White-collar crime is a term used differently by many people. Researchers generally attribute the term to Edwin Sutherland, who coined the term in a public address back in 1939. For various reasons, the mainstream media tends to focus on white-collar criminals who are part of the financial industry. While WCC is certainly an issue in this industry, WCC occurs in many different sectors of the modern economy. Wherever you can find unprotected funds, you can likely find white-collar criminals engaged in their trade. Violent crime is typically considered to exist in a wholly different category than WCC. At the same time, organized crime groups occasionally engage in white-collar crimes like money laundering.
Most people agree that WCC is less damaging than other types of crimes. Nevertheless, victims of WCC do suffer serious consequences. Many victims lose their entire life's savings because they trusted the wrong people. This makes it even more important for the public to hold overzealous prosecutors to the task. After all, prosecutors who persecute innocent people are less able to go after the true culprits. Fortunately, criminal defense attorneys are doing what they can to protect people from false WCC accusations.
Where White Collar Crime Takes Place
WCC can occur in retail stores, car dealerships, churches, and many other types of organizations. Regrettably, charities and nonprofit organizations often struggle with misappropriation of funds. A WCC conviction can either be the result of active criminal conduct or criminal neglect and mismanagement. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the misappropriation of funds is the most common type of WCC today.
Every day, white-collar criminals are engaged in obtaining money by false pretenses. Examples of WCC often become fodder for the lurid stories of sensationalistic journalists. WCC encompasses insurance fraud, theft, embezzlement, and conspiracy to commit any of these crimes. When a WCC is committed by a person who is part of the political or economic elite, the uncovering of these wrongs can inspire a good deal of public outrage. Because every politician is considered to be a public servant, political figures who commit white-collar crimes are often held in scorn by the public. While this is perfectly natural, it can cause a sense of hysteria that can sweep up innocent people in its grasp.
When WCC shows up on the financial industry's radar screen, it isn't unknown for the financial industry to use their media connections to keep the story from becoming a major topic of public discussion. For ordinary people accused of WCC, the way forward can be far more complicated. WCC encompasses wire fraud, mail fraud, bankruptcy, and bribing public officials. When contractors give kickbacks to officials to corrupt the bidding process, this is also WCC. More often than not, perpetrators of WCC send their ill-gotten gains to foreign countries.
Additional Details Regarding White Collar Crime
When WCC affects politics, this can result in the partial subversion of important democratic institutions. Unfortunately, corrupt politicians tend to use a strong network of contacts to avoid detection. When a person is falsely accused of WCC, the defendant needs to have a good operational plan. Fortunately, most people in modern society enjoy access to stalwart defense attorneys who are able to address their clients' needs properly. Arguably, most defense attorneys working today are typified by honesty and integrity. Due to factors related to public perception, public prosecutors occasionally act overzealously in their pursuit of white-collar criminals. Even if a defendant is guilty of wrongdoing, they deserve fair treatment on the part of the state. After all, every citizen has the right to expect reasonable, proportional actions on the part of the government. Too often, a prosecutor will file a felony charge when the behavior in question only justifies a misdemeanor charge.
Whether defendants are innocent or trying to mitigate the consequences of their poor decisions, criminal defense attorneys provide crucial assistance. Because government agencies can sometimes make major financial claims on companies under investigation, prosecutors have wide latitude in many jurisdictions. It's essential that thoughtful criminal defense attorneys continually do their best to make the world a better place.
Give our team a call today (404) 471-3177 to learn more about how we can help protect your rights.