White-collar crime in Canada is a very broad term that refers to non-violent corporate and occupational crimes fuelled by financial gain.
Occupational crime consists of any fraudulent acts committed by employees against the company they are employed by. It usually has the following characteristics; the unlawful act is done in secret, it is in direct violation of the company’s policies, the perpetrator gains financially and the act defrauds the company in some form.
While these acts are against the law, it is often difficult to prosecute and control. Sometimes the crime is not noticed until major amounts of money have been defrauded or in other cases, the companies opt to deal with it internally as to prevent a scandal that may further their financial ruin.
Examples of occupational crime are:
- Vandalism – The intentional destruction of the company’s property.
- Theft – Taking the company’s property with the deliberate intention of never returning the item.
- Insurance Fraud – Dishonest claims/actions aimed at gaining some sort of benefit by defrauding insurance providers.
Corporate crime encompasses the high-level executives who make illegal decisions to benefit the company and in turn themselves. They are often middle to upper class in society and implement decisions that negatively impact workers, the public, and shareholders.
Examples of corporate crime are:
- Pollution – Industrial companies sometimes intentionally contribute to deforestation, pollute rivers and water supplies during manufacturing and disposal of their products instead of following the prevailing environmental and pollution laws (i.e. they save money and profit by not following the law).
- Deplorable Working Conditions – Countries overseas (especially third world countries) are notoriously used to mass-produce products at a cheaper cost to the company. At times the working conditions such as unfair wages, lack of safety gear, and exposure to harmful chemicals are all ways that contribute to the problem.
- Income-Tax Evasion – Falls under the tax noncompliance umbrella, which encompasses tax breaks obtained legally on false information or outright non-payment of taxes.
Crimes of violence is another informal classification of particular types of crime fueled by emotions and sometimes by drug or alcohol abuse. These types of crimes are often committed by individuals who use violence as a means to gain some sort of perceived benefit over another individual.
Examples of crimes of violence are:
- Armed Robbery – The use of a weapon during a robbery.
- Sexual Assault – Any unwanted sexually-based act done to or in the presence of another person.
- Domestic Assault – Violence within a marriage, common-law relationship, or among intimate friends.
If you or someone you know has been accused of any type of crime, please call one of our top criminal defence lawyers at Kruse Law Firm and allow us to assess your case. You can call one of our many local offices in Ontario or call us toll-free or use our online consultation form for a free consultation. Contact us now, and let us handle it.