a nonviolent crime that involves “traditional notions of deceit, deception, concealment, manipulation, breach of trust, subterfuge or illegal circumvention.” It identifies the actor as an entrepreneur, professional, semi-professional, or anyone with special technical and professional knowledge of business and government who uses his or her special occupational skills to commit such acts of concealment or deceit.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) summarizes white collar crime as “lying, cheating, and stealing.” Almost always, there is an element of theft, fraud, or breach of trust. The person or organization commits these crimes in order: (a) to acquire money, property, or services; (b) evade making a payment or avoid losing money or services; or (c) to gain a personal or business advantage over others.
If you’ve been arrested for a white collar crime, dedicated and experienced San Francisco white collar criminal lawyer Christopher Morales may be able to help you. For a confidential and completely free initial consultation, simply fill out the form on the upper-right hand corner of this page.