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The Five Most Common Kinds Of White Collar Crime


Unless they have overwhelming evidence, prosecutors often don’t press charges in violent crime cases. The opposite is true in white collar criminal cases. Prosecutors almost always press charges in these cases, especially if the defendant doesn’t quickly and voluntarily pay restitution.

As a result, prosecutors often file cases with weak evidence. These cases are much easier for a Tampa criminal defense lawyer to successfully resolve, especially since multiple resolution options are available. Generally, prosecutors aggressively file charges to recover money, not to punish the defendant. So, if the defendant makes restitution, prosecutors quickly lose interest in the case.

Bankruptcy Fraud

This offense usually involves concealing an asset or income stream, a creditor preference, or a presumptively fraudulent transaction.

Unintentional omissions are extremely rare in initial petitions. Usually, a lawyer uses the debtor’s Social Security number to obtain debt/income data. Any non-disclosure is usually intentional. A creditor preference is making extra payments to one creditor without making extra payments to other creditors. The bankruptcy fraud window is 90 days prior to filing. If a debtor borrows money within that period, there’s a presumption the debtor didn’t plan to repay that loan.


This white-collar offense has some elements of a violent offense. The defendant threatens the victim to obtain money or other financial gain.

Street gangs often force store owners to pay “protection” money. This form of extortion is actually quite common. It’s certainly not limited to movies and TV shows. Or, a defendant may force a blackmail victim to pay money to keep someone from publicly divulging damaging or embarrassing information.

Ponzi Scheme

Charles Ponzi, the “founder” of this scam, reportedly made about $250,000 per day by defrauding investors. That’s a lot of money today. It was especially a lot of money in 1929, when Ponzi falsely promised large returns to investors.

Ponzi and his successors don’t invest money. Instead, they pay it to older investors as “dividends.” Ponzi schemes keep growing until they suddenly fall apart because new people stop investing.

These schemes eventually unravel, but “eventually” can be a very long time. Therefore, many of these scammers bilk many people out of millions of dollars.


Basically, embezzlement is using a position of trust for individual gain. The combination of betrayal and theft makes embezzlement one of the most difficult white collar crimes for a Tampa criminal defense lawyer to successfully resolve.

Frequently, employees use multiple accounts or dummy vendors to fatten their own bank accounts. Misuse of a corporate or political spending or campaign account is also a form of embezzlement. So, a person could embezzle from himself/herself.

Corporate Fraud

This final area is an umbrella term that covers several different crimes. They mostly involve falsification of financial information, insider trading, schemes designed to conceal corporate fraud activities, and impeding regulating bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission from conducting their inquiries.

These crimes are especially common in large corporations, because such fraud is difficult to detect in these situations.

 Work With a Tough-Minded Hillsborough County Attorney

A criminal charge is not the same thing as a criminal conviction. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, contact the OA Law Firm. Convenient payment plans are available.


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