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Common penalties for white collar crimes

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Criminal Defense

White-collar crimes are generally financial-based, such as fraud, embezzlement and insider trading. They usually do not involve violence and may not have a direct victim.

However, they still can have serious consequences, including fines, imprisonment and restitution.


After a conviction for a white collar crime, the court will typically impose fines.  The amount of the fine will depend on the specific offense and the amount of money involved. In some cases, fines can reach into the millions of dollars. The purpose is to punish the individual for their actions and deter others from engaging in similar behavior.


White-collar criminals may not face the same lengthy prison sentences as those convicted of violent crimes. They can still receive sentences of several years. In some cases, individuals may also receive a sentence of home confinement or probation in lieu of or in addition to imprisonment.


Restitution requires the individual to repay any money or property that they illegally obtained. Since white collar crimes are financial-based incidents, this is a common penalty the court assesses. It compensates the victims of the crime for their losses and prevents the person from continuing to have financial gain from their illegal activities. The amount of restitution will depend on the specifics of the case and the amount of money or property involved.

Penalties for white collar crimes extend beyond those the legal system imposes. Individuals may also face the loss of professional licenses or the inability to hold certain positions in the future. The situation may also cause problems in the person’s personal life. These collateral consequences can have a long-lasting impact on the individual’s life and career.