Q:

What is white-collar crime?

A:

White-collar crime is a type of nonviolent, financially-motivated crime typically committed by business professionals and government officials. There are many variations of white-collar crime including embezzlement, fraud, racketeering, bribery, insider trading, and more. The term white-collar crime refers to the fact that crimes of this nature are often committed by members of the middle-to-upper-class.

Q:

What is the most common white-collar crime?

A:

According to Northcentral University, there are five types of white-collar crimes that are particularly common. These are:

  1. Corporate Fraud
  2. Embezzlement
  3. Ponzi Schemes
  4. Extortion
  5. Bankruptcy Fraud

Q:

What are the consequences of white-collar crime?

A:

The legal consequences of being charged with a white-collar crime can be very steep. Common penalties include hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences. If a business or corporation is found guilty of white-collar crime, it can result in strict penalties that eventually lead to financial ruin. Federal sentencing guidelines suggest a longer prison sentence in any case where at least one victim suffered substantial financial harm.

Q:

What is embezzlement?

A:

Embezzlement is a type of white-collar crime that describes when an individual mismanages or misappropriates financial assets that have been entrusted to them. In these cases, the individual in question accesses the funds legally and has the right to possess them but uses them for unauthorized purposes, most commonly for personal gain. Embezzlement differs from theft because it involves stealing from an employer as opposed to another individual.

Q:

What’s an example of embezzlement?

A:

A common example of embezzlement could be an accountant who diverts funds from his clients’ accounts to his own without their knowledge. Another example could be a bank teller who pockets money from customers instead of depositing it in their account.

Q:

Is it embezzlement if you own the company?

A:

Yes, it is possible to embezzle money from your own company and it can result in criminal charges. If you take money from your own company, make sure it is structured as a loan that you eventually pay back and keep accurate records. Most importantly, you need to be able to prove that you didn’t take money with the intent of depriving the company or for personal gain.

Q:

What is Medicare fraud?

A:

Medicare fraud describes when an individual or organization deceives Medicare to receive payment they’re not entitled to. This can mean getting more money than you’re supposed to, or even getting money when you shouldn’t be receiving any at all. Typically, doctors and healthcare providers are most likely to be charged with Medicare fraud.

Q:

What’s an example of Medicare fraud?

A:

A good example of Medicare fraud would be if a provider submits a bill to Medicare for services that weren’t actually performed. A common version of this tactic is visiting a nursing home and billing Medicare as if they treated most of the residents at once.

Another common example of Medicare fraud is called upcoding, when a provider charges for a more expensive service than the one actually provided — for instance, billing for major surgery when only routine medical care was provided.

Q:

How common is Medicare fraud?

A:

The total amount of Medicare fraud is difficult to know for certain since not all cases are discovered and other suspicious cases may not actually be fraudulent. In 2010, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget estimated that Medicare lost $47.9 billion due to fraud, though that number was later discovered to be a bit high. While it’s hard to quantify the exact number of cases or dollars lost, it’s clear that Medicare fraud costs the U.S. billions of dollars every year.

Q:

What is healthcare fraud?

A:

Healthcare fraud describes any intentional action that leads to you or another party receiving healthcare benefits you’re not entitled to. In order to be considered fraud, the action has to involve intentional deception or misrepresentation of information. It’s estimated that healthcare fraud costs the U.S. billions of dollars every year.

Q:

What are some examples of healthcare fraud?

A:

An example of healthcare fraud could be a provider who bills for services that weren’t actually performed, or bills for a more expensive procedure than the one actually performed. Another good example of healthcare fraud is performing services that aren’t medically necessary or misrepresenting non-covered treatments in order to receive insurance payments.

Q:

What’s the difference between healthcare fraud and abuse?

A:

Healthcare fraud and abuse are closely connected, but there is an important legal distinction between them. Fraud is defined as an intentional deception or misrepresentation of facts, while abuse is defined as any improper action that goes outside acceptable standards of professional conduct.

Both crimes have the same effects and lead to similar results, but the key difference is the intent of the person committing the action. Since fraud is an intended action and abuse is not, a fraud charge will result in stricter legal punishment.