White-Collar Crime

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DEFINITION of 'White-Collar Crime '

A non-violent crime that is committed by someone, typically for financial gain. The typical white-collar criminal is an office worker, business manager, fund manager or executive. Forensic accountants, auditors and whistle blowers identify and report white-collar crimes. Entities that investigate white-collar crimes include the FBI, Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Association of Securities Dealers. Examples of convicted white-collar criminals include Kenneth Lay, Bernard Madoff and Bernard Ebbers.

BREAKING DOWN 'White-Collar Crime '

Examples of white-collar crimes include securities fraud (the misrepresentation of investment information), embezzlement (misuse of funds), corporate fraud (dishonest and/or illegal actions by a company employee or executive) and money laundering (giving criminally-obtained funds the appearance of having a legitimate source). White collar crime is punishable by fine, imprisonment or both.

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