White collar crime is a complex, multifaceted area of criminal defense law. Many types of white collar crime involve interstate dealings, which means that the federal government has to get involved. Not surprisingly, white collar crimes often involve incredibly long prison sentences, huge financial penalties, and the complete loss of one’s reputation and professional standing. Learn more about some of the most widely known types of white collar crime, and if you are looking for a criminal defense attorney, call the Law Offices of Robin D. Perry & Associates at 562-216-2944.


Extortion happens when a person or institution is forced or coerced into giving up money or assets. You’ll hear this term come up a lot in cases involving celebrities as people try to cash in on their proximity to someone famous. John Stamos was the victim of extortion when two people threatened to release career-ending photos of the actor unless he paid them $700,000. They were subsequently caught by the FBI. However, extortion can also involve regular, everyday people—for example, the local shop owner who is coerced into paying for “protection services” from the local mob.

Insider Trading

It seems like insider trading makes the news on a near-weekly basis. When someone trades stocks or securities based on information that is not publicly available, they are engaging in insider trading. These cases often involve high-level executives and those close to them, as people with valuable information may want to protect friends and family members from massive losses. However, insider trading can also be used to drive up the price of stock for the benefit of stockholders. Martha Stewart was arrested for insider trading in the early 2000s.

Ponzi Schemes

Pyramid schemes date back to the days immediately following World War I, when Charles Ponzi created a scheme that would allow investors to cash in after 90 days. Of course, they were only paid out by the funds of those who came in after them. As all of these schemes eventually do, it collapsed. People get involved in Ponzi schemes because founders generally promise minimal risk and huge returns. The pool of new recruits does eventually dry up, and at that point, the scheme becomes public.

Tax Evasion

Seeing the amount of taxes taken out of every paycheck can sting, but taxes are an inevitable part of life. When people intentionally lie about their income or assets to avoid paying the taxes they truly owe, they may be guilty of tax evasion. Known for his criminal exploits and crime network, Al Capone was finally brought down by a tax evasion investigation. Common forms of tax evasion include hiding assets or income, knowingly providing false information on tax documents, and falsifying records to obscure earnings or assets.

Bankruptcy Fraud

Anyone who has gone through the bankruptcy process may be shocked to hear that bankruptcy fraud is a fairly common issue. Filers have to provide an enormous amount of documentation and data to prove that they are truly incapable of paying their debts. However, some people will go to great lengths to get out of paying their debt without giving up their assets or income.

Part of the bankruptcy process is declaring your income and cataloging all of your assets. If your assets are worth enough, the bankruptcy trustee will seize them and use them to pay off as much of your debt as possible before discharging the rest. People who want to avoid this step may take steps to hide assets. This may include outright lying about assets that are difficult to trace, “giving” assets to loved ones with the intention of getting them back after the bankruptcy is granted, bribing a trustee, or intentionally obtaining credit while actively planning on filing bankruptcy.

Of course, these five crimes barely scratch the surface of white collar crime. Other crimes that commonly fit into this category include identity theft, counterfeiting, embezzlement, money laundering, espionage, and mail fraud. Many types of white collar crime overlap, which means that offenders could be facing multiple charges.

Need Criminal Defense? Call the Law Offices of Robin D. Perry & Associates

If you’ve been accused of a crime, you need to contact a white collar criminal defense attorney now. This is especially true if you’ve been accused of a white collar crime, since investigators often wait to file charges until they already have a mountain of evidence against a suspect.