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New Orleans Criminal Lawyer > Blog > White-Collar Crime > Under the law, financial crimes are not victimless crimes

Under the law, financial crimes are not victimless crimes

A crime is often identified by the harm that it causes to an individual or group of people. For example, an assault may be prosecuted if the accused person’s actions cause physical distress to a New Orleans resident; a homicide charge may result if a death occurs due to someone else’s activities. In addition, crimes often must involve a person’s intention to engage in illegal activities, actions that further the illegal plans, and in some cases cause harm to others.

Physical injuries and death are easy forms of harm to spot, but not all crimes codified in Louisiana state law and federal law require such drastic losses. Many white collar crimes involve the alleged misuse of information and money and because of this it may not seem like such crimes could possibly be considered as serious as those that involve physical harm. Some readers may have heard such crimes referred to as victimless crimes because the scope of alleged harm suffered by a victim is perceived as nonexistent or limited.

However, the law does not see the alleged commission of these crimes in such a light. For example, tax fraud or tax evasion may not seem like an act that hurts anyone in particular. But because everyone is required to pay taxes, those who do not pay get an unfair financial benefit compared to the rest of the population who pay their taxes in full. Likewise, insurance fraud may not seem like it would have any effect on anyone besides an insurance company. But insurance fraud may impact other people’s insurance rates, which means that it is not a victimless crime.

Individuals who engage in financial crimes and white collar crimes are often prosecuted like those who commit violent offenses. If the law criminalizes certain behavior or acts, then under the law, those acts are not victimless. However, regardless of the charges that a person may face, they have rights to stand up to their accusers in court. A criminal trial is an important venue through which a person facing charges may counter the claims made against them and seek to clear their name.

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