White collar crimes are generally nonviolent offenses motivated by the hope for financial gain. Someone who commits a white collar crime wants to get money with no risk of loss. These crimes, particularly fraud and insider trading, often take place among those who work in corporate positions and in the business world.
White collar crimes are serious. They don’t just affect one victim, which is why the government is strict with penalties. For example, insider trading, a kind of securities fraud, is penalized with between 15 months and 20 years in prison. Fines can also range from $5 to $25 million.
Insurance fraud, where people exaggerate their claims or fabricate losses, can have significant penalties as well. Soft fraud is a misdemeanor punishable with up to a year in jail, while hard fraud has penalties including up to 20 years in prison.
Money laundering is another white collar crime that has harsh penalties. When a person tries to hide funds that were obtained illegally by making legal transactions, it’s money laundering. Fines are usually only a few thousand dollars, but federal convictions can lead to fines of half-a-million dollars or more. Prison sentences start at around a year, but they can result in sentences of 35 or more years depending on the case.
As you can see, a white collar crime might not be violent, but it’s still taken seriously. If you’re accused of a white collar crime, a good defense is mandatory. You want to protect yourself and make sure you don’t face penalties that are unfair or undeserved. You risk many years in prison, so it’s worth the time to fight back.