Different Types of White Collar Crimes

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Federal white collar crimes generally refer to any crime that involves financial gain through illegal activity, often initiated by business professionals. Federal white collar crimes are governed by the authority of select agencies under The Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, including:

  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Securities and Exchange Commission
  • FBI
  • Secret Service
  • U.S. Customs
  • Environmental Protection Agency

The number of federal white collar crimes has grown significantly in recent years. Fraud is the most common trend today.

Typical federal white collar crimes may involve any of the following.

Antitrust Violations

Antitrust violations fall under State jurisdiction and Federal jurisdiction in select cases. Federal jurisdiction applies when involving interstate commerce and the District of Columbia.  Federal Antitrust Violations refer to corporations that participate in anticompetitive practices, monopolize U.S. and foreign markets, and/or prevent competition from U.S. or international trade. Antitrust violations are pursuant to statutes under The Sherman Act, The Clayton Act and The Robinson-Patman Act. Common Antitrust crimes are, as follows.

  • Price fixing refers to when a company or competitors join together to standardize pricing.
  • Collusive bidding occurs when competitors join together to adjust bids.
  • Tying agreement involves a company setting terms that a customer can buy one product, providing they do not buy such products from another company or providing they buy products from another company.
  • Boycotting occurs when a company or companies refrain from purchasing products or services from a particular company, resulting in financial loss for the affected company.
  • Below cost pricing refers to low cost pricing when compared to competitors, resulting in monopolizing the market.
  • Exclusive dealing involves the practice of offering services or products to one specific company or a group of companies and not allowing the availability of the product or service to others.

Federal Securities Fraud

Federal Securities Fraud refers to an officer, director, or principal shareholder of a company that attempts to or succeeds in unfair and dishonest market practices, resulting in theft. Examples include the following illegal activity.

  • Failure to provide accurate financial and market information to alter the market.
  • Theft from investment, depository or securities accounts, resulting in loss of account value.
  • Wire fraud involving the intentional deprivation of products or services following a false advertisement, proposal or any other form of misrepresentation via electronic technology or across a wire.

Insider Trading

Insider trading refers to an individual that uses confidential company information to make favorable stock purchases.

Computer and Internet Fraud

Computer and Internet Fraud is any type of fraud that is conducted with the aid of a computer.  The most common forms of computer and Internet fraud include the following.

  • Hacking for personal theft refers to a criminal that uses programming tools to access a secure computer remotely in order to gather confidential information for the purpose of theft. The consequences may result in identify theft, credit card theft, or other types of financial loss.
  • Hacking and embezzlement may involve employees that adjust data to obtain company funds.
  • Disgruntled hackers may simply change or delete corporate or personal data, resulting in financial loss for the affected individual or corporation.
  • Internet Advanced Fee Fraud refers to a criminal’s email request for a victim’s personal information, financial information and funding. To motivate the recipient to take action, criminals often site financial hardship, persecution, the need to redirect inheritance money, or other forms of misrepresentation.

Credit Card Fraud

Credit Card Fraud refers to any individual that uses a victim’s credit card information to make unauthorized purchases.

Phone and Telemarketing Fraud

Phone and telemarketing fraud is described by obtaining a victim’s identity and/or credit card information over the phone to make unauthorized purchases.

Mail and Wire Fraud

Mail and wire fraud refers to any type of fraud via mail or wire.

Tax Evasion

Tax Evasion refers to any individual, corporation or trust that intentionally provides false financial information on their taxes for the purpose of avoiding tax payments.

Trade Secret Theft

Trade Secret Theft involves the use of another company’s legally protected process, practice, formula,  design, instrument, and/or pattern as defined by Trade Secret laws.

Bankruptcy Fraud

Bankruptcy fraud may involve an individual who intentionally fails to disclose an asset to the government in order to avoid forfeiture; an individual who intentionally files misleading, false or incomplete financial, asset or personal information; or an individual who files genuine or false bankruptcy claims in different states.

Healthcare Fraud

Healthcare Fraud refers to the intentional misrepresentation of a healthcare claim(s) for the purpose of financial gain.

Insurance Fraud

Insurance Fraud is described by any fraudulent act of an individual or company to deprive a benefit that would be otherwise entitled to an individual or to obtain a benefit from a fraudulent act.   

Financial Fraud

Financial Fraud occurs when any deceptive act is committed for the purpose of financial gain.

Government Fraud

Government Fraud refers to any form of deception against the government. Whistleblowers often report government fraud and receive a portion of the financial award. Common types of government fraud involve the following.

Medicare and Medicaid Fraud typically involve deceptive practices of healthcare companies that may or may not result in financial gain, including, but not limited to:

  • Billing for medical services based on inflated cost estimate.
  • Billing for reimbursement of diagnostic tests or procedures never performed.

Procurement and Contractor Fraud occurs when any intentionally deceptive act takes place and/or results in financial gain. Under the Federal False Claims Act, criminal and civil charges may be filed against contractors who are accused of procurement fraud.  The most common forms involve the following.

  • Favoritism of a contractor, despite bids from competitors with similar or superior services, quality, pricing, or other bidding information. This may involve bribes or kickbacks.
  • Billing for incomplete contract work.
  • Adding costs to invoices, siting additional labor and/or supplies.
  • Kickbacks, such as, an individual that receives a payment for participating in the facilitation of a contract with the government.


Bribery is described by any type of offering, such as, money or gift cards to an individual in order to benefit the individual who gives the offering.


A kickback is an offering of value, such as, payment or gift cards that is received by an individual benefiting from the transaction.


Counterfeiting is described by the act of producing, distributing and/or benefitting from a false signature or identity data, as well as, inferior products or services that are falsely marketed under a brand name.

Federal Public Corruption

Federal Public Corruption occurs when there is an abuse of powers or breach of trust by those who hold federal positions in the U.S. government.     Federal Public Corruption may involve procurement, embezzlement or bribery at the federal level.

Money Laundering

Money Laundering is described by the act of concealing illegally generated money.


Embezzlement involves the misappropriation of funds or theft of funds that have been entrusted to another individual or employee of a company.

Economic Espionage

Economic Espionage refers to trade secret theft or misappropriation with the intention or knowledge that a foreign government or foreign entity will benefit.

Environmental Law Violations

Environmental Law violations are described by any act that injures the environment. The most common environmental law offenses in the U.S. include: illegal dumping of hazardous materials; illegal trade of hazardous materials; fostering the use of or smuggling Ozone depletion substances; illegal tree cutting and timber trade practices; and illegal fishing on national/federal property.

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