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December 1, 2021

5 Common White Collar Crimes that Might Land You in Jail

December 1, 2021

5 Common White Collar Crimes that Might Land You in Jail

You often hear the term white collar crime on the news when wealthy people get duped out of millions of dollars by a financier. Most people assume white collar crimes only happen to “rich” people. However, there are many different types of white collar crimes. All of these crimes can be committed by anyone from a business or in government, against just about any human, or corporation. But what is a white collar crime?

What are White Collar Crimes?

White Collar Crimes are fraudulent crimes that result in financial ruin. They can affect businesses, families, or individuals. People committing these crimes want to scam, steal property or money, or are trying to avoid losing money or property. 

There are many types of white collar crimes, but there are some that happen more frequently than others and if you’ve been accused of one, you’ll need an experienced criminal defense attorney  on your side during court proceedings. These types of charges are serious and can destroy your life, and the lives of those who are nearest and dearest to you.


Simply put, embezzlement is stealing on a grand scale. Usually a person with a job handling money, credit cards, or property, uses that position to steal their employer’s money, and property, and use their credit cards for personal purchases. Politicians also fall into this category of white crimes when they use campaign funds for personal expenses. 

Good rule of thumb is if you’re using a corporate account in any way to make personal purchases, it’s embezzlement. If convicted of embezzlement charges in Michigan, it will land you in jail. 


Extortion is similar to blackmail. Any person or organization that attempts to force another to relinquish their property, money, goods, or services. Just the threat is considered extortion, even if the one being threatened doesn’t hand over money, property, goods, or services. 

Blackmail is the most well-known form of extortion, as it forces a victim to “pay up” or else they will suffer in some way. 

Corporate Fraud

Corporate fraud uses deceit, fraudulent practices, along with scams for financial gain, or protection. These crimes can be committed by entire organizations, or by individuals within the organization and pool the wool over the eyes of investors, customers, and fellow business associates. 

Charities are often caught in corporate fraud when soliciting donations, and the money is not used for what donors were told it would be used for. 

These crimes are typically investigated by the Michigan State Police Fraud Investigation Unit.

Bankruptcy Fraud

Filing for bankruptcy allows people to get out from under debt they could never pay back, but it means having to report all of one’s assets to the courts. And the courts want ALL assets listed: income, cars, homes, and the list goes on. 

Although bankruptcy fraud has to be proven to be intentional it’s best to never hide an asset, big or small. White collar crimes are a bigger deal than movies lead you to believe. 

Credit Card Fraud

Unauthorized use of a credit card or debit card is considered credit card fraud. If you’re not authorized to use a card to make a purchase, it’s an illegal transaction and when caught, is punishable by law. 

Finding Help for Your White Collar Crime Charge

If you are charged with a white collar crime in Michigan, regardless of which white collar crime you’re charged with, you’ll want to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. It’s important to take these criminal charges seriously and work with the best! The Schwartz Law Group attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients charged with a white collar crime in the Michigan criminal courts.