White Collar Crime And Punishment In Ohio

One of the least understood crimes is white collar crime. It is a difficult concept to grasp. Its definition has altered over the years since the term was coined in 1939 by sociologist Edwin Sutherland. Today, if you find yourself facing such a charge, you would be advised to seek counsel from lawyers in Cincinnati Ohio skilled in this specialized field.

What is White Collar Crime?

As defined by the law and field founder, Sutherland, the term refers to a very exact species of criminal activity. It is characterized by two distinctive qualities. White collar crime is:


  • Non violent in nature
  • Dedicated to obtaining money of all types illegally

White collar crime is also often noted for its perpetrators. It is most common to find the majority of white collar criminals to be people from the upper echelons of a financial institution or other corporate entity that is subjected to the crime. These include chief executive officers (CEOs) and other individuals who hold positions within the upper management positions. This is not to say that it is not committed by other individuals in society. In fact, anyone can commit and be charged with this type of crime.

Types of White Collar Crime

White collar crime is easily recognizable when it is indicated as a specific type of crime. Some well known crimes of this type have been committed over time. Among the better known ones of recent history is the Enron Scandal of 2001. A list of white collar crimes in Ohio includes the following:

  • Bribery – the most common of all types of white collar crime
  • Computer offenses
  • Copyright infringement
  • Embezzlement – may or may not be connected with money laundering
  • Engaging in corrupt activity
  • Forgery
  • Identity theft
  • Insider trading – this is one of the most common types of white collar crime. It may even be performed unintentionally
  • Insurance fraud
  • Medicaid fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Ponzi schemes
  • Securities fraud
  • Tax evasion


Lawyers are well aware of the consequences of those who are charged with committing a white collar crime. The punishments depend upon whether the offense is treated as federal, Ohio state offense or both. The complexity of the nature of the crime and the subsequent potential to be charged as a federal or state offense means the white collar crime may result in fines and jail time ranging from those due a misdemeanor of the first degree to that prescribed for a felony of the first degree.

The complexity and potential range of penalties does necessitate the hiring of the best lawyers in Cincinnati Ohio – attorneys that specialize in the handling of white collar crimes. If nothing else, the lawyer may be able to ensure the charges fall under the lesser punishments entailed under Ohio laws. If the individual charged with a white collar crime fails or refuses to hire a skilled lawyer, the sentence may be stiffer with the accused facing the penalties associated with a criminal and felonious crime.


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