White collar crimes are a particular subset of criminal conduct. They generally do not involve the infliction of physical harm on victims, but often involve conduct that deprives others of their money. Many of the crimes that constitute white collar criminal conduct share as a basis one prohibited act: fraud.
Fraud occurs when a person intentionally deceives another individual for the person's personal or financial benefit. A New Jersey resident may be charged with identity theft if they are alleged to have used the personal information of another individual to open an account, gain access to credit or otherwise enrich themselves financially. The may be charged with tax evasion if they are accused of intentionally failing to disclose their full income to the Internal Revenue Service for the purposes of avoid the full payment of their taxes.
In order to prove that fraud was committed, prosecutors often must show that a person intended to deprive their alleged victim of something. In other words, they must show that the accused purposely committed the fraud. A fraud cannot be charged based on an innocent act or an accident: the intentional conduct of the individual is a critical part of a fraud case. In addition to proving intent, prosecutors also generally must show that the victim upon whom the fraud was perpetrated actually suffered a loss due to the other's actions.
An allegation of fraud is a serious legal matter for any person. A charge of fraud may be punished with a term of imprisonment as well as financial penalties.