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Common white collar crimes in the corporate world

People may associate criminal activity with a certain demographic, but those in high-paying professional occupations may also face criminal charges. While they may be involved in any type of law breaking, they most likely are participating in a white collar crime.

White collar crimes entail different types of fraud, theft and deceit for the purpose of financial gain. These are present in any industry, but the following are most prevalent in the corporate world. Note that this does not make the actions corporate crimes unless the intent is to benefit a business as a whole instead of just one or more persons.


Embezzlement is a type of theft that involves an employee misappropriating funds in his or her care. The employee may be stealing the money or using it for something other than its intended purpose. This is usually a felony, the class depending on the amount of embezzled money, and can lead to jail time and steep fines.


Extortion constitutes using force to get property from another person. Examples include blackmail, threats and ransomware (a cyber crime). Bribery is not in this category because it does not involve coercion, but it is still a white collar crime.

Money laundering

While money can go through the wash, money laundering refers to hiding the original source of illegal funds by putting them through legitimate business transactions before depositing them in the bank. This involves two crimes: illegally obtaining money and concealing its origin through fraudulent activity.

Tax fraud

While everyone hates taxes, some choose to lie on tax returns in order to pay less business or personal taxes. Such purposeful tax fraud is a Class H felony in Wisconsin. Tax evasion, which is hiding property to escape paying taxes on it, is a Class I felony.

These are only a few of the many white collar crimes that can lead to charges and severe penalties. Those involved can reduce the consequences through the help of a criminal defense attorney.

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