Punishments for White Collar Crime
Punishments for white collar crime depend on a variety of factors, such as the type of crime that was committed, who was involved, the extent of the damages, and where/how the crime is tried. A white collar crime is defined as a crime where one party benefits from a criminal act at the expense of another in a business or professional environment. These acts are usually non-violent, though the punishments for white collar crime are usually on par with street crime penalties. State and federal governments consider white collar crimes a serious offense and will often make punishments for white collar crime substantial. White collar crimes cost billions and billions of dollars in losses each year, so it is no wonder that punishments for white collar crime can be severe.
There are many types of white collar crimes. Some crimes are prosecuted civilly where the punishments for white collar crime usually involve fines intended to restore what was lost. If the crime was willful or malicious, the punishments for white collar crime may involve punitive damages and even jail time. Other circumstances involve criminal punishments for white collar crime which can also include fines and or jail time. Many white collar crimes are prosecuted as felonies.
Punishments for white collar crimes can result from a number of different acts including, but not limited to, crimes involving: antitrust, fraud, embezzlement, bribery, counterfeiting, environmental law violations, corruption, theft, tax evasion, bankruptcy, kickbacks, and money laundering. Many government agencies regulate businesses and individuals and have enacted laws defining the punishments for white collar crime.
Punishments for white collar crime can also depend on who is involved in the crime. Corporations can often receive greater punishments for white collar crime than individuals might. In some cases corporations can receive penalties that are six times what an individual might receive. Acts against the government also carry very strict punishments for white collar crime. These acts eventually end up costing taxpayers money; therefore it is not surprising that these punishments can be harsh.
When government or other public officials are found guilty , they too can receive harsh punishments for white collar crime. Often government fraud is discovered when a whistleblower or qui tam comes forward to expose a crime. Monetary punishments for white collar crime can actually be awarded (in part) to whistleblowers. They can also receive protection from those parties they expose through their testimony.
If you are the victim of a white collar crime, you may wish to discuss your case with a qualified and experienced attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and options. Often as part of punishments for white collar crime, you are compensated for the damages you have suffered as a result of another party's wrongdoing.
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