White-collar crime refers to non-violent offenses that typically involve financial schemes or fraudulent activity. While most people associate the term with corporate America and large-scale scandals, white-collar crime can include something as simple as writing a bad check.
Often, a white-collar crime begins as something small and seemingly inconsequential, such as falsifying information on a tax form. However, even a small “white lie” can lead to serious criminal consequences.
Examples of White-Collar Crimes
- Identity theft
- Tax evasion
- Copyright infringement
- Insider trading
The penalties for a white-collar crime depend largely on the specific circumstances of the case and the value of the assets involved. Generally speaking, crimes involving less than $500 will be charged as a misdemeanor, which may be punished by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.
If the crime involved more than $500, it will typically be prosecuted as a felony. The penalties for a felony conviction can range between one and 10 years in prison and fines between $5,000 and $10,000 plus restitution.