For those who are not attuned to the workings of the criminal justice system, it is a common view that serious crimes must involve a level of violence. While it is true that violent crimes are taken very seriously in California, there are a number of offenses that involve no physical harm whatsoever.
White-collar crimes involve malfeasance that is motivated by financial gain rather than violence. The more common white-collar offenses include fraud, money laundering, bribery, forgery and identity theft. All in all, it is thought that such crimes cost around $500 billion per year. Frequently, these offenses are committed in the workplace, but why do people get caught up in such behavior? Outlined below are some key reasons why the workplace might influence the commission of white-collar crimes.
The perception that financial crimes are victimless crimes
It is a common misconception that white-collar crimes do not cause any harm. This belief tends to be adopted because those engaging in the commission of the offense never make any contact with the person who has been defrauded. Furthermore, due to the digital nature of the world today, money and other assets can be transferred instantaneously. This has the potential to foster a “no harm has been done” attitude, which is far from the case in reality. The fast-paced and often dehumanized nature of stock trading can be a hotbed for financial offenses.
A widespread disregard for the law
The financial industry can be ruthless at times. This can create the impression that only the strongest survive. Adhering to the legal process has the potential to be viewed as a sign of weakness. Frequently, executives blatantly disagree with regulations altogether. As a result, deviant behavior might even be encouraged or incentivized. Again, this is often fueled by the perception that there are no tangible victims. However, simply disagreeing with the rules does not provide any authority to break them.
White-collar crimes are serious in their own right and penalties can be life-changing. If you find yourself facing criminal charges for financial offenses, it is vital to gain an understanding of your legal rights and build a sound defense strategy.