Most legal experts define white-collar crime as a non-violent act committed for financial gain. One common denominator in this activity is the use of deceit to trick a person or party into giving up money or an asset.
Common white-collar crimes include fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion and money laundering.
The most common white-collar crimes
According to TRAC Reports, the most frequent white-collar crime for a period in 2018 was fraud by wire, radio or television. This information pertains to charges filed in the U.S. District Court for the first seven months of 2018. In recent years, this activity often recorded the highest number of charges filed.
The second most frequent charge for this period was mail fraud – attempt and conspiracy, followed by bank fraud. The rest of the list of common white-collar crimes with charges filed, in order of frequency, is as follows:
- Fraud and related activities – access devices
- Aggravated identity theft
- Public money, property or records
- Mail fraud – frauds and swindles
- Conspiracy to commit offense or defraud U.S.
The report indicates while-collar prosecutions are in a steady decline. The levels from 2018 show the lowest level of prosecutions in 20 years.
The most active investigative agencies
Several agencies in the U.S. investigate white-collar crimes. The FBI is the most active organization, accounting for nearly 33% of referred prosecutions in the first seven months of 2018. The Secret Service came in second at nearly 11% of referred prosecutions, followed by the IRS at just over 10% and the U.S. Postal Service at 8.7%. Other agencies that investigate white-collar crime include the Social Security Administration, Health and Human Services, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.