If you work in Michigan, you may benefit from learning more about the five most common white collar crimes. By definition, white collar crimes are non-violent offenses that involve the theft of money from businesses. These crimes are typically committed by high-level, influential employees, like executives or management, who possess sophisticated knowledge about the inner workings of the business. The most common examples are fraud, bribery, extortion, embezzlement, and cybercrime.
Fraud involves an employee misrepresenting company facts under pretense for financial gain. Victims suffer financially when acting on misinformation. Fraud is one of the most common types of white collar crimes as it’s frequently involved in crimes like corporate fraud, money laundering, and securities fraud. Corporate fraud may involve multiple perpetrators and could ultimately injure thousands of shareholders and citizens. Money laundering attempts to hide illegal income by using a legitimate business as a front.
Bribery and extortion
Bribery involves offering, requests, giving, or obtaining something valuable in exchange for influencing the decision process. All parties involved in any active or passive bribery may be prosecuted. Common examples of these types of white collar crimes often involve employment contracts, lobbying public officials, expediting a process, or gaining access. Extortion involves coercing someone through intimidation or threats. Blackmail, ransomware, and protection schemes are common examples of someone trying to pressure a victim into relinquishing something of value.
Embezzlement and cybercrime
Embezzlement involves someone using company money for anything aside from its intended use. Oftentimes, perpetrators create fake invoices, charge the company for the cost and keep the money for themselves. These perpetrators may be held criminally and civilly liable. Cybercrimes involve using the internet to commit crimes like identify theft, phishing for private information, or ransomware holding sensitive information hostage in exchange for money.