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Questions and Answers about White-Collar Crime

May 19, 2012
Colson Hicks Eidson

What is White-Collar Crime?

White-collar crime is the generic term describing crimes involving alleged commercial fraud, cheating consumers, swindles, insider trading on the stock market, embezzlement and other forms of dishonest business schemes. The term itself comes from the notion that perpetrators of these types of crimes wear white collars and ties.

What is the Difference Between White-Collar Crimes and Other Crimes?

White-collar crimes, unlike other crimes, do not involve using physical force. Instead, white-collar crimes are often complex and highly technical. It can takes months and even years for investigators to gather enough evidence and make an arrest.

Do the Neighborhood Police Investigate White-Collar Crime?

Usually not. White-collar crimes are often federal crimes and fall under the jurisdiction of the FBI, IRS, U.S. Treasury, U.S. Postal Service, Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. Investigators will typically have a target for their investigation of suspected white-collar offenses. They will spend a significant amount of time monitoring their suspect and gathering enough evidence to present to a grand jury.

State and federal regulatory agencies are over-reaching more than ever in certain areas of business. Being the target of a white-collar investigation and possible indictment can be extremely intimidating.

In our next blog, we will discuss what to do if federal investigators contact you. Do you need a white-collar defense attorney?