8 of the Most Frequent Whistleblower White Collar Crimes

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White collar crime is defined by financial motivation, and is often considered nonviolent. The following are the most common types of white collar crime: insider trading, fraud, embezzlement, Ponzi schemes, money laundering, bribery, identity theft and forgery.


    • Insider trading is trading of a company’s public stock with knowledge of private information that is not available to the public. It is considered unfair and unethical. This type of crime is often committed by brokers, associates, and even sometimes family members.


  • Fraud is any form of deliberate deception with the promise of securing unlawful or unfair gain. This can mean misrepresentation of facts or credentials, or concealment of vital information for financial gain.
  • Embezzlement is financial fraud that involves purposely withholding assets for conversion (stealing) of such assets, by those who have been trusted with said assets. Embezzlement is often premeditated and happens over a lengthy period of time.
  • Ponzi schemes, named after Charles Ponzi, are characterized by an investment operator taking in money from new investors to pay off old investors, without actually earning profit for the investors. This sometimes happens intentionally, but it can also originate with legitimate companies that do not see the investment returns they wish to see, and therefore resort to illegal tactics.
  • Money laundering is using illegally obtained money as legitimate assets. This is often characterized by the money being introduced to the legal financial world, then moved around to create confusion about total amount as well as origin. Then, it is further integrated into the system, without a trace of where it came from.
  • Bribery is offering money or other valuable goods and services in exchange for certain actions. Those who are at the most risk of being approached with some sort of bribe are government officials, public servants, politicians, and potential business clients. Bribery also seeps over into the sport world, in the form of fixing event outcomes in order for those who gamble on sporting events to win bets and receive large payouts.
  • Identity theft is deliberately using another person’s identity for financial benefit, including use of someone else’s credit cards and having access to their bank account. Data breaches are often closely correlated with identity theft.


Forgery is the process of faking certain forms of information, including financial numbers and other crucial documents, for the sake of deceiving the public, or earning profit from the forged item, if it is of historical or other value. Forging money is referred to as “counterfeiting,” but the same concept applies.