White Collar Crimes – Embezzlement - Tax Evasion

White collar versus blue collar

In general, so-called “white collar crimes” refer to crimes involving learned professionals and others employed in professions that do not involve physical labor. Traditionally, persons employed in industries involving manual labor such as manufacturing, construction and other unskilled trades have been referred to as “blue-collar” workers, whereas professionals employed in learned professions such as medicine and law as well as persons employed in business management and banking or finance have been considered “white collar” workers.

Due to their complexity, most white collar crimes are prosecuted in federal court. While prosecutions for identity theft and other simple financial fraud cases are prosecuted in state courts, most state law-enforcement authorities defer to federal investigators when significant or widespread white-collar misdeeds or corruption are uncovered. In general, federal investigators and prosecutors possess far greater resources at their disposal. Since white collar crimes can be difficult to prove, federal investigators and prosecutors often devote significant time, energy and resources to prosecuting such cases.

Types of white collar crimes

White collar crimes are usually committed by white collar professionals and other individuals who hold high-profile or respected positions. Readers may be familiar with recent high-profile corruption cases involving elected officials like former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon or former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. of Illinois. Each of these individuals was accused—and later pled guilty to—crimes involving the acceptance of money and gifts in exchange for the abuse of their political office.

While many kinds of public corruption cases fall under the purview of white collar crimes, two of the most common kinds of white collar cases prosecuted by federal authorities involve embezzlement and tax evasion.


Embezzlement is a kind of financial fraud in which a person—usually an insider with access to financial or other assets of a business or other individuals—steals or misappropriates property for one’s own use or benefit. One common scheme involves an employee in charge of payroll at a company surreptitiously inflating one’s salary, thus siphoning off business money for one’s own use and benefit. Employees and others may also alter checks or bills or may siphon portions of cash payments before depositing them, and may alter financial records to conceal the theft.

Embezzlement charges can range from a Class H felony if the loss to the employer or the aggrieved party is less than $100,000 to a Class C felony where the loss exceeds $100,000. The penalties for persons convicted of embezzlement can be significant. The best thing a person charged with embezzlement can do is hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist with one’s defense against the charges.

If you or someone you know has been charged with embezzlement, please give the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC a call today.

Tax Evasion

In North Carolina, law-enforcement officials and federal prosecutors have been prosecuting tax evasion and tax fraud cases with increased persistence. This crackdown has been led by skilled prosecutors and an influx in resources to combat the perceived flood of tax dodgers. As a result, the need for experienced criminal defense lawyers to represent and advocate on behalf of those facing investigation or prosecution for tax dodging is greater than ever.

Law-enforcement officials and prosecutors treat tax evasion cases very seriously. Individuals who are convicted of tax evasion can face lengthy prison sentences on top of large fines. In addition to criminal penalties, many persons convicted of tax evasion may lose their jobs, and persons holding professional licenses may face actions by administrative agencies to revoke their licenses.

Employing an experienced criminal defense attorney who has a strong grasp of both federal and state tax laws and regulations is the best thing a person facing tax-evasion charges can do. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our attorneys understand how to investigate and prepare tax-evasion cases and how to build the strongest defense for our clients.

If you have been charged with or are being investigated for a serious tax offense, it is important that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to help defend you. The lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to achieving the best results for their clients. In addition, our team of attorneys has the resources and experience to investigate cases and build the strongest possible defense.

Contact Us Today

If you or someone you know is facing embezzlement, tax evasion or other white collar criminal charges, contact us here or call us now at (704) 370-2828 . Our attorneys will negotiate on your behalf and work to develop a strong legal strategy for your specific case.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Blog - White Collar Crime