When many people think of crime, they think of violent and dangerous offenses such as murder, drugs and rape. However, another type of crime that has major consequences is white collar crime.

Most perpetrators of this corruption are government and business professionals, and the consequences result in large financial loss to individuals, businesses, investors and tax payers. Because of this, the government works hard to investigate these crimes, and the penalties can be large.

Focus on corporate fraud

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there are numerous types of white collar crime, but corporate fraud is a main priority because it can result in immense damage to investor confidence and the economy. The FBI’s main focus in the area of corporate fraud is on cases related to self-dealing, accounting schemes and obstruction of justice. Some examples of these types of activity include:

  • Insider trading
  • Market timing schemes
  • Fraudulent trades
  • Falsification of asset values

One of the challenges when it comes to investigating white collar crime and bringing up charges against a suspect is most of the cases are extremely complex. To help their efforts, the FBI works with other agencies, such as the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, IRS, Department of Labor and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, to investigate.

Penalties for white collar crime conviction

According to King University, the varying types of white collar crimes cost the country around $300 billion on a yearly basis. Due to the financial impact, the justice department imposes stiff penalties for those found guilty. Penalties often include restitution, large fines and forfeitures. There is usually also an order for imprisonment, although some may only face house arrest.