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5 Common White Collar Crimes and How They Are Investigated

Serving Families Throughout Garden City
man typing card number into laptop committing fraud

When it comes to crime, many think of violent criminals, drug dealers, thieves, or drunk drivers. However, these do not encompass another large sector of crimes that occur in New York.


White collar crimes are those that are financially motivated and typically non-violent. Although these crimes can be committed by anyone, a majority are committed by professionals who have the monetary resources to carry out these crimes.


Here, we discuss five common white collar crimes, how they are investigated and how a seasoned criminal defense attorney can help individuals accused of white collar crimes seek the best possible outcome.


There are multiple categories of fraud. Essentially, fraud involves deceiving someone for monetary gain, typically involving a financial transaction in a corporate or business setting. Other types of fraud include:

  • Healthcare fraud

  • Mail fraud

  • Debit and credit card fraud

  • Internet fraud


This crime involves an individual using their entrusted and/or legal authority to improperly and illegally take money from that person or organization for their own personal gain.

Tax Evasion

This crime involves an individual avoiding paying the taxes they owe to the IRS. The key here is that an individual must do this knowingly and intentionally. A criminal defense attorney may be able to argue on your behalf that you were unaware of the amount of taxes you actually owed.

Money Laundering

This crime is done by taking money that was gained illegally and converting it into a series of transactions to make it seem that it was gained legally (basically, converting “dirty” money into “clean” money that may be difficult to trace).


This involves offering money, property, or something else of value with the intention of influencing another’s actions.

How Are White Collar Crimes Investigated?

White collar crimes will be investigated based on what level the crime is being charged on. The crime could be charged on a state level, meaning that state law enforcement will investigate the matter. If you’re charged on a federal level with a white collar crime, the FBI and federal agents will be the ones investigating what happened.


In order to prove a white collar crime, the following must usually be proven by a prosecutor:

  • Intent. It must be shown that you intentionally committed an act that was unlawful and punishable by law.

  • Disguise and Concealment. It must be shown that you also attempted to hide the unlawful act in order to avoid getting caught.

  • Knowledge. In order to be held liable, you must have had knowledge that the crime was being committed, typically for means of financial gain.

  • Reliance. This occurs when the victim or plaintiff relied on your unlawful acts and they were impacted because of it.

What Are the Penalties for White Collar Crimes?

In New York, many white collar crimes will be classified as either category B or category C felonies. Penalties for these convictions range and could include:

  • Between one and 20 years in prison

  • Up to $100,000 in fines

  • Additional financial penalties such as attorneys’ fees, restitution, and more


White collar crimes can also be charged on a federal level and convictions typically come with harsher punishments.


Prosecutors on both state and federal levels are relentless when it comes to pursuing white collar crimes, and we know this all too well. At Foley Griffin, our attorneys are former prosecutors. How does this give us - and you - an advantage in a criminal defense case?


We have handled criminal matters from both sides of the courtroom and know what angle the prosecutor will come from. This means we will be able to proactively plan your defense and come to court well-equipped with the knowledge to defend your rights.


Our team is on your side and will help you fight whatever charges you stand against so that you walk away with the best possible outcome. Contact Foley Griffin at (888) 966-8480 to discuss your options.