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White-Collar Crimes in India

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

By Sandeep Harish B, III year B.A., LL.B. The Central Law College, Salem Contact no: 8110067837 E-mail:


Edwin h. Sutherland in 1941 defined the white-collar crime as ‘White-collar crime is committed by a person of high social status and responsibility in the course of occupation’. For example infringement of patent, passing of goods, fraudulent advertisement, the publication of falsified balance sheets of the business, concealment of defects in the commodity for sale etc. So that the damages or the injury impact by these consequences are so widely diffused in the large form of citizens that their depravity as a personage victim is almost trifling.

Meaning of white-collar crimes:

A person or group of people commits any violation of law in the course of a business enterprise or a legitimate occupation and is termed as white-collar crimes. It includes a broad range of non-violent offences like corruption, cheating and dishonesty and the central elements of the crimes.

Types of white-collar crimes:

1. Bank fraud – to engage in a pattern or act of activity where the purpose is to defraud the bank of funds.

2. Bribery – when goods, money, services, information or anything else of value is offered with the intent to influence the opinions, actions or decisions of the taker. You may be charged with bribery whether you offer to accept or bribe it.

3. Computer fraud – some computer hackers steal information sources contained on the computer such as credit cards, bank information and proprietary information.

4. Securities fraud – the act of artificially inflating the price of goods by brokers so that shoppers can purchase goods on the rise.

5. Credit card fraud – the unauthorized use of a credit card to obtain values and goods.

6. Extortion – it occurs when the person is illegally obtaining property from another by threatened or actual force, violence, or fear, or under cover of official right.

7. Blackmail – a demand for money or consideration to be accused of a crime, or to expose secrets, threat to do bodily harm.

8. Forgery – when a person passes a worthless or false instrument such as a counterfeit or check security with the intent to injure or defraud the recipient.

9. Insider trading – when a person uses confidential, inside, or advanced information to trade in shares of publicly held corporations.

10. Embezzlement – when a person who has been entrusted with property or money appropriates it for her or his benefit and use.

11. Tax evasion – when a person commits fraud in paying or filing taxes. The complexity of tax laws in India has provided sufficient scope for the tax-payers to evade taxes. The evasion is more common with influential categories of people such as businessmen, traders, lawyers, engineers, doctors, contractors etc. The main difficulty present before the income tax department is to know the real and exact income of these professionals. It is often alleged that the actual tax paid by these persons is only a fraction of the rest of the money or income goes into circulation as ‘black money’.

12. Money laundering – the transfer of money from racketeering, drug deals or other embezzlement schemes so that it looks that its source both cannot be legitimate or traced.

Features of white-collar crimes:

1. It is an indirect form of theft; it is victimless in relation to physical damages.

2. A victim was after suffering the problem of white-collar crime without meeting the perpetrator.

3. Offenders are at work at the time the victim is unaware and present of the offending.

Causes of white-collar crimes:

1. The main important causes of white-collar crimes are committed because of economic or greed instability. And these crimes are also committed by situational pressure or the inherent characteristic of getting more than others.

2. Lack of awareness: one of the biggest and main important reasons for white-collar crimes is the lack of awareness of people.

3. Greed: greed is also the motivation for the commitment of crimes. Some people are thinking that most of the people are violating the law and so it is not bad if they do the same.

4. Not a crime: some offenders convince themselves that the actions performed by them are not crimes.

Measures to control White Collar Crime:

Tracking internet activities:

White-collar crimes are often committed via the internet. Make sure to use safe software in your computer and closely monitor the social media connections, websites and activities by your employees.

Implementing verification systems:

It is not a good idea to allow one employee to handle financial transactions or fiscal management and all contracts. Implementing checks or verification and balances systems helps to prevent white-collar crime within your business.

Monitoring employees:

Monitoring your employees helps to keep your business secure. Knowing they are being monitored. Video cameras are an effective tool for monitoring areas of temptation, such as supply cabinets and cash registers.


White-collar crimes are a crime which impacts harm to the society of the country. It threatens the society and country by economic thefts, evasion of tax and bank fraud etc. White-collar crimes are not only affecting the financial status of the country but it also causes negative effects on society.


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