One can get the impression that the only people who get charged with felonies for so-called white-collar crimes are wealthy business executives and professionals. Others who make the news are people who take hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in elaborate financial schemes.
The reality is that just about anyone with the ability to access funds or to conduct business can be accused of a white-collar crime. The term “white-collar crimes” refers only to a wide variety of felonies and other charges which involve accusations of business fraud, taking advantage of one’s employment or manipulating the financial system.
In Colorado, theft is theft no matter how it allegedly happened
There are many criminal laws under which Colorado authorities can try to prosecute what they believe is a white-collar crime.
Perhaps a good starting point is to recognize that Colorado’s theft statutes for the most part do not say how a theft has to occur. These laws apply just as much to a person who is accused of shoplifting from a Denver-area business as they do to an executive at the same business who is using his power to write fake invoices and divert the payments for personal use.
Generally, Colorado’s penalties for theft depend only on the amount involved. A person will face felony charges for theft if the amount of property involved equals at least $2,000. The most serious theft offenses, those involving more than $1 million, can land a person in prison for up to 24 years with a minimum sentence of 8 years.
Colorado residents who find themselves accused of theft based on financial fraud or trickery may have made a mistake for a number of reasons, including personal financial problems.
On the other hand, oftentimes, prosecutors press white-collar charges in cases involving honest mistakes, ignorance or simple carelessness. A person accused of such behavior should understand their legal options.