White Collar Crime - Definition, Examples, Cases

Sponsoring Association Committee: White Collar Crime |Karen Patton Seymour, Chair


The White Collar Criminal Law Committee has assembled a comprehensive full-day program that will explore these and other critical developments that have characterized this era of white collar enforcement. The keynote speakers will be the Honorable Robert L. Capers, US Attorney for the Eastern District and Sally Quillian Yates, US Deputy Attorney General.

Legal analyst Danny Cevallos explains the terms you keep hearing when white collar criminals are arrested.

A guide to white collar crime - CNN Video

The meaning and definition of white-collar crime is deeply contested. Most criminologists recognize that white-collar crime is different from traditional “street” crime. Disagreements center on the scope of the behavior and who, ultimately, is classified as a white-collar offender. Generally, white-collar crimes are offenses conducted by guile or concealment that involve “upper world” offenders. Broad definitions of white-collar crime can include harmful acts which are not illegal (deviance) to more narrow definitions that are tied exclusively to violations of criminal law. Depending on which definition is used, white-collar offenders may include governments, businesses, chief executive officers, professionals, welfare cheats, and individuals who illegally download software or purposefully underreport income on their taxes.

White collar criminal investigations and prosecutions continue to dominate the headlines. In an evolving and dynamic enforcement landscape, the demands on and consequences for both institutions and individuals have escalated on a seemingly upward spiral. The scope and nature of white collar matters have become even more complex as large, cross-border, multi-jurisdiction investigations proliferate. The challenges of defending these matters have increased, as the DOJ demands that companies help it build criminal cases against their employees as a measure of cooperation and investigations take on international dimensions with continually evolving cybersecurity challenges. After enduring public criticism, enforcement authorities are focused on seeking to hold individuals criminally and civilly responsible.