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What is a white collar crime?

When you hear the term white collar crime, you may wonder what kind of crime this refers to. The FBI says that a white collar crime is perpetrated by people who work in government or business and usually involves some kind of fraud.

Money laundering is one of the crimes that is considered white collar. This is because people usually gather large amounts of money and use it to finance additional crimes. This money can be accumulated through real estate, international trade and even financial institutions. Money laundering is considered a serious crime because it can damage the reputation of a financial institution.

While you may not see piracy as a serious crime, this is considered to be a white collar crime. Identity theft is also included in this category and so are many kinds of scams. Health care fraud and mortgage fraud are two kinds of scams that affect specific industries. Investment fraud and scams involving promissory notes are both considered to be a form of securities and commodities fraud, as are pyramid and Ponzi schemes.

Corporate fraud also falls under white collar crimes. This includes trades that are intended to hide a financial loss or misrepresenting the value of a company's net assets. Tax violations and insider trading are also forms of corporate fraud. White collar crimes are serious because of the impact they can have on your life. If you unknowingly invest in a scam, you sometimes risk losing your savings. If you own a company, your company can be ruined if an employee commits one of these crimes.

This information is general in nature. It should not be used in place of legal advice.

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