A white collar crime is not what immediately comes to mind when you hear the word “crime.” It is less violent and involves a certain level of finesse. Although there are other ways to commit a white collar crime, the types below are a little more commonplace in Texas.
Embezzlement is when a white collar worker, typically an employee in a financial institution, mishandles corporate funds and places them to their personal bank accounts. It can happen in any company or business relationship where one party embezzles or steals money discreetly. Anyone who has established financial trust or duty with another individual or business entity can commit embezzlement. Perhaps that is why it is one of the most common white collar crimes.
A fraud is a person who pretends to be someone they are not. It becomes illegal when the fraudster uses deceptive means to gain or steal from another party. Here are typical examples of fraud in Texas:
- Mortgage fraud: It is when an individual deliberately falsifies their information and even steals another’s identity to acquire mortgage financing.
- Health care fraud: It is when health care providers or doctors take advantage of their patients’ health insurance and Medicare or Medicaid benefits through fraudulent billing schemes and fake procedures. The physician or health care provider can also be the victim through kickback schemes.
- Credit card fraud: It can happen when an individual uses a lost or stolen credit card for personal purchases or cash advances without the owner’s consent. It can also involve identity theft. The fraudster steals another person’s identity to receive a credit card or uses another person’s identity and credit card information to make purchases or cash advances.
- Bank fraud: It is when an individual deceives and defrauds a financial institution or any institution where people can deposit money. A person can commit bank fraud by manipulating checks, wire transfers, loans, debit and credit cards, ATM machines, and phishing.
A person can also commit fraud through tax evasion. Having no money to pay taxes is not a crime in Texas. However, the federal government may prosecute someone who avoids tax obligations by falsifying records and asset misappropriation.
Forgery is producing a writing and attempting or succeeding to pass it off as coming from another person. Chapter 32 of the Texas Penal Code states that forgery is when a person “forges a writing with intent to defraud or harm another.”
By the name itself, identity theft is stealing another person’s identity. They can use your personal information to discredit you or steal from you.
It is important to be aware of these crimes so that others cannot victimize you or use your personal information against you. They might even make you look like a criminal when you have done nothing wrong.