What is white collar crime?

White collar crimes typically refer to a type of crime committed by business people, entrepreneurs, public officials, and professionals through deception, as opposed to street crimes which tend to involve force and violence (see the section on "Violent Crimes"). Examples of white-collar crimes include embezzlement, bribery, extortion, larceny, fraud (e.g., health care, tax), bankruptcy, telemarketing, insurance, mail, securities and commodities law violations, environmental law violations, price fixing, racketeering, loan sharking, black market operations, obstruction of justice and perjury, identity theft, perjury and computer fraud.

Depending on whether federal or state law has been violated, white collar crimes can be prosecuted at the federal or state level. Penalties vary, but in some cases can result in large fines, restitution, and jail time.