Under the law, white collar crime can describe a wide variety of crimes, but they all typically involve crime committed through deceit and motivated by financial gain. The most common white collar crimes are various types of fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion and money laundering. Many types of scams and frauds fall into the bucket of white collar crime, including Ponzi schemes and securities fraud such as insider trading. More common crimes, like insurance fraud and tax evasion, also constitute white collar crimes.
Fraud and financial crimes are a form of theft/larceny that occur when a person or entity takes money or property, or uses them in an illicit manner, with the intent to gain a benefit from it. These crimes typically involve some form of deceit, subterfuge or the abuse of a position of trust, which distinguishes them from common theft or robbery. In today’s complex economy, fraud and financial crimes can take many forms. The resources below will introduce you to the more common forms of financial crimes, such as forgery, credit card fraud, embezzlement and money laundering.
Many white collar crimes are frauds. Fraud is a general type of crime which generally involves deceiving someone for monetary gain. One common type of white collar fraud is securities fraud. Securities fraud is fraud around the trading of securities stocks, for example.
Securities fraud comes in many flavors, but one common type is “insider trading,” in which someone with inside information about a company or investment trades on that information in violation of a duty or obligation. For example, an executive knows confidential information about an upcoming company earnings report decides to sell of a chunk of his stock in the company. That would be considered securities fraud, specifically, insider trading.
Another type of securities fraud is when someone seeks investment in a company by knowingly misstating the company’s prospects, health or finances. By luring an investor to put up money based on false or misleading information, the company and individuals within it commit securities fraud. False or misleading statements in public reports from publicly traded companies also can constitute securities fraud. To commit securities fraud, those speaking on behalf of the business must make these false statements with knowledge that they are false, or at least reasonably should know them to be false.
The crime of forgery generally refers to the making of a fake document, the changing of an existing document, or the making of a signature without authorization.
Forgery involves a false document, signature, or other imitation of an object of value used with the intent to deceive another. Those who commit forgery are often charged with the crime of fraud. Documents that can be the object of forgery include contracts, identification cards, and legal certificates. Most states require that forgery be done with the intent to commit fraud or theft/larceny.
The most common form of forgery is signing someone else’s name to a check, but objects, data and documents can also be forged. Legal contracts, historical papers, art objects, diplomas, licenses, certificates and identification cards can be forged. Currency and consumer goods can also be forged, but that crime is usually referred to as counterfeiting.
In most jurisdictions, the crime of forgery is not charged unless the forgery is done with intent to deceive or the attempt to commit fraud or larceny. For instance, works of arts can be copied or replicated without any crime being committed unless someone attempted to sell or represent the copies as originals. Then the copies would become illegal forgeries.
Forgery can also involve the creation of fake or fraudulent documents. For example, it can involve photocopying a person’s signature and then artificially placing it on a document without their knowledge or consent. Perhaps the most famous case of forgery in the twentieth century took place in 1983 with the “discovery” of the Hitler diaries.
If you are accused of forgery, seek the legal representation of a New York Forgery Attorney and New York Criminal Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates.