White-collar crime is a range of fraudulent activities by government and business professionals. You will be shocked at how a small percentage of these activities are reported to the authorities and eventually prosecuted in law courts. It makes up just 3% of the federal prosecutions undertaken in law courts, reflecting how much these activities affect the people.
Although the crimes are not violent, they cause undue financial stress to victims, insolvency, and even bankruptcy in extreme cases. The perpetrators of these acts do not appear as regular criminals as they may be high office holders with prestige and affluence.
This article will look at the facts and figures to better understand how to deal with this societal menace.
- Research data estimates show that white-collar crimes account for just 3% of the yearly prosecutions in the law courts.
- Prosecution of White-collar crimes reduced greatly between 2011 and 2021 by 53.5%.
- In just one year, 2022, 4,180 white–collar prosecutions were engaged at the law courts, which rose from the previous years.
- The yearly loss rate due to the activities of the perpetrators of white-collar crimes in 2021 was between $426 billion and $1.7 trillion due to lack of prosecution.
- According to an analysis, about 90% of white-collar crimes are not reported to the appropriate authorities for investigation and prosecution.
Forms of White-Collar Crimes
- Asset misappropriation is the most common and the least type of occupational fraud, with 86% of cases at an average loss of $100,000.
- Financial statement crimes are the most expensive type of occupational fraud and are the least common, with 10% of cases costing an average of $954,000.
- The average case of embezzlement of funds will result in a more than $350,000 loss.
- Payment fraud, billing fraud, and payment changes are more likely to occur in small businesses than big organizations.
- Florida has the topmost number of convicted money laundering cases and related matters, followed by New York and Texas.
- Fraud is the most common offense in corporations, unions, pension firms, nonprofit organizations, and partnerships.
1. Over 35% of Businesses in the United States Are Affected in One Way or Another By White-Collar Crime.
The statistics of employees affected by these crimes are shocking, as about 75% of employees steal at least once from their organization. At the same time, another half of the percentage repeatedly takes funds from their employers. Also, more than 50% of managers of establishments embezzle funds.
2. In Every 100,000 People Who Are Arrested For Criminal Activities, About 5,000 Are Arrested For a White-Collar Crime-Related Issue.
Despite this huge number of arrests, only a few are eventually prosecuted as most do not see the light of the law court. For instance, there were 9,507 prosecutions of white-collar crimes in 2001; this increased in 2011 to 10,162, but this does not mean a reduction in crimes.
3. Fraudulent Activities Compose 63% of White-Collar Crimes, Making Them the Most Common.
Fraud makes up over half of white-collar crimes, followed by embezzlement and larceny-theft.
4. Identity Fraud and Theft Have Affected More Than 17 Million Residents in the United States.
At least 24% of households in the United States have fallen victim to not less than one white-collar crime. This occurrence is, however, unnoticed most times, with 88% of victims deciding not to make a formal complaint.
5. There Has Been a 22% Increase in the Rate of Suspicious Activities Reported and Filed By Financial Institutions Between 2009 and 2011.
The reported cases include anything associated with commercial loan fraud and self-dealing. This increase in criminal activity is quite overwhelming compared to the reduction in prosecution cases.
6. Complaints Due to Identity Theft Rose At Quite An Overwhelming Speed of 113% Between 2019 and 2020.
There was a high rate of increase in the number of complaints for identity theft in 2020 compared to the number of reported consumer issues and fraud in 2019. Identity theft comprised about 14% of the total complaints in 2018, but this analysis increased by 29% in 2020.
Statistics of White Collar Crime by Prosecutions
The number of prosecuted cases is quite low compared to the increased crime committed. It is also important to know that prison sentences for white-collar crimes are lesser than others.
7. In the United States Alone, In 2022, 4,180 White-Collar Crimes Were Eventually Prosecuted.
This is, however, 53.5% lower than the number of prosecutions ten years ago and 24.4% lower than five years ago. This means a steady reduction in the rate of prosecuted cases, although fraud and identity crimes have increased over time. One of the reasons for this rise has been associated with the presence of the internet and globalization.
8. The Average Prison Sentence For a White-Collar Crime Such As Fraud is 27 Months.
Though white-collar criminals can be faced with a sentence of up to 30 years, this long-term punishment is rarely implemented as many are given short penalties or fines.
9. Extortion or Racketeering Has the Highest Average White-Collar Crime Sentence of 79 Months.
This simply means more than six and half years will be spent behind bars by the perpetrators of these acts who are prosecuted. Gambling and lottery-related crimes have the lowest average sentence of less than half a year.
Below is a list showing the average or median sentences for white-collar crimes.
10. More Than Half of the White-Collar Criminals Are Between 41 and 60.
According to research, only in a few cases do we have the perpetrators of these acts below 40 years. This can be likened to individuals within the age bracket holding top positions of power at their workplaces and having much knowledge of money circulation.
11. In the United States, Females Comprise Less Than 10% of the Reported White-Collar Crime Perpetrators.
Females comprise just 8.65 of the total number of criminals reportedly involved in income tax violations. This aligns with the thought pattern that a few women (less than 5%) can actively engage in white-collar corruption.
12. Around 75.2% of Property Crimes, Counterfeiting, Embezzlement, and Bribery or Fraud Are Committed by White-Collared Individuals.
This is more than 60.1% of the population identifying as white, and the bribery rate stands at 84.9%.
Trends and Projections of White-Collar Crime
13. The Rate of Prosecutions of White-Collar Crimes Reduced Greatly Between 2011 and 2021.
In 2021 alone, were 4,727 prosecutions made on white-collar crime, a drop of 53.5% from the 10,162 cases recorded in 2011. Compared with the records of 2001, 20 years ago, we have a decrease of over 50%.
14. Identity Theft is the Most Occurring White-Collar Crime, Affecting Over 10 Million Americans in 2020 Alone.
This rise can be partially accredited to the introduction of money digitization and identification numbers. It is now much easier for criminals to gain access to SS numbers, credit cards, and personal identifications of individuals.
Statistics of White-collar Crime by Industry
15. The Financial Service Sector is Mostly Affected by White-Collar Crimes, With 17% Reported Embezzlement Cases in the Industry.
Some other industries affected by this menace are religious and nonprofit organizations, insurance companies, finance and loan companies, securities and futures, money service businesses, and depository institutions.
16. Companies With An Employment Ratio of 500 Employees Represent 69% of Federal White-Collar Cases.
Most of these crimes occur commonly within small businesses, as they are more likely to be affected 10x more by fraud. Furthermore, 80% of reported theft cases occur in companies with below 150 employees.
17. Nonprofit Organizations Suffer At Least One-Sixth of All Recorded Embezzlement Activities.
Nonprofit organizations face a much higher risk of white-collar crime than privately owned industries. Some other crimes prevalent in nonprofits are fraud, theft, overestimation of cost, and unauthorized fund usage.
White-collar Crime by Costs
White-collar crime has taken a toll on the financial sector of the United States. After all, white-collar crimes refer to money-related issues.
18. As of 2021, Yearly Losses Due to White-Collar Crimes were Between $426 Billion and $1.7 Trillion.
Due to the high number of crimes and the absence of prosecutions, it is quite hard to estimate the amount of money lost as a result of white–collar crimes. This is, however, more than the conservative amount of $426 billion of the entire American marine economy.
19. The Average Company in the United States Loses a Minimum of $9 Daily Per Employee Due to White-Collar Crime.
This year, 6% of the annual total revenue was lost to employee-perpetrated white-collar crimes at the year’s close.
20. According to Predictions, The Anti-Money Laundering Market Will Get As High As $2.38 Billion by 2036.
Anti-money laundering is quite a pressing issue in the finance industry due to the more accessible digital methods of moving money with little or no hints. Examples of anti-money laundering actions are imposing rules, legislation, and procedures to bring to the bare minimum drug financing, fraud, terrorism financing, tax evasion, and human trafficking.
21. Ponzi Schemes Have Increased in Wales and England by 59%, Which is Quite An Increase From the Previous Year.
The white-collar crime rate of financial investment in the United Kingdom has risen 42% year-over-year. This was majorly a result of the increased numbers of pyramid schemes at 59% and bond sale scams at 57%.
22. According to Research, Most Perpetrators of White-Collar Crimes Have a Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree.
Most people you thought would protect you from such occurrences are the main carriers of these activities. This group includes professionals such as lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors.
Prevention and Detection
23. The major way occupational fraud can be detected is by tips, as half of all directions come from employees, while 22% are from customers.
24. Organizations with fraud working hotlines detect these activities 33% faster than those who don’t use hotlines.
25. About one-third of all embezzlement schemes take up to three years or more before detection.
26. Fifteen percent of carriers of fraudulent activities showed nearly zero percent red flag behaviors before they were caught.
27. The four main methods used by perpetrators of these criminal records are forming false documents, effecting changes on physical copies, altering electronic documents, and constructing electronic documents.
Yearly white-collar crime costs the United States a loss of over $400 billion and affects businesses and people from region to region. According to estimates, 24% of households have been affected by at least one of these crimes, and companies lose up to 6% of total yearly revenue to white-collar crime committed by their employees. Unfortunately, little or nothing is being done to curb this menace, as 88% of these case is not reported. Businesses need to do more to monitor their employees, who steal an average of $9 per person daily. Undoubtedly, the rate of white-collar crime needs to be seriously addressed to conserve the funds lost to these criminals across businesses and corporate government circles.
What is the rate (percentage) of white-collar crime?
Who commits most of the white-collar crimes?
Are white-collar crimes decreasing or increasing?