White-collar crimes are committed for financial gain. Thus, they are usually non-violent and may go on for years before the victim or law enforcement catches the perpetrator. Examples of white-collar crimes include money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement and bribery. People from any socioeconomic status could commit one of these illegal acts.
If you were to earn money illegally through what appears to be a legitimate endeavor, this is money laundering. Any attempt at hiding the real way you got the money would make an incident a money laundering charge. Other examples include hiding the illegally-obtained cash in offshore bank accounts, claiming the money as gambling winnings, buying an asset and reselling it to turn it into clean money and depositing small amounts of cash over time into a bank account.
Fraud is intentionally deceiving a person or an organization so that they give you funds or property. There are many types of fraud in Michigan, including securities fraud, food stamps fraud, mortgage fraud and home improvement fraud.
Misrepresenting your income in any way to lower your taxes is tax evasion. If you don’t file a tax return when the law requires you to do so, you could face a tax evasion charge.
Misusing funds or property that another person or an organization trusted you with is embezzlement. Most people assume that embezzlement only involves corporations because of the news stories that get attention. However, you could face an embezzlement charge for funds or property under $200 in Michigan. White-collar crimes aren’t just those that deal with large amounts of money or property.
Bribery is attempting to receive preferential treatment in exchange for anything of value. What you offer the person or organization doesn’t have to be money. It’s also important to know that failed attempts at bribery are punishable under Michigan law.
You don’t have to be wealthy for a financially-motivated illegal act to count as a white-collar crime. If you were to break additional laws, then you could face more than one charge.