White Collar Crimes
White collar crime refers to non-violent activity that is usually business related. Typically, the activity centers on dishonesty; for example, embezzlement, fraud, and conspiracy are common white collar crimes. People charged with white collar crimes usually act as agents of a business or organization, though sometimes they are acting independently. White collar offenses typically relate to a breach of trust.
White collar crimes are usually related to activities involving
dishonestly obtaining money, property, services, or preferential treatment. While some people accused of white collar crime have made calculated decisions to deceive, many others do not know that their actions are, indeed, illegal. Either way, the seriousness of white collar crimes is significant, and ignorance of the law is not a defense.
Even though white collar crime is non-violent, these charges still carry the risk of severe punishment. This is because public outcry against white collar crime is usually significant and also because victims of white collar crime are usually eager to pursue prosecution. So, even if a long prison sentence is not the consequence of being convicted on a white collar charge, very often convicted defendants will be forced to pay restitution or heavy fines, and they will incur the loss of their professional business licenses. In addition, people accused of white collar crime, even if not convicted, risk severe damage to their reputations.
White collar crimes are often complicated, and the prosecution of white collar defendants can be exceedingly complex. The Minnesota laws that address white collar crime range from the very specific, narrowly tailored to a particular business activity, to the wide catch-all laws that broadly cover any dishonest behavior.