Last Updated: May 20, 2021
People just love color-coding.
So, what about white-collar crime statistics? Why should you care?
Unlike blue-collar crimes (what did we say about color-coding?), the white ones aren’t about weapons or violence at all. The people behind them rely on bookkeeping software, internet browsers, or even personal reputation. Think embezzlement, healthcare fraud, election law violation, and mortgage fraud.
Such felonies are on the rise. You’d be amazed by how much money is lost on an annual basis because of those.
Surprising White-Collar Crime Statistics
Here are some not-so-fun white-collar crime facts.
- $56 billion were lost to white-collar crimes.
- Only 3% of federal prosecutions annually are for white-collar crimes.
- Experts predict the anti-money laundering market to reach 2385.8 million by 2036.
- California lost $400.9 million to fraud.
- Cybercrime damage cost is said to reach $6 trillion annually in 2021.
- Millions of fake N95 masks were sold in 5 states, as the coronavirus presents new opportunities for counterfeit.
- The majority of white-collar felons are educated, married men.
General White-Collar Crime Statistics
There has been a lot of attention paid to recent white-collar crimes cases. They result in job losses, salary cuts, and other misfortunes. Business crime cases often go unpunished or face reduced sentencing due to factors such as class and race.
Take a look at the general white-collar crime stats:
1. White-collar crime prosecutions have fallen by 25% in the last five years.
White-collar crime prosecution statistics show that January 2020 had the lowest levels of white-collar crime prosecutions on record.
With advances in technology and an increase in the dependency on cellular devices, there has been a definite increase in white-collar crimes on the whole. With prosecutions down, it is evident that justice is not being given to many victims.
Given that these crimes are committed by well-off white males with stable jobs, there is definitely a connection to race, class, and prosecutions.
2. Denver has had roughly 2.8 white-collar crimes each day, since the beginning of 2021.
(The Denver Post)
That makes 84.6 a month or 281 for the period of January – April, as per white-collar crime statistics.
That comes to show that such offenses happen incredibly often. If that’s the situation in just one city, can you imagine the global scale?!
So, what are we doing about it?
3. Only 3% of federal prosecutions per year are for white-collar crimes.
White-collar crime facts show that ever since 9/11, federal investigations are focused on bigger crimes like terrorism. This has definitely resulted in lowered prosecutions, even though white-collar felonies are on the rise.
But don’t be quick to lose hope!
4. At the beginning of 2021, the DOJ announced policy changes, which will help with white-collar offenses.
The changes in the Policy on Charging and Sentencing were announced on the 29th of January 2021 – mere days after Biden took the role of president. While it is not explicitly stated that white-collar crimes will take a more central role, it’s easy to assume, based on two factors:
- The policy is modeled after that of President Obama’s, which focused on the damage of the crime, rather than the type of crime.
- The pandemic lead to a peak of white-collar felonies and it’s not possible to ignore them any longer.
5. DOJ will also continue to develop the Paycheck Protection Program in 2021.
The PPP allows small businesses to apply and receive relief. Of course, as with all such systems, it’s vulnerable to fraud.
Back in December 2020, 90 people were charged for such white-collar crime arrest rates show. They led to losses of around $250 million.
The DOJ will focus on avoiding such cases in 2021.
But the people are taking action, too:
6. The anti-money laundering market is predicted to reach $2.38 billion by 2036.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. And judging by those white-collar statistics, it sure seems like people are sick of them.
Anti-money laundering actions include imposing a series of rules, procedures, and legislation, aiming to stop the process. Such laws have pretty dire consequences.
7. In 2020, 30% fewer Ponzi schemes were uncovered.
Given the pandemic, many people predicted that there will be a rise in investment crimes.
There probably was, it’s just that there wasn’t anyone to catch them.
Due to COVID-19, many parts of the criminal justice system had to shut down. Financial fraud detection generally faced many difficulties in 2020.
Here’s another dark stat:
8. One of the biggest counterfeit scandals in 2021 – millions of fake N95 masks were sold in 5 states.
(The New York Times)
Well, criminals saw an opportunity, and they took it.
In a crisis, people are less likely to fact-check. That’s how millions of fake masks were sold to hospitals, medics, and government agencies.
The masks came in boxes with “Made in the USA” written on them and even had the 3M logo.
We’ll let you be the moral judge here.
Who Commits White-Collar Crime?
More often than not, white-collar crimes can go undetected, and it can be hard to prosecute perpetrators. Here is a breakdown of who commits white-collar crimes.
9. Your typical white-collar felon is a white male in his 30s or 40s, usually married.
The popular TV image of young scrawny boys who are secretly master hackers couldn’t be further from the truth.
White-collar crimes are mostly committed by white men in their 30s or 40s. More often than not, they’re married.
Here’s the fun part:
In most cases, they don’t have a criminal history. Likely, the first crime that they committed was after they turned 30.
White-collar crime facts also show that:
10. Most of these felons have at least a bachelor’s degree.
(Gale Law Group)
Weirdly enough, most of them are people you’d expect to protect you from such occurrences. Professions include, but are not limited to:
- Financial advisors
- Clergy members
11. Less than 5% believe that females would take part in white-collar corruption.
(Gender and Crime: Convenience for Pink-Collar Offenders)
A few years ago, those studying the topic for pink-collar – a.k.a female – criminals ran an experiment.
Let’s say you want a permit for a summer mansion on a property the state wants to recreate. There are a female and a male official.
Who would you try to bribe to give you the permit?
Less than 5% chose the woman. Talk about white-collar crime facts!
So, maybe run a background check before you trust someone with important data?
White-Collar Crime Cost
If you’re wondering how much money is lost to white-collar felonies, we have the answer.
And you’re not going to like those white-collar crime statistics.
12. $56 billion were lost to fraud in 2020.
(Help Net Security)
You read that right. 56 billion.
$43 billion of them thanks to identity fraud scams.
The pandemic drastically changed how consumers behave. They heavily relied on all sorts of Web entertainment. So they kinda walked into the lion’s den on their own.
13. California lost $400.9 million to fraud.
It’s the state that was hit the hardest.
According to white-collar statistics by state, the runner-ups are:
- Texas – $203.05 million
- Florida – $199.36 million
- New York – $169.77 million
- Illinois – $93.32 million
- Pennsylvania – $74.74 million
14. Cybercrime damage is predicted to cost $6 trillion annually in 2021.
Remember what we said about staying at home and spending too much time on the internet?
Well, white-collar felons are never sleeping, it seems.
Seems like white-collar offenses cost quite more than blue ones.
White-Collar Crime vs Blue Collar Crime
The main difference between the two sides in the white-collar crime vs blue-collar crime debate:
Blue ones constitute traditional legal crimes such as robberies, drug consumption, murder, violence, etc. White ones don’t involve physical violence.
Both can hurt you.
Although not as brutal as blue-collar ones, white-collar offenses cost a lot more.
Just look at the white-collar crime statistics!
The pandemic turned out to be somewhat of a harvest for such felons. But it seems like the government and some businesses are taking action against them, which is great news.
Is there any way to protect yourself?
Till next time and stay safe!
The phrase “white-collar” is used to define certain employees that have higher-earning jobs with highly skilled levels of work. They don’t perform any manual labor and have been characterized by “shirt and ties,” management, and office jobs.
White-collar crimes are felonies that don’t involve violence. Think counterfeit, identity theft, embezzlement, espionage, etc.
White-collar crime facts show that most of the felons are white males. They’re usually between 30 and 40, married, and educated.
White-collar crimes are on the rise at a steady rate. This can be attributed to technological advances in our society that have resulted in created reliance on computers and phones to access financial and personal information.
For more data, take a look at the white-collar crime statistics above.
The biggest corporate fraud in the history of the US was the $11 billion account fraud at WorldCom. The CEO of WorldCom, Bernard Ebbers, was sentenced for fraud in 2005. Other related sentences were also handed out to John Rigas (15 years) and Timothy Rigas (20 years).