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Criminal Law: White Collar Crime

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Regulatory & Policy
Criminal Law
White Collar Crime

White collar crime is a term used to describe criminal conduct involving illegal acts that use deceit and concealment to obtain money, property or services, or to secure a business or professional advantage. Another way to define white collar crime is as a "paper" crime or crime that is committed in the workplace in white collar industries as opposed to blue collar industries. Examples of the most common types of white collar crimes prosecuted today are: antitrust violations, insider trading, bribery and kickbacks, embezzlement, computer/internet fraud, securities fraud, credit card fraud, health care fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.

White collar crimes can be prosecuted at the state or federal level, or both, depending on whether a state or federal law was broken. If convicted, these crimes usually result in jail time, large fines, and restitution to the victims [...]

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White collar crime is a term used to describe criminal conduct involving illegal acts that use deceit and concealment to obtain money, property or services, or to secure a business or professional advantage. Another way to define white collar crime is as a "paper" crime or crime that is committed in the workplace in white collar industries as opposed to blue collar industries. Examples of the most common types of white collar crimes prosecuted today are: antitrust violations, insider trading, bribery and kickbacks, embezzlement, computer/internet fraud, securities fraud, credit card fraud, health care fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.

White collar crimes can be prosecuted at the state or federal level, or both, depending on whether a state or federal law was broken. If convicted, these crimes usually result in jail time, large fines, and restitution to the victims of the crime. The largest and most complex white collar cases, however, are usually brought at the federal level.

There are many opportunities for students wishing to practice white collar criminal law. On the prosecution side, students may plan to work as an Assistant District Attorney or an Assistant U. S. Attorney. On the defense side, jobs includes those with the county, state or federal Public Defenders Office, or private practice in a solo, boutique or large law firm with a white collar specialty practice. There are also many opportunities for attorneys interested in working with governmental agencies and organizations. At the federal level, agencies that are involved with white collar crime include the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Customs, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, the Secret Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Most federal agencies have a Criminal Investigatory Division dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of white collar crimes. At the state level, states work with their own agencies to enforce the laws.

Generally speaking, it is strongly recommended that anyone seriously interested in white collar criminal law practice should first gain valuable trial experience as a prosecutor or public defender while in law school. Government employers on either the prosecution or defense side of the aisle put a very high premium on practical experience. So, plan to spend at least one summer or quarter getting hands-on criminal law experience whether in a clinic, externship, or summer internship.

 
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