There are many types of white collar crimes in the State of California.

Under California Penal Code Section 186.11, white collar crimes may include forgery, bribery, embezzlement, identity theft, and extortion. “White collar crime” by definition is “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his or her occupation.”

These crimes are typically non-violent and conducted in order to achieve financial gain. White collar crimes in the United States have accounted for nearly $300 billion dollars in losses.

Regardless of the nature of the offense, you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. With a white collar crime defense attorney you can make the most of your opportunity to defend the charges in court.

Our lawyers at the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, have more than 35 years of combined experience in criminal matters, including representation of those accused of white collar crimes.

Please contact our San Diego, California office to set up a no-cost consultation today.

Types of White Collar Crimes Under California Law

Under the statute, you could be charged with a white collar crime if you:

  1. Commit two or more related felonies;
  2. The felonies are based upon a pattern or series of acts; and,
  3. The pattern of felony conduct involves fraud, embezzlement, or other misappropriation of items valued at $100,000.

The operation of the white collar crime law is an enhancement instead of a separate crime. If convicted of the two felonies described in #1 in a single criminal case, you face a term of imprisonment in addition to the sentence for the underlying felonies.

Depending on your criminal history and the surrounding circumstances, the additional prison time could be two, three, or five years.

Some examples of crimes falling under the white collar classification include:


This crime occurs when someone is entrusted with custody of money or property, and then converts it to his or her own use. The unique feature regarding embezzlement is that the individual had lawful possession of the item at one point, but engages in unlawful conduct by misappropriating it.

The offense most common in the employer-employee relationship or where executives misappropriate corporate property.

Bank Fraud 

This offense involves a pattern of crimes with the intent to defraud a bank or other financial institution. Check kiting – writing checks from different accounts where there are no funds to cover the amounts – is an example.

Cell Phone Fraud

If you tamper, use, or manipulate a cell phone or telecommunications service of another person, you could be charged with the white collar crime of cell phone fraud.

The offense is typically committed through theft of the phone and cloning the serial number, or by procuring cell phone services through falsified information.


You could be charged with counterfeiting if you copy or reproduce an item, without permission, and with the intent to pass it off as an original.

Though commonly associated with paper money, counterfeiting may involve such items as designer clothing, jewelry, and other accessories.

Insider Trading

In the securities sector, a person may commit insider trading by using confidential knowledge to make decisions regarding stock transactions.

Insurance Fraud

A person could be charged with insurance fraud by falsifying information when filing a claim. An example may be causing damage to your own home or setting it on fire, and then making a claim for insurance proceeds under the terms of your policy.

Money Laundering

This crime may involve investing, transferring, or otherwise manipulating money that was procured through illegal methods.

Money laundering is often a charge in drug or gambling schemes where the perpetrators are attempting conceal the illegal source.


When a person has the intent to defraud an unknowing person without permission to do so, create a fictitious name, check, etc., it is constituted as fraud. This type of white collar crime is punishable as a felony by 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in California state prison.


This white collar crime is constituted by the intent to give or offer something of monetary advantage or worth. It must be given or offered to an arbitrator, judicial officer, juror etc. It is punishable by up to 2, 3, or 4 years as a felony in prison.

Identity Theft

When a person knowingly obtains the identity of a person that is not their true self, it is constituted as identity theft. Identity theft is one of the largest and fastest growing criminal activities in the United States to date.

Computer Fraud

Commonly termed “hacking,” this offense involves usage of an electronic device to engage in acts of fraud. Computer fraud is often the one of the two felonies involved with a white collar crime, with the other being identify theft.


The force may be in a threatening form of a person themselves or of their property as well as family members.

Also, a threat to expose information, specifically a secret, may constitute this white collar crime. Extortion is punishable in state prison by 2, 3, or 4 years.

Consult with a White Collar Crime Defense Attorney About Your Case

For all the listed reasons, it is important to have great attorneys on your side. The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, come equipped with the best lawyers in order to represent and defend the accused on all white collar crime charges.

The talent of the lawyers is apparent due to the sensitive nature of these cases and the special attention each defendant receives throughout this tedious process.

If you’ve been charged with a white collar crime, please contact our San Diego office to set up a free consultation. We can discuss defense strategies after reviewing the details of your case.