The term "white collar crime" commonly refers to a wide variety of unlawful activity, including embezzlement, tax fraud and insider trading. What these crimes have in common is their setting in the workplace, or as part of a person's occupation. The reference to shirt collars was meant to differentiate these activities from more violent crimes that take place at home or on the street. However, those who have faced allegations of white collar crimes will attest that there's nothing genteel about the charges they face and the penalties they will suffer if they are convicted.
White collar crime is a loosely defined category that includes embezzlement, tax fraud, insider trading and other sophisticated offenses. Because these crimes tend to occur in the workplace or be related to one's occupation, Louisiana residents can find it very difficult to find jobs after they have been hit with allegations of white collar crimes.
Louisiana residents may know the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was passed into law in 2002 after the scandals involving falsified accounting at Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. Among other things, the law was designed to stamp out wrongful corporate practices by prohibiting the destruction of certain kinds of records. This so-called anti-shredding law opened the door to new kinds of prosecutions for white collar crimes.
Louisiana residents who are accused of white collar crimes, such as fraud, embezzlement and insider trading, could find their professional lives in serious jeopardy. These crimes typically occur in the workplace, and therefore employers take the allegations very seriously. Many of the accused are suspended from work or lose their jobs long before they have had a chance to defend themselves in court. A conviction on these charges can damage a person's career long after any jail time has been served or fines have been paid.
When someone is charged with robbery or simple theft, Louisiana prosecutors rely on relatively straightforward evidence. They call witnesses, show security camera video to the jury and otherwise reveal direct evidence of the crime, if they can. Embezzlement, fraud and other white collar crimes typically involve much more complicated evidence that is harder to explain to a jury.
White collar crime is a loosely defined category of crimes that includes tax fraud, embezzlement, insider trading and other financial crimes. Those who are accused of these crimes in Louisiana face well-funded, well-prepared state and federal prosecutors. These prosecutors have access to sophisticated evidence and are experienced in presenting this type of material to a jury. And, if a top Justice Department official is to be believed, they may be on the move right now.
Most criminal charges in Louisiana courts rest on the question of whether the defendant was actually responsible for the crime, but for white collar crime charges often the central question is whether a crime occurred. After all, when someone is murdered, there is typically no question as to whether a crime was committed. By contrast, when someone is accused of money laundering or insider trading, the court must look at complicated, technical evidence and determine whether any of the behavior broke the law.
Those who are convicted of crimes in Louisiana may have to pay fines and court fees on top of any jail time they must serve. The exact amount depends upon the alleged crime, the applicable law and other factors, but these payments are especially important in cases involving fraud, embezzlement and other white collar crime charges. In some cases, restitution of unlawfully acquired money can take the place of jail time. However, Louisiana has until recently been very slow to collect money for restitution. That may be set to change now that the state has hired a private contractor to collect this money.
When a person is accused of committing a crime, several thoughts go through their head. Often times, they consider how to devise a defense against the allegations in order to show their innocence. The seriousness of the criminal charges could mean a lengthy investigation dealing with evidence, witnesses and, in some cases, co-defendants.
The term "white collar crime" is often used to describe a variety of different types of illegal actions including embezzlement, insider trading and fraud. Louisiana residents charged with these crimes will face many of the same potential penalties as those accused of ordinary theft crimes, but their cases are typically more complicated. Trials in these cases usually require expert witnesses and detailed examinations of evidence. They can also have important effects outside of the courtroom and beyond the life of the accused and the accused person's family.