The term "white collar crime" was reportedly first used in 1939 to apply to intricate crimes that are committed solely for the purpose of financial gain. These types of crimes are generally federal offenses and are prosecuted through the federal court system.
Perhaps one of the most well known cases of an individual accused of a white collar crime in this past decade is Bernie L Madoff. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Madoff was a financial investor who perpetuated a Ponzi scheme that became so wide spread, it reportedly resulted in the loss of billions of dollars for thousands of his investors.
Madoff was sentenced to a 150 years in prison and ordered to forfeit $170,799,000,000, which the FBI states represents the total property and proceeds of Madoff's crimes.
Other example of white collar crime include:
- Money laundering
- Tax Evasion
- Insider Trading
- All forms of financial fraud
As anyone who watched the proceedings of the Bernie L. Madoff trial can tell you, white collar crime cases can take years to resolve and the penalties are often high. White collar crimes are considered highly technical and will generally involve a thorough examination of financial records, phone and even email communications. Prosecutors also may choose to delve into the personal information of you and your family.
People who are under investigation or expect to be charged with white collar crimes may benefit from an experienced Wisconsin criminal attorney who could potentially assist in stopping the investigation or work with defendants to build a strong criminal defense.
Source: The FBI, "Federal Bureau of Investigation - White Collar Crime" Jul. 15, 2014