Answer: White-collar crime is not a technical term, so its definition depends on who you’re asking. Different offices or different agencies may have their own definitions of what they consider to be white-collar crime. Generally what I would consider, and I think what most people would consider to be white-collar crime would be something that’s a non-violent property crime that involves some type of fraud.
So something against somebody in a professional organization like a corporation, a government agency, a church, something like that. White-collar cases could be extremely complicated—financial transactions, things involving banks, stocks, bonds, things like that—or they could be extremely simple, something like a forged check or the misuse of a credit card. So it really could be all over the map. And the potential penalties, likewise, could be all over the map.