3 Most Common Types of Corporate Fraud
Corporate Fraud remains one of the most difficult crimes to convict. We break down the 3 most common forms of corporate fraud and how law enforcement are getting better at convicting those behind them.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or FBI, corporate fraud remains the top white collar crime in Florida and the rest of the United States. This type of fraud is very serious, not only because it leads to significant financial losses to individuals or institutions, but also because it threatens investor confidence. Of course, when investors are doubtful, the flow of money within the economy is affected.
Needless to say, criminals who engage in corporate fraud are sly and cunning. They are difficult to catch and even more difficult to convict. This is perhaps the reason the US federal government, through the FBI, is really at the forefront in battling this.
Corporate fraud comes in many forms. In this article, we look into three of the most common.
Falsification of Financial Information
Tax avoidance is legal; tax evasion is definitely not. However, there are some corporations that are very willing to make unauthorized or even false claims in their financial records just to avoid taxes and other fees. The damage that this does to the state is obvious, and this is the reason much of the FBI’s force is aimed at countering falsification of corporate financial records.
There is identity theft when a person uses another person’s or even corporate details to acquire or evade something. As such, identity theft can be made by both a person or a corporation (such as when a corporation uses a famous person’s name to enhance their popularity).
Personal and corporate Identity theft is a growing problem in the United States. In fact, statistics show that complaints almost doubled in the 2010-2015 period. What’s worrisome is the great possibility that the number of actual identity theft cases are far greater than what the reports show. After all, many crimes of this nature go undetected for long periods of time, even by the victims themselves.
To address this growing problem, the US Congress has enacted two laws that aim to increase the punishment for this crime. One of such laws, the 1998 Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, calls this offense a federal crime.
But going after identity criminals is pretty tricky. Because they are using another person’s identity, they are pretty much cloaked and the probability is high that the real owner of the identity becomes framed up. It is here that competent professionals such as Miami federal defense attorney Nick Oberheiden can come to the rescue. They help identify the victim and catch the actual criminals.
Aside from money and real property, intellectual properties are also very valuable resources that can be stolen. Unfortunately, intellectual property theft and copyright violations are among the most common forms of corporate fraud.
In a nutshell, there is intellectual property theft if someone uses another person’s or entity’s work, innovation, creation, or invention as their own. In academic terms, this is akin to plagiarism.
Profiting or benefiting from another entity’s intellectual properties is serious because it can destroy whole companies and disrupt crucial economic elements such as price and consumer confidence. To counter this crime, the federal government has created the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center.
White collar crimes are federally prosecuted and if, convicted can result in heavy penalties. The challenge for law enforcement and the attorneys is to correctly identify the offender. Given the often devious methods utilised by those perpetrating corporate fraud, this remains the most difficult aspect in securing a conviction. However, as prosecutors become more aware of the ways in which these white collar criminals operate, the law stands an increasing chance of achieving the convictions required to protect the public and the business world.