White collar crime costs society $1 trillion every year. It is the most common form of crime, far more common than violent crime, and yet is widely misunderstood. Indeed, many people believe that it’s extremely rare.
In part, it’s misunderstood because it’s so arcane. As The Harvard Business Review writes: “It bores us. Complicated financial schemes are difficult to understand, and the perpetrators and victims are often unclear. Who suffers when a company shifts numbers around on a spreadsheet?”
Of course, people do suffer, as anyone who lost their retirement during the Enron scandal could tell you. In addition, it’s a mistake not to take white collar crime seriously.
#1) Ordinary people don’t commit white collar crime.
White collar crimes aren’t just the purview of big names at big firms. They get committed by rank-and-file managers, accountants, and executives in small-to-medium sized companies. They get committed by ordinary account executives who “fudge” their expense reports, too.
Indeed, many managers lead their employees into white collar crime by ordering them to do things which are against the law.
#2) White collar crime never gets prosecuted.
The federal government prosecutes roughly 8000 white collar crime cases every year. States prosecute white collar crime too. There is a robust criminal justice system working hard to see white collar criminals behind bars.
Federal prosecutors and investigators have in fact stepped up their efforts to prosecute white collar crimes. 2020 is already heating up with several high-profile white collar crime cases.
#3) White collar criminals get lenient sentences.
Many white collar criminals are serving life sentences for their crimes. While you might be sent to a minimum security prison this just means you are not in the same space as violent criminals. Minimum security prisons don’t have tennis courts or swimming pools. Nobody is drinking champagne. Inmates are in cells. They can even go to solitary.
Prison is prison, and when you get out the punishment continues. Finding a job is difficult if not impossible. Finding housing is difficult if not impossible. Some people would rather hire a murderer than someone who was convicted of fraud, if only because most murder is personal and murderers are unlikely to kill employers or customers. Whether it’s true or not or fair or not, people believe someone who has been convicted of fraud will commit fraud again.
It takes an expert to mount a strong defense in a white collar crime case.
You need someone who has worked many white collar cases, both state cases and federal cases, in the past. The defenses are complex, and many revolve around intent. Forging a strong argument that provides evidence as to your thoughts and feelings as you engaged in certain actions takes finesse not every criminal defense lawyer has.
If you’re in trouble, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Reach out to Koch Law to get the expert defense you deserve. White collar charges are serious. Taking them seriously is the best way to defend your freedom and quality of life.