Fraud is largely a white-collar crime committed by those who have already achieved some degree of professional success. It is common for people to judge those accused of fraud offenses and think of them as being selfish or greedy. However, many professionals embroiled in allegations of fraudulent misconduct didn’t set out to hurt anyone.
Instead, they fall victim to a very common trap that affects modern professionals. There is a saying that you have to project success to achieve success. You have to look the part to get the job. The trappings of success can be very expensive. A salesperson or executive who wants to convey they are good at their job to others needs to have designer clothing and a vehicle with an air of prestige to impress others.
Trying to maintain that facade of financial success often leads to acts of fraud.
Professionals often carry more debt than others
Successful professionals don’t just earn more through their work. They also have to invest a lot more to remain successful. Someone who is still trying to pay back their last round of wardrobe enhancements may end up in over their head financially when friends change and they need new suit coats again. Higher levels of income have a strong association with higher amounts of credit card debt.
Little financial maneuvers, from commingling resources with your personal assets to embezzling from an employer, can seem like a short-term solution for those unable to keep up with the Joneses. Bad billing practices or lying about the likely returns on an investment may seem like minor moral compromises for someone who needs money.
Unfortunately, especially if the person involved continues to engage in certain fraudulent behaviors they may eventually find themselves facing criminal charges. What starts out small can have a major impact. Allegations of mortgage fraud, healthcare fraud or wire fraud could lead to prison time and the loss of your job.
Criminal charges could also cost you your professional licensing and make it very hard for you to rebuild your life even after you pay your debt to society. Professionals facing charges because they overextended themselves and became desperate may need help avoiding the worst consequences and rebuilding their lives. Defending against fraud charges may be the only way to prevent criminal allegations from permanently limiting your professional opportunities.