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What is fraud?

The term "white collar crime" brings up thoughts of fraud by computer hacking and movies that feature famous people committing crime and getting away with it. It is a pretty wide area to encompass. This type of crime is usually brought about through deceit and is motivated by financial gain. There is fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion and money laundering to name a few. Ponzi schemes are the most common today and insider trading isn't far behind in popularity.

Fraud is deceiving people by telling them that one thing will happen if they invest, when actually, the money will be used for the good of the person doing the talking. For example, one man was running an investment firm and promised 15 percent interest income to all who invested. It turned out to be fraud and none of the money given to the man was ever invested or recovered.

Securities fraud is common today. Insider trading is another word for it. It is when someone has access to company information that no one else knows about. For instance, if an executive of a company knows that a certain income report is coming out, he or she may decide to sell a chuck of stock before the report comes out, thus protecting oneself while leaving others in the dark.

Another type of white collar crime is embezzlement. This is defined as taking money from someone to whom you are either employed by or to whom you owe a duty. A trusted employee of a company has complete access to the company's funding accounts and uses that money for him or herself. It is stealing plain and simple.

If you are facing the prospect of being charged with a white collar crime, you may need to confide in someone you trust, like an attorney who knows all about the laws of the state of Louisiana.

Source: FindLaw, "White collar crimes," accessed Sep. 08, 2015

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