A Brief Guide on Colorado’s Economic Crimes

Not all crimes are violent – but that doesn’t mean crimes without violence don’t have victims. White-collar crimes are a perfect example. Additionally, in places like Denver, white-collar crimes may be more common than you think.

According to a report by the Denver Post, there is an average of 2.9 white-collar crimes committed in Denver each day. These crimes, while not violent, can involve some steep punishments, which is why being accused of a white-collar crime is very serious.

What are white-collar crimes under Colorado laws and what types of activities fall under this description? Read on to find out.

What Is a White Collar Crime?

White-collar crimes are usually non-violent crimes that occur in a professional setting, but that’s not always the case. They often involve large sums of money because they involve schemes of using fraud to secure money for the perpetrator.

White Collar Crimes Under Colorado Law

  • Money laundering
  • Real estate or mortgage fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Forgery
  • Insurance fraud
  • Bribery
  • Health care fraud
  • Credit card fraud
  • Medicare fraud
  • Bank fraud
  • Mail fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Check fraud
  • Securities fraud
  • Bankruptcy fraud
  • Extortion

These are an example of white-collar crimes, but some of the most common that you may have heard of include corporate fraud, Ponzi schemes, and embezzlement. Learn more about each below.

Corporate Fraud

There are many types of white-collar crimes that all under the umbrella of corporate crimes. Many cases of corporate fraud include schemes created to deceive auditors or investors about the condition of the financial standing of a corporation.

That often means that someone within the company falsifies company numbers to make its financial performance look better than it actually is, which when helps people feel more secure in investing money in a corporation they feel is financially secure.

Ponzi Schemes

This type of white-collar crime is a scam involving investments that promise a high return on investment with little risk. The perpetrators collect money from new investors to pay old investors, never really making any money.

Instead, they shuffle money around to appear profitable. It usually falls apart when there are no new investors to get money from to pay old investors.


When someone who handles money for a company uses their position to steal money, then that is called embezzlement. An example includes an employee diverting funds from the company to their personal bank account or politicians using campaign money for personal expenses.

CO Penalties for White Collar Crimes

Since there are a wide variety of crimes that can fall under the larger category of white-collar crimes, the punishments for them vary widely.

In most scenarios, cases that remain in Colorado state courts involve penalties such as forfeiture, restitution to victims, and fines. That said, white-collar crimes can also include prison sentences as well as probation and community service.

Penalties for white-collar crimes rise sharply depending on the amount of money involved in the scheme. Embezzlement of just $2,000 can result in a Class 6 felony, for instance, which is punishable by up to 18 months in prison.

If someone commits check fraud for the same amount, then they can face fines up to $100,000 as a result.

Denver White Collar Crimes Defense


For this reason, if you or someone you love is facing charges for white-collar crimes, it’s important to understand your rights under the law. These are serious charges and you need to mount a serious defense against them.

About the Author:

Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020 and is Lead Counsel rated.