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What Is a Blue Collar Crime?

By on 2022-02-09 16:12:24, 0 Comments

Blue collar crime examples

Blue-collar crimes are relatively more violent than white-collar crimes. When it comes to cost, however, white-collar crimes have a greater impact. Blue-collar crime statistics show that such crimes have an estimated cost of about 14 billion dollars per year while white-collar crimes are estimated to cost a whopping 56 billion dollars annually.

The difference between white-collar and blue-collar crimes is mainly attributed to social class. Blue-collar crimes are mostly committed by those from the lower social class; conversely, white-collar crimes are usually committed by those from the upper or higher social class. This is mainly because those from the lower social class do not have much access to jobs and settings where white-collar crimes are committed.


Definition of Blue-Collar Crimes

Before we define blue-collar crimes, let us first dissect the blue-collar meaning. So what does the term blue-collar mean? Blue-collar was first coined around the 1920s to refer to American workers doing manual labor jobs. This includes workers in industries like manufacturing, construction, mining, maintenance, and agriculture. Since the jobs are usually messy, the workers would wear dark clothing. Many workers usually wear blue uniforms and shirts, hence the term blue-collar.

Now that we know the blue-collar meaning, what is a blue-collar crime then? Blue-collar crime definition can be summarized as crimes that are personal and immediate as opposed to crimes that require some elaborate planning. In theory, blue-collar crimes are more frequently committed by blue-collar workers. This is rather misleading though since street crimes and violent crimes are committed by people from all walks of life. Still, the connection is there, which is mainly since those from the lower social class who hold most blue-collar jobs have a harder time getting access to job settings where white-collar crimes are committed.

Blue-collar crime is not a legal term; it doesn’t have any official definition under the law. It does not appear in any state or federal statute. Nevertheless, it is a useful term in describing criminal activities that often result in theft, physical injury, or property damage.


Investigating Types of White-Collar Crimes

Blue collar crime vs white-collar crime

To have a better understanding of blue-collar crimes; let us look at them in contrast with white-collar crimes – blue-collar vs. white-collar crime. Let us, therefore, take a closer look at what a white-collar crime is along with some examples.

White-collar crimes are mainly non-violent crimes that require a certain amount of status and power within an organization. Such status and power can only be gained by white-collar workers. Herein lies the main difference or factor of blue-collar crime vs white-collar crime. White-collar criminals are mostly high-flying executives in power suits who hatch elaborate schemes for their financial gain. They don’t always need to be that high up in the corporate ladder though, they could be regular white-collar employees embezzling company money or scamming people out of their retirement money.

There is a wide range of white-collar crimes, Most of them though have several things in common.

  • They are non-violent crimes that rely in great part on deception and concealment.
  • The main objective is to gain money or property. Another common objective is to cover up other criminal activities.
  • They typically involve abuse of positions of trust and power.
  • There are usually multiple people who conspire to commit the crime.
  • They can be committed by individuals or actual corporations.
  • They are harder to detect than other crimes since losses are not immediate;y apparent.


  • Corporate Fraud

One of the most common white-collar crimes is corporate fraud. These are usually large-scale frauds that are perpetuated by multiple actors in a corporate or even government position. Most corporate fraud cases involve falsification of financial information, insider trading, and other schemes that are meant to conceal other corporate fraud activities. Corporate fraud may also involve schemes that impede inquiries from regulating bodies like the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Corporate fraud can cause significant losses to investors which would reduce investor confidence. This could consequently have a great potential negative impact on the economy. In terms of falsification of financial information, the people involved would manipulate financial data, share price, and other valuation measurements to deceive auditors, analysts, and investors about the corporation’s true financial status.

Corporate fraud also includes self-dealing. This is when one or more employees act to enrich themselves at the expense of their clients or investors. The most notorious cases involve insider trading. Specifically, this is when an individual divulges non-public information that is likely to affect share price and company valuations once made public. Moreover, insider trading occurs when that information is used by an individual to buy or sell securities, giving them an unfair advantage to profit.

  • Money Laundering

Money laundering pertains to the process of taking cash earned from illegal activities and making that cash appear to be earnings from legal business activities. The process is similar to doing actual laundry – the money from the illegal activity is the dirty cloth that must be laundered; after the process, the money is now ‘clean’ just like a freshly-laundered cloth.

Dirty money is most commonly derived from illegal activities like narcotics trafficking or drug dealing, human trafficking, healthcare fraud, terrorism, and even public corruption. Criminals use many ways to launder dirty money. Most of the time, the criminals use real estate, international trade, virtual currency like bitcoin, and precious metals.

The money laundering process has three main steps:

  • Placement. This pertains to the initial entry of dirty money into the financial system. It could be something very elaborate or as straightforward as putting the money in the criminal’s own business.
  • Layering. This step is the most complex part of the whole process. It aims to separate the dirty money from the source and create a deliberately complex audit trail. This could be achieved through a series of financial transactions and even the international movement of funds.
  • Integration. The final step, integration is when the once dirty money returns to the criminal as clean money. This is after the money is made to appear as it came from a legitimate source like a legitimate business or a real-estate sale.


  • Securities & Commodities Fraud

This type of fraud or white-collar crime involves deceiving potential investors as well as consumers by misrepresenting the information they use in making their decisions. Securities and commodities fraud may be committed by a stockbroker or the brokerage firm itself. It can also be perpetrated by investment banks and corporations. Individuals who commit this crime usually do so via insider trading.

Securities fraud is also referred to as stock or investment fraud. This illegal and highly unethical act involves false information, pump-and-dump schemes, as well as trading on insider information. Commodities fraud, on the other hand, mainly involves the illegal act or attempt of obtaining money in connection with a contract for the future delivery of assets that are ultimately never exchanged.


Examples of Blue Collar Crimes

Blue-collar crimes are mostly attributed to those with blue-collar jobs or from the lower social class. That is not to say, however, that people with white-collar jobs or those from higher social class do not commit blue-collar or violent crimes. Conversely, those from lower social classes could also commit white-collar crimes.

Blue-collar crimes are more personal and immediate. They are also violent and tend to be simpler to resolve since the crime is more obvious. There are a wide variety of blue-collar crimes. Among the most common blue-collar crime examples are:

  • Theft

This includes offenses ranging from petty ones to more serious ones. Some forms of theft are shoplifting, auto theft, burglary, breaking, armed robbery, theft with assault, and so on.

  • Drug Crimes

This covers all drug-related crimes such as manufacturing, distribution, or dealing, as well as possession. These crimes may also include illegal substance intoxication-induced crimes.

  • Sex Crimes

Sex crimes include rape and sexual assault. Date rape can also be seen as a blue-collar crime although it is increasingly considered as a white-collar crime, particularly those occurring on college campuses.

  • Violent Crimes

Violent crimes include those crimes where the perpetrators use or threaten to use harmful force on the victim. The most common violent crimes are assault and battery and murder. Rape and sexual assault, as well as robbery, are also often considered violent crimes.


Fight White-Collar and Blue-Collar Crime

Blue-collar meaning

All crimes, whether white-collar crime or blue-collar crime, have varying levels of negative impact. In the fight to suppress white-collar and blue-collar crimes, we must first take a look at the impact and punish each crime accordingly. How does white-collar crime affect society? How do these crimes impact the economy? What are the lasting effects of violent crimes on the victim and the victim’s family? All these must be addressed.

There are various government agencies engaged in the fight against all forms of crimes. Aside from your local police or law enforcement, there’s also the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, and many more. These agencies work together in solving both blue-collar and white-collar crimes. 

Crimes are crimes. The type or nature shouldn’t have to matter in terms of having their perpetrators punished. Blue-collar crimes may have more tangible effects due to their more violent nature, but even non-violent crimes can have lasting effects. Every crime holds its degree and extent of danger and threat, and each one must be punished.

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