People often look at white collar crimes as a victimless crime. Unlike violent property crimes, there is not often a direct victim to pinpoint in a white collar crime situation. However, the lasting effects of such a crime can be huge. This type of crime may impact a large portion of the population, which is something violent or property crimes rarely do. In any case, the law does not take white collar crimes lightly, and those found guilty of them can expect swift punishment.
Fraud is a very common white collar crime. Recently, the owners of a travel agency found themselves under fire for just this reason. The discount travel agency sold discounted airline tickets through the online business. What really happened was they would buy air miles from people who did not use them and then use those miles to buy tickets, which they then sold at lower prices.
There are a few issues with this that quickly became apparent. Many who bought the tickets never ended up receiving them. Those who did get their tickets often had trouble using them due to cancellations by the airlines.
A legal issue is that selling air miles is not legal. Airlines do not allow this practice. This is why airlines cancelled many of the tickets. Another issue in the case is that the law requires travel agencies to keep client’s money in a trust. This agency did not do this and instead spent the money. They then refused to make refunds.
The two owners plead no contest to charges for spending the money and not offering proper refunds. They also must payback clients for their losses. This was negotiated down from the 23 felony counts the pair first faced in the case.