It is easy to assume that white-collar crime is harmless since there is no physical harm to a victim. But does it cause no harm as some people think? The reality can be quite different. Only the victims of white-collar crimes understand how devastating and damaging it can become.

According to the FBI, White-collar crime is characteristic of concealment, deceit, and violation of trust. It can ultimately damage a company, lead to losses of billions of dollars or even wreck a family by wiping out their life savings.

The charges of white-collar crimes are not as light as many people assume. You can get prison time when guilty of the crime. The financial industry has increased the penalties and severity of the white-collar crime. However, the repercussion varies on whether you get a state or federal charge.

Federal charges carry long sentences and harsher penalties. You may have to serve about more than 80 percent of your time if you get a federal indictment. A state court, on the other hand, may only get you to serve about 50 percent of the sentence you receive.

Some of the white-collar crimes that violate both state and federal law include money laundering, securities fraud, corporate fraud and identity theft. Investigating white-collar crimes can be a very time consuming and complicated process.

Most of these crimes are not as visible as a physical injury. They are often hidden in numerous transactions and business records, making them hard to trace. The investigative process can be very complex and involve more than one jurisdiction. However, the most prominent problem investigators face is when a victim fails to cooperate due to the shame of going through such a crime.