White Collar Crimes

White collar crimes are those that are commonly attached to businesses and business employees. White collar crime is most often theft. The difference between regular theft and white collar theft is that force or fear is used in the commission of a regular theft. White collar crime is different. This crime is the use of trickery or fraud rather than force or fear to convince an individual to entrust property to the thief. Typically, the victim of white collar crime is not the subject of violence, and he or she is generally not in fear of violence when unknowingly giving property to a thief.

Common forms of white collar crimes include larceny by false pretenses, embezzlement, trickery, and fraud. These are known as the common law offenses. However, there are wide-ranging white collar crimes that extend beyond the state of California and go into the realm of federal regulation.

A person accused of using unfair and deceptive trade practices can be prosecuted on either the state or the federal level, since California’s unfair and deceptive practices statutes draw heavily on the federal statutes. Unfair and deceptive trade practices cover such acts as false advertising. These statutes were developed with the essential purpose of protecting the consumer.

Securities and commodities are regulated by both the state of California and the federal government. Today, most of California’s rules mirror those of the federal law. For the most part, the Securities Exchange Acts that exist today are, in effect, protections for the integrity of the market. These protections create an even playing field for investors, which results in an open exchange of information. In other words, people who want to invest in the market do not have to be business insiders to make decent investment decisions. For this reason, audits and profit reports must be true and accurate. Further, insider trading is illegal. Insider trading is the buying, selling or trading of stocks based on information that is not known to the public. It is completely illegal for someone to trade stocks based on non-public information.

Securities laws are often extremely complex, and can hinge on the smallest details. It takes an extremely detailed and experienced lawyer to fight for a client against the resources of the state’s Attorney General or the SEC.

Other white collar crimes include tax violations, regulatory, health, or environmental violations. Anti-trust is another white collar crime, but it is not exactly the type of crime a typical small business owner can commit. It is generally reserved for the giant corporations.

Fraudulently acquiring investments or business opportunities are white collar crimes. So is real estate fraud and construction fraud. While many of these crimes seem harmless, they are not. There are typically many victims who are left with nothing as the result of a white collar crime. The state or the federal governments are vigorous in prosecuting these crimes because they are trying to maintain the integrity in everyday business deals that the economy depends on. Therefore, it is crucial to find attorneys who will defend you more even vigorously than you will be prosecuted.