White Collar Crime in Cities Across the U.S.

Rabin Nabizadeh
November 18, 2019

White-collar crimes, or business crimes, are one of the many categories of crime that we defend at Summit Defense. The FBI characterizes white-collar crime as crimes committed by business and government professionals. The motivation behind these crimes is financial, specifically to obtain or avoid losing money, property, or services or to secure a personal or business advantage.

While white-collar crime has become very common and occurs frequently, we were interested to learn more about which cities in the U.S. experience the most white-collar crime. To find out, we collected 2018 data from the U.S. Treasury to determine the number of white-collar crimes that occurred in the 100 largest cities around the U.S., relative to the city’s population. The following industries in which white-collar crime can occur were included in our analysis: depository institutions, insurance companies, loan or finance companies, money services businesses, securities and futures, and industries classified as others by the U.S. Treasury. 

We used this data to determine which cities experience the most white-collar crime overall, and also which cities see the most of various common types of white-collar crime including identity theft, forgery, and embezzlement. Read on to learn more about what we uncovered. 

An Overall Look: The Cities with the Most White-Collar Crime

US map showing the cities with the most white-collar crime

First, we determined the cities with the most white-collar crimes per 10,000 people in 2018. All categories of white-collar crime referenced above were included in these calculations. Richmond, VA, took the top spot on the list with a total of 7,504.23 white-collar crimes per 10,000 people. Its total was a high margin above the next city on the list, Miami, FL, with 4,237.27 white-collar crimes per 10,000 people. 

Cities in California made up one fifth of the list with 5 cities in the top 25 – Riverside, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, and Los Angeles. Both Florida and Ohio had 3 cities on the top 25 list. Interestingly, 16 cities’ rate of white-collar crime was above 1,000 crimes per 10,000 people. 

Identity Theft in Cities Around the U.S.

US map showing the cities with the most identity theft crimes

Next, we focused in on a specific type of white-collar crime that’s one of the more recognizable due to the number of people that it impacts annually. The FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year, so many can commiserate with the unfortunate after effects that come along with having your identity stolen. 

So, where in the U.S. should you be most concerned about identity theft? According to our analysis, Columbus, OH saw the highest number of identity theft crimes per 10,000 people with 367.89 in 2018. Columbus’ total was more than double the next city on the list, San Francisco with 138.67. Rounding out the top 5 were Charlotte, NC; San Jose, CA; and Miami, FL.

Forgery Crimes in Cities Around the U.S.

US map showing the cities with the most forgery crimes

Forgery is another common and also widely recognized type of white-collar crime in the U.S. Though forgery does not occur nearly as frequently as identity theft according to our data, it does impact many people annually. Similar to identity theft, Columbus, OH, also had the highest rate of forgery crimes per 10,000 people with 43.86. Miami, FL, has the second-highest rate with 32.19, followed by San Francisco, CA (26.58); Charlotte, NC (24.29); and Atlanta, GA (20.04). 

Embezzlement Crimes in Cities Around the U.S.

U.S. map showing the cities with the most embezzlement crimes

Finally, we finished out our analysis by looking at the rate of embezzlement crimes per 10,000 people in each city. The Penal Code defines embezzlement as unlawfully taking the property of someone else by the person to whom it has been entrusted. Las Vegas, NV, and Boston, MA, saw the highest rates of embezzlement crimes per 10,000 people, both with nearly 20 or more. 

Though white-collar crimes are non-violent in nature, they are still serious crimes. If you’ve been accused of a white-collar crime, contact us today to learn more about the best way to move forward.

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