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White Collar Crime History and Prosecution Today

Posted by Dan Kann | Nov 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

May 31, 2012

Being charged with any type of crime can have serious repercussions, but white collar crimes have an especially strong stigma attached to them in Southern California due to their long and illustrious history throughout the United States. White collar crime is a general term that is applied to a variety of criminal activities that are “committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.” This term was coined by sociologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939, and it has since been attached to many well-known criminal cases.

White Collar Crimes Through the Years

White collar crimes seek to gain the trust of people and organizations in order to have access to funds and resources, which are then used for the personal benefit of whoever is behind the crime. Common white collar schemes throughout the years include:

  • Ponzi Schemes – A fraudulent investment operation named after Charles Ponzi, who first committed the crime in 1910.
  • 419 Scam – Well known for emailing victims concerning a Nigerian prince and the need for funds in promise of returning them after gaining freedom.
  • Telemarketing Fraud – A variety of scams which revolve around false representation and convincing targets to invest funds and give up valuable information over the phone.
  • Corporate Fraud – Many different schemes that seek to deceive investors and others about the financial condition of a corporation or entity in order to receive funds.

In recent years, advancements in technology have taken white collar crimes in new directions with different opportunities for theft that don't involve ever meeting a victim. ATM skimming, credit card fraud, email fraud, and new forms of identity theft have led to an increase in white collar crime that relies on technology to gain access to funds and information.

Prosecution Today

White collar crimes almost always involve some form of theft; as such, they are prosecuted under theft laws in relation to the amount of money stolen and the various criminal instances that occurred in the process of theft. Additional penalties can be added, such as “aggravated white collar crime,” found in California Penal Code Section 186.11, which is meant to punish theft schemes involving multiple related felonies that take hundreds of thousands of dollars. Convictions can range from several years to life in prison with extremely large fines.

Dedicated White Collar Crime Defense

At the Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann, our legal team has years of experience defending clients from a variety of white collar charges. Camarillo white collar crime defense lawyer Daniel E. Kann has the skills and resources to successfully defend you from your charges. For more information, call us today at (805) 290-4932.

About the Author

Dan Kann

Daniel E. Kann has devoted his entire legal career exclusively to defending individuals facing criminal prosecution in Southern California. Dan fights criminal cases throughout Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Kern, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.


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