Why/how do people get caught up in white collar criminal activity?

A recent in-depth Forbes analysis scrutinizes white collar criminal activity. It specifically looks at the many underlying reasons that individuals indulge in it, risking draconian penalties if caught.

An initial point noted in the article concerning alleged white collar schemes is that there “always is a newer and bigger one getting exposed.”

Houston-based Hilder & Associates attorneys are proven and resolute advocates for individuals ensnared in nonviolent and so-called “occupational” criminal probes. As such, we know well the increasingly close focus of government task forces and police agencies on corporate crime. That realm ranges widely from fraud and bribery to embezzlement, insider trading and many other alleged business improprieties.

It is hardly surprising that, with a scope so diverse and complex, subject-matter pundits can point to myriad reasons why employees nationally sometimes cross legal boundaries to engage in wrongful business activity. The Forbes piece notes motivations like these:

  • Lack of cues from upper management concerning ethics and best practices
  • Company goals that are overly lofty and can only be realized through hyper-aggressive behaviors and practices
  • Widespread view within shielded business realms that fraud victims are amorphous or nonexistent
  • Unethical behavior regarded as being harmless to others

We would add a caveat to those bullet points from vast personal experience representing defendants in white collar crime matters, namely this: Many of those individuals were merely cogs in vast enterprises who were responsible for a sliver of work within a far larger bundle of connected activities. They often had no idea that their actions were unlawful or unethical.

Every individual in America who is accused of illegal conduct importantly has the right of legal counsel and a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Seasoned defense attorneys do not make moral judgments concerning clients in need. Rather, they make best efforts to safeguard an accused person’s rights and pursue a best-case outcome in every instance.