What exactly is white-collar crime in Arizona?

Edwin Sutherland, a sociologist, coined the term "white-collar crime" in 1939, defining it as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation." The FBI defines white-collar crime as "those illegal acts which are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and which are not dependent upon the application or threat of physical force or violence." The definition seems to vary, and it actually has been hotly contested by experts for years. Understanding white-collar crime can be difficult, and this is especially true when you've found yourself or a loved one accused of acts such as bank fraud, counterfeiting, or bribery.

What are some examples of white-collar crime in Arizona?

Definition aside, perhaps the best way to understand white-collar crime in Arizona is to look at the types of crime that fall under its umbrella. White-collar crimes include:
  • Bank fraud, which is attempting to obtain money or assets from a bank or other financial institution through fraudulent means.
  • Blackmail, which is attempting to obtain money from a person in return for not revealing potentially compromising information.
  • Bribery, which is using the gift of money or other items in order to change the recipient's behavior.
  • Embezzlement, which is taking money or property that has been entrusted to you but belongs to your company or someone else.
  • Counterfeiting, which is creating an imitation of currency or another item in order to pass it off as the real thing.

Ultimately, white-collar crime can be a complicated and slippery term. Unfortunately, many court cases involving white-collar crime also become complicated quickly. Those who commit so-called white-collar crimes often walk the line between legitimate business activity and criminal offense.

If you or a loved one has been accused of white-collar crime in Arizona, contact a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible at 1-888-929-5292. We are devoted to helping our clients with complicated cases, and can offer clear, honest answers to your questions. For further reading, we recommend you request a FREE copy of our book, Arizona Criminal Law - What You Must Know.