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white collar crime

n. a generic term for crimes involving commercial fraud, cheating consumers, swindles, insider trading on the stock market, embezzlement and other forms of dishonest business schemes. The term comes from the out-of-date assumption that business executives wear white shirts with ties. It also theoretically distinguishes these crimes and criminals from physical crimes, supposedly likely to be committed by "blue collar" workers.


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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications