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Opposite of blue collar crime. Derived from the term white collar. Crime that is not physical in nature, like fraud, bribery, inside trading, money laundery, etc. Crimes that you can "perform from your office desk".

White collar crimes tend to be lightly punished in the modern world.

There is sometimes a very fine line between an intelligent CEO and a criminal mastermind.

"White collar crime" is not a legal term and as such does not appear in any legislation. Rather, it is a general classification of crimes that are considered atypical when compared to other crime. Legislation dealing with this type of crime is largely ineffective, as the nature of it makes the development of criminal laws for its control and punishment extremely difficult. It is different from other crime in two main respects:

  1. Who carries out the offence
  2. How the offence is detected

1. Who carries out the offence
Those responsible tend to be from middle-class or upper-class socioeconomic backgrounds. The origin of the term dates back to the 1930's, when it was used to refer to a crime committed by such a person in the course of their employment, and included/s embezzlement, forgery and misappropriation of funds. Recently the term has been broadened to include other activities usually carried out by similar groups of professionals. The misuse of intellectual property, "insider trading," computer hacking, even industrial espionage, are now included under the umbrella of "white collar crime." "Corporate crime" is chiefly the same only on a much larger scale.

2.How the offence is detected
White collar crime is also different to other types of crime in that the process of determining that a crime has been committed is vastly different. They can be so complex and sophisticated that it may take a team of accountants just to detect that a breach has been made. Deciding exactly who committed the offence (esp. with respect to large corporations) and how the charge can be proved against them in court is sometimes impossible as the perpetrator/s may have "covered their tracks" sufficiently to deem them legally blameless for their actions, or they may wield considerable economic power and can effectively buy or bargain their way out of the charge.

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