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What is a white-collar crime?

What does it mean when someone is called a white-collar worker? It usually means that the person is trained and skilled and that they work in a an office as accountants, engineers, bankers, architects, realtors and so on.

When someone is accused in Michigan of a white-collar crime, it typically means that they are a business or government professional who has been charged with one of several types of fraud. The FBI says it investigates a wide variety of white-collar crimes, including fraud involving securities, health care, public corruption, mortgages, embezzlement, money laundering, commodities and more.

The FBI says one of its highest investigative priorities is corporate fraud that is designed to deceive investors, regulators, auditors and analysts, often through the manipulation of financial data. Corporate fraud is often intended to drive stock prices higher to benefit the perpetrators in one way or another.

On its website, the Federal Bureau of Investigation says it also pursues people engaging in money laundering schemes. The point of money laundering is take cash gained illicitly and make it appear to have come from a legitimate source. The process can hide wealth from the IRS, fund criminal activities and help certain individuals and organizations elude law enforcement and prosecution.

Money laundering can be an essential part of drug trafficking, health care fraud and public corruption, the FBI says.

Another type of fraud the FBI prioritizes: Ponzi schemes. This form of fraud often includes promises of unrealistically high returns on investments, using money from new investors to pay off old investors in efforts to make the scheme appear legitimate.

Those accused of any of these white-collar crimes or others should contact an attorney experienced in a wide variety of fraud defenses.

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