"White collar" crimes are nonviolent crimes carried out by people in professional positions of trust. In other words, white collar crimes don't involve directly stealing something, holding someone up at gunpoint or attacking another individual. Instead, they involve some kind of subterfuge, deception or conspiracy carried out by one or more people who stand to gain financially.
Most white collar crimes remain in the background and we never hear about the crimes or the people accused of committing them. However, some white collar crimes are so notorious that they make the news. Below is one of the biggest white collar crimes to recently be featured in the papers.
A large-scale fantasy football crime
We've all heard of fantasy football, and maybe you've even played with a group at the office. These games involve the selection of your "fantasy" team of professional sports players and betting on outcomes – which depend on the performance of said players. In recent years, fantasy football and fantasy sports betting has taken to the Internet. FanDuel and DraftKings are two of the more famous websites where players can place their bets.
The problem with fantasy football for many states is the "betting" aspect of the game. Seven states have specifically outlawed fantasy team betting based on their interpretation of state gambling laws.
Because of their alleged illegality, owners of DraftKings and FanDuel – and other similar fantasy betting businesses – have faced numerous civil lawsuits and criminal charges related to their businesses. In these cases, the legality and criminality of fantasy betting are called into question. The owners of these businesses argue that they aren't doing anything wrong although prosecutors claim they've committed numerous white collar crimes.
Is fantasy football a crime?
Like many alleged white collar crimes, individuals who are running fantasy football leagues don't usually feel like what they are doing is wrong. When the legality of a particular action is fuzzy or unclear, those accused of committing the action unlawfully may be able to defend themselves against the allegations in court.
This is a relatively new legal area, so it's a good idea to learn all about your legal options before deciding how to align your defense strategy.