White-Collar Crime Can Bring Years in Prison – Let a Criminal Defence Lawyer Protect You

You may not realize that non-violent white-collar crimes can also lead to incredibly harsh penalties, such as many years in prison or even a life sentence. These types of crimes, such as fraud, theft, and embezzlement, are often committed without the perpetrator ever leaving their office. If you are accused of any of these crimes, it is important to understand the severity of the situation and how to best defend yourself.

In Canada, we do not have good data on the prevalence of white-collar crime or how many cases are successfully prosecuted. However, the federal Criminal Intelligence Service Canada estimates that financial crimes cost Canadians $5 billion annually – which is the same amount it costs to run all of our country’s federal and provincial jails and prisons combined.

What Is The Difference Between Blue-Collar And White-Collar Crimes?

White-collar crime and blue-collar crime differ in the type of criminal activity the perpetrator can engage in. Blue-collar crime is typically more direct, such as robbery or burglary. White-collar criminals, on the other hand, often have access to commit more widespread and complex fraud schemes. This is because they are usually in a position of power, such as being a loan officer in a bank.

What Is The Difference Between Individual And Corporate White Collar Crimes?

White-collar crime can be broadly classified into individual and corporate crimes. Individual crimes are usually committed by a single person or a small group, while large businesses or organizations often perpetrate corporate crimes. 

Ponzi schemes, identity theft, hacking, counterfeiting, and fraud are examples of individual white-collar crimes. Common white-collar crimes include insider trading and money laundering on the corporate level.

White-Collar Crime Types



Fraudulent schemes come in many different forms, but they all have one goal in common: to cheat people out of their money. One of the most common and simplest frauds is promising to send someone a large sum of money (for example, $10,000) if they will just send the fraudster a small amount first (such as $300). The fraudster takes the money that is sent to them but never follows through on their promise to send the larger sum.


Insider Trading 

Insider trading refers to the act of using confidential or inside information to gain an advantage in the financial markets. For example, if an employee at an investment bank knows that Company A is planning to acquire Company B, they can buy stock in Company B before the news becomes public and make a profit when the stock price goes up.


A Ponzi Scheme

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money, or the money paid by subsequent investors, instead of from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. Ponzi schemes typically involve promising investors unusually high returns within a short period of time. The high returns encourage more people to invest, and the scheme requires a continuous flow of new money to sustain itself. 

Named after Charles Ponzi, who ran a famous scheme in the early 1920s, this type of fraud continues to lure in unsuspecting victims today.



Embezzlement is a white-collar crime that refers to the fraudulent appropriation of property or funds by a person who is entrusted with its custody. Embezzlement can take many forms, from a lowly employee pilfering cash from the till to a complex scheme involving the transfer of millions of dollars from a company’s accounts. In any case, embezzlement is a serious crime that can have far-reaching consequences.


Money Laundering

Money laundering is a process whereby criminals attempt to integrate illegally obtained funds into the legitimate financial system. Money laundering typically involves moving the money through a series of transactions in order to disguise its origins. Eventually, the money is transferred into a legitimate account, where it becomes more difficult to trace. This process allows criminals to gain access to the legal financial system and legitimize their illicit activities.


Identity Theft 

Identity theft is one of the most common crimes in the world. Identity theft occurs when someone obtains another person’s personal or financial information without their permission and uses it to commit fraud, such as making unauthorized transactions or purchases. This type of theft can leave the victim with damage to their credit, finances, and reputation.



If you come across a bill that looks fake, it might be counterfeit money.  Counterfeiting is when someone creates a copy of something, like a $20 bill, intending to trick people into thinking it’s real.  It’s illegal to make or use counterfeit money. The government has made our money more colourful and detailed in order to combat counterfeiting. However, it is questionable how successful these efforts have been. There are rumours that high-quality copies of the new $100 bill were available within 24 hours of its release.



Espionage is a term used to describe the act of spying. This can be done for many reasons, such as gaining information about an enemy or trying to steal trade secrets. It typically involves one party gathering information about another without their knowledge or consent.  Espionage is a dangerous game, and can often lead to charges of treason. If caught, those involved in espionage can expect lengthy prison sentences.

If you face white-collar crime charges, your best action is to contact a qualified lawyer. Calvin Barry is an experienced criminal defence lawyer who serves Toronto and the surrounding areas. With his help, you can avoid a conviction and get the best possible outcome for your case.

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