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An Introduction To White Collar Crime

white collar crime

What do you think of when you hear the word crime? It likely calls to mind the gruesome murders, tragic kidnappings and violent robberies so often covered on the daily news. But physical violence and gritty street crime aren’t the only types of criminal activity; in fact, some of the most elaborate and devastating acts of crime are committed comfortably behind a desk. Today we’ll begin the first in a series of posts about white collar crime, exploring its definition and common characteristics.

What Is White Collar Crime?

The working definition of white collar crime is “financially motivated, nonviolent crime committed by individuals, businesses and government professionals.” The term was first used in the late 1930s by Edwin Sutherland, an American sociologist. His original definition was “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of their occupation.” 

Common White Collar Crimes

You’ve likely heard about some of the more common white collar crimes: Ponzi schemes, embezzlement, fraud, insider trading and cyber crime. Wage theft, bribery, labor racketeering, copyright infringement; forgery, money laundering and identity theft are also considered white collar crimes. In the following weeks we’ll be exploring some of the specific white collar crimes listed above in an attempt to understand the other, less conspicuous side of crime.

Nonviolent Doesn’t Mean Harmless

Don’t be deceived by the nonviolent nature of white collar crime; the implications of these offenses can often far outreach common crimes of violence and theft. The illicit activities of companies and high-level employees usually involve immense sums of money. Because the perpetrators tend to be high-status people in positions of power, the consequences of their misdeeds can affect a vast number of employees, patrons and investors; the ripple effect of such crimes can result in widespread financial ruin, familial poverty and even suicide. Not so harmless after all.

Tangled Up In White Collar Crime? Mark Catanzaro Can Help!

Have you or someone you love been accused of white collar crime? The consequences of conviction can be considerable, and legal defense is imperative. Mark Catanzaro is experienced in handling white collar crime cases and is ready to represent you and defend your innocence. If you or anyone you know is considering a crime of this nature, remember that a white collar doesn’t mean a clean getaway; your crimes can result in anything from exorbitant fines to decades in prison. Keep your conscience as clean as your collar.


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