We probably all know by now just because someone wears a suit and sits at a desk, it doesn’t mean they’re not engaging in crime! Sure, the crime may be nonviolent. But it’s crime nonetheless, right? The sort of crime I’m referring to here is known legally as white collar crime. It tends to involve the abuse of one’s capabilities in business and finance.
You may think that you have nothing to worry about here. But do you know for sure that none of your employees could be putting your business at risk with such behavior? Heck, can you even say for sure that you’re not ignorantly breaking the law?
It’s important that you get to know a bit more about this area of law. It will help reduce the risk of your business getting into trouble!
What crimes can occur in business?
The most common crime in small businesses and fraudulent record keeping and tax evasion. The former sees a business “cooking the books” to make it look more profitable than it actually is. The latter… well, the latter is tax evasion. If you haven’t registered your business with the IRS correctly, you may be guilty of it! Payroll fraud isn’t too common, but it’s serious business if it occurs. A business may inadvertently commit it if they don’t update employee records correctly. Embezzlement, of course, is another example.
What to do if you’re investigated or accused
They may be nonviolent, but that doesn’t mean that white collar crimes are looked upon lightly compared to other crimes. There are people out there serving whole-life sentences for white collar crime! And if you’re not sent to jail, heavy fines or business penalties are almost guaranteed. The agencies that conduct the investigations are not pushovers by any definition. The FBI, IRS, SEC, and the U.S. Treasury all investigate the issues. If you are accused of such activity, get legal help. Firms like Keller Law Offices offer the sort of services you’ll need.
Learning the law
The best way to avoid this sort of thing is to get fully versed in business law. So many white collar crimes could be committed due to incompetence or lack of learning. Getting your head around business law and regulations is absolutely essential. After all, ignorance has rarely ever been allowed as a legitimate excuse in a court of law. The truth is that pleading ignorance is rarely going to help you, even if you’re telling the truth!
Background checks on candidates should always be carried out in financial or insurance business. But a background check, of course, won’t tell you everything you need to know. So it’s best to simply keep an eye on your employees. A lot of small businesses don’t really like the idea of monitoring their employees in any serious capacity. It seems unnecessary at best, Orwellian at worst. I’m not saying you should have a camera trained on every employee at all times. What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t let your guard down. You shouldn’t make assumptions. Keep an eye out for any suspicious data or discrepancies.