White-collar crimes in Iowa are usually committed by executives, managers, and other professionals in positions of authority or power. These individuals use their access to resources or status to commit crimes for their financial gain.
The crimes do not typically include violence but often include deceit and other types of manipulation.
Definition of white-collar crime
White-collar crime is defined by the type of offender, who usually occupies a higher socio-economic status, the type of crime, usually financial, and the entity in which it occurs. White-collar crime often happens in a business or government setting. It encompasses a range of crimes, including tax evasion, embezzlement, and money laundering.
Who commits a white-collar crime?
The profile of a white-collar criminal is a white male with some higher education. He is aged 30-40 and often has a wife and affiliations with the community and a religious organization. The individual has often been involved in some lower-level criminal activity previously.
How white-collar crime differs from blue-collar crime
The difference between financial crimes lies in the access each type of worker has in a business setting. White-collar criminals may steal products from a company by falsifying financial transactions such as invoices, while blue-collar workers might steal merchandise from the warehouse floor. Blue-collar criminals use force and weapons when stealing, while white-collar criminals use financial schemes or fraudulent activities.
Examples of white-collar crimes
An accountant can commit white-collar crimes through activities such as intentionally creating false financial documents and manipulating financial information to make a company look like it has healthier financial performance. Fraud may appear as overstated revenues, misstated assets and liabilities, and transactions to hide profits or minimize losses.
Corporations commit white-collar crimes by illegally dumping toxic waste into rivers, misleading investors about products under development, or diverting funds from one activity to another. Tax fraud and evasion also fall under white-collar criminal fraud, because they’re done intentionally, rather than by mistake.
Awareness of white-collar crime can help companies and employees spot and potentially prevent fraudulent activity within business environments.