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What is corporate fraud, and why is it so dangerous to the U.S.?

White collar crimes come in many forms, but one thing that binds them together is that they're investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the federal level. The term white collar crime generally refers to crimes involving fraud committed by people in business or the government.

One kind of fraud that can be devastating to entire companies and communities is corporate fraud. Corporate fraud is also one of the main priorities of the FBI. Corporate fraud can lead to devastating effects on the U.S. economy and hurts investor confidence, potentially harming other businesses and individuals.

Some examples of corporate fraud include fraudulently trading to hide losses or to inflate a company's perceived profits, making illicit transactions to avoid regulation or oversight and the misuse of corporate property for personal gain. Other kinds of corporate fraud include insider trading and tax violations.

One example of a fraudulent situation would be if you decided to trade stocks based on insider knowledge that a new product was going to be released. If the public has not yet been informed of this information, then it's considered insider knowledge and shouldn't be used to influence your decisions on purchasing or selling stocks.

When investors can't trust a company, their investments stop. This hurts the economy and the people who work for that company. If you're accused of participating in fraudulent acts, you need to defend yourself. Many people want to see those who commit fraud go to jail, and you deserve fair treatment and a fair trial before any decisions are made about your future.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, "White-Collar Crime," accessed Oct. 12, 2017

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