White-collar crimes typically refer to non-violent, financially-motivated crimes committed by business professionals or government officials. These crimes can range from fraud and forgery to insider trading and bribery to Ponzi schemes and identity theft. Even though these crimes are non-violent in nature, they can result in life in prison for extreme cases. The term “white collar crime” was reportedly coined in the late 1930s to refer to “a crime committed by person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.”

The biggest concern with white collar crimes is that they usually go undetected for years or even decades. Eventually, a person may find themselves “in too deep” and not know how to get out. It is also not uncommon for those involved in white collar criminal activity to point fingers at innocent bystanders, dragging them into the situation they have created. If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a white collar crime, you want to ensure that your chosen criminal defense attorney is experienced in dealing with defending white collar crime accusations.

Here at Alex R. Hernandez Jr., Criminal Law, our criminal defense attorneys and staff are ready to put together a case for you, regardless of what crimes you have been accused of. Please do not hesitate to contact us for legal aid during this stressful time. While we cannot guarantee outcomes, we can assure you that we are tough, persistent, knowledgeable, and ready to assist you in your case from our office to the courtroom if needed. Keep reading to learn more about some different types of white collar crimes.

Common Examples Of White Collar Crimes

Ponzi Scheme

A Ponzi scheme is similar to a pyramid scheme, though they do have their differences. In a pyramid scheme, the person at the top presents those under them with the opportunity to make their own money. In a Ponzi scheme, the person at the top asks those under them to invest their money, and the “schemer” will handle the rest. Early investors in Ponzi schemes are paid with money given by newer investors and new investors are left without returns.

Embezzlement

Embezzlement is one of the first words that get thrown around when talking about white collar crime. Embezzlement is when a person misuses funds that are entrusted to them, such as when an employee siphons money from an employer into a personal account. Sometimes this is a one-time transaction, whereas other cases involve years of transactions.

Insider Trading

Employees, officers, directors, and other higher-ups of public companies are legally permitted to buy shares for that company. However, this becomes insider trading when said “insiders” use non-public information to inform their moves concerning trading, buying, or selling stock in that company. While it may seem harmless, this is considered illegal because it allows certain shareholders to profit more than a typical investor would. It is also considered insider trading to tip off friends about non-public information that could impact the way they trade their shares.

Insurance Fraud

Fraud refers to any sort of unlawful gain or the deprivation of legal rights to a victim. Insurance fraud, in particular, refers to filing a fraudulent insurance claim with the intent of securing financial gains. There are two main types of this. The first is hard fraud, which refers to executing a plan or scheme in order to gain insurance money. This can be something like setting your home on fire to claim insurance money, selling your car and reporting it stolen, or purposefully getting into an auto accident. Soft fraud, on the other hand, is more of an opportunistic incident that involves policyholders exaggerating otherwise truthful claims. For example, a person may get into an auto accident and report the damage to be greater than it actually is. It can also be considered soft fraud to omit pre-existing conditions in order to receive a lower health insurance premium. Depending on the severity of the situation, consequences for insurance fraud can vary significantly. It is important, then, to have an experienced fraud lawyer on your side like those at our criminal defense law firm.

Tax Evasion

This white collar crime is pretty self-explanatory. Tax evasion happens when a person purposely gives false information on tax forms such as underreporting income or claims deductions for which they are not meant to be eligible. Types of tax evasion can include filing false returns, concealing certain or all sources of income, having assets kept in another’s name, or keeping a double set of books. Taxes are complicated and mistakes happen. To be convicted of tax evasion there must be provable willful intent to violate laws and the government must prove that you owe the taxes. Having an experienced tax evasion lawyer build your case can greatly benefit you during the trial.

Legal Help For White Collar Crimes

These are just a few common examples of white collar crimes, but it is important to remember that there is legal help for those who have been accused of this type of activity. The experts at Alex R. Hernandez Jr., Criminal Law, are well-versed in white collar litigation and can offer legal aid in such cases. A white collar crime lawyer can help address potential charges a person may be facing based on the information at hand and devise a plan of defense should the case go to trial. Occasionally, a person may find themselves caught up in the midst of a white collar crime even if they were not involved. Other parties may try to use them as a scapegoat, during which time it is especially important to have an experienced white collar crime attorney on your side. Whatever your situation is, know that you can turn to our criminal defense law firm for assistance. With locations throughout Texas, including Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Victoria, and more, we are always nearby to help defend your case and ensure that your rights are upheld throughout the trial. Get in touch today!