People often think of white collar crimes as less important than other types of crime. They think of fudging the numbers to commit tax fraud as less of a problem than stealing a car or robbing a house, for instance.
This outlook is what causes a lot of people to commit these crimes, and it is important for them to understand that these are serious cases that carry significant ramifications. They may feel less "real" than other types of crime, but they're not. They're still illegal and can lead to fines and jail time.
For instance, an investment advisor in Ohio just got around 10 years behind bars for his part in a scheme that allegedly took nearly $1 million from his clients. He had three different people who allowed him to use their retirement accounts, giving him access so he could help them toward a successful financial future. Instead, he took $941,000 out of those accounts. According to the report, the 53-year-old man then used the money for his own personal expenses.
Essentially, that's theft. It feels different than taking physical money directly out of someone's wallet on account of the fact that it takes place electronically, but it's no different to the court. In this case, they called it wire fraud. In addition to prison time, he has to pay those former clients back.
It is important for those who find themselves accused of white collar crimes to understand the serious nature of these accusations, to think about the impact to their future, and to understand all of the legal defense options they have.