FAQ: What are white collar crimes, and where are they prosecuted?

There is no strict definition of what a white collar crime is. Generally, white collar crimes are financial crimes that are committed for monetary gain in connection with a business, government function, or business transaction. They are non-violent and usually involve fraud or theft of some kind. Some examples of white collar crimes are: bank fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, money laundering, and insider trading.

White collar crimes can be both state and federal crimes, but the federal government is usually in a better position to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes.  Some white collar crimes are only prosecuted in federal court, such as securities and commodities fraud and bank fraud. White collar crimes are investigated by local law enforcement agencies, the FBI, IRS, Department of Defense, and other agencies. Many white collar crimes are felonies. Usually, individuals are accused of white collar crimes, but corporations can also be charged.

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