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What constitutes a white collar crime in Iowa?

In Iowa and elsewhere, there are a number of criminal charges people can face, from serious felonies to relatively minor misdemeanors. People may have heard the term "white collar crime," but they may not be exactly certain what that means. What, exactly, is a white collar crime? Perhaps more importantly, what might someone accused of such a crime expect to face?

White collar crime is an umbrella term that generally applies to any type of alleged illegal activity motivated by financial gain and usually committed through deceit in a non-violent manner. Commonly, white collar crimes involve fraud or embezzlement; more specifically, they include things like insider trading, tax evasion, money laundering and insurance fraud. In fact, a great number of white collar crimes are various types of fraud.

Fraud, essentially, is a type of crime that involves deceiving another person or entity for monetary gain. In addition to securities fraud and insider trading are mortgage fraud and insurance fraud, which, for example, may involve an individual lying on an application in order to improperly collect on an insurance policy. Fraud also includes business scams commonly known as "Ponzi schemes" in which individuals improperly take money from investors.

Another common white collar crime is embezzlement, which can take many forms. Essentially, it is when an individual improperly acquires money from someone he or she owes some type of duty. In layman's terms, an example would be when an employee takes money from an employer by improperly redirecting company funds into a personal account.

Regardless of the specifics, however, being convicted of a white collar crime can result in massive fines requiring restitution or even extensive prison sentences. As such, any residents of Iowa who find themselves facing white collar charges may wish to seek out the representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Financial crimes are often very nuanced and complicated, and skilled legal counsel is often the best means of securing a positive outcome.

Source: criminal.findlaw.com, "White Collar Crime", Accessed on Feb. 3, 2018

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