White Collar Crime Law & Legal Definition


White collar crime is a generic term for crimes involving antitrust violations, computer/internet fraud, credit card fraud, phone/telemarketing fraud, bankruptcy fraud, healthcare fraud, environmental law violations, insurance fraud, mail fraud, government fraud, tax evasion, financial fraud, securities fraud, insider trading, bribery, kickbacks, counterfeiting, public corruption, money laundering, embezzlement, economic espionage, and trade secret theft, and other forms of dishonest business schemes.

The term comes from an incorrect generalization that white collar crimes are committed by executives who work in white shirts, as opposed to physical crimes which are committed by blue collar workers.White-collar crime tends to be made up of complex, sophisticated, and relatively technical actions. Victimization is not as obvious as in violent crimes because harm is usually spread out over a substantial number of victims. The monetary sums that are involved tend to be quite large.