U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

White Collar Crime

NCJ Number
Date Published
8 pages
Using data from the integrated Federal Justice Statistics data base, this study evaluated Federal efforts to prosecute white-collar criminals (those convicted of fraud, forgery, embezzlement, and other offenses for financial gain).

During 1985, 10,733 defendants were convicted of Federal white-collar crimes, an increase of 18 percent since 1980. White-collar offenses comprised 30 percent of those investigated by U.S. attorneys in the 12 months prior to September 30, 1985. The majority of suspects were investigated for fraud. Criminal cases were filed against 55 percent of white-collar suspects. The filing rate was highest for tax fraud (79 percent), followed by regulatory violations (65 percent). About 40 percent of those convicted were incarcerated, a rate lower than that for other offenders; they received shorter average sentences than other offenders. Compared to other offenders, white-collar offenders were more likely to be put on probation or fined. Among white-collar offenders, counterfeiters were most likely to be incarcerated, received the longest average sentences, and were most likely to receive sentences over 5 years. Sentence lengths increased 20 percent since 1980, particularly for tax fraud. Compared to other offenders, this group was more likely to be female, nonwhite, over 40, and to have attended college. 14 tables.