William Barzee: What Defines a White Collar Crime?

As Managing Partner of Barzee Flores, William Barzee is a highly respected legal professional holding a specialized interest in complex white collar crimes, both at trial and appellate levels. William Barzee has over a decade of legal experience in civil and criminal litigation.

White collar crimes were defined by Edwin Sutherland in the latter half of the 1930’s, referencing the elevated social status of the typical white collar criminal. Today, white collar crimes are generally accepted as non-violent acts, often resulting in illegal financial benefit. White collar crimes are similar to corporate crimes in that they include several types of fraud. Credit card fraud, bank fraud, and computer fraud are included in the definition, as well as blackmail, bribery, extortion, embezzlement, insider trading, financial scams, money laundering, currency forgery, tax evasion, and some cases of identity theft.

The term white collar crime differentiates these non-violent acts from rape, theft, arson, vandalism, and burglary, which are referred to as “blue-collar crimes.” While white collar crime involves acts of deceit or omission of information, they rarely involve physical violence or destruction. The perpetrators of white collar crime sometimes hold positions of significant power, wealth, or confidence. They may occupy roles with great financial responsibility, and the opportunity to commit white collar crimes may become apparent to them during the course of professional activities.


About William Barzee

Miami native William Barzee has lived, attended school, and worked in the south Florida city his entire life. Attending Coral Gables Senior High School as a teenager, he later enrolled at the University of Miami, also in Coral Gables. During his undergraduate years, he joined various student organizations. He served as a Student Representative to the University’s Board of Trustees and spent time as the President of the student government. William Barzee’s scholastic aptitude earned him memberships in the Iron Arrow Society, the Appeals Committee, and the Honor Council. Finishing his degree at Florida International University in Miami, William Barzee earned a Bachelor of Arts and became a member of a Phi-Lambda national honors fraternity. Returning to the University of Miami at its School of Law to earn his legal degree, he supplemented his studies with a variety of services. Contributing to a national mock trial team, William Barzee also participated as a Finals Review Student Lecturer and Honor Council Student Advocate. He wrote for the University of Miami Law Review and won an American Jurisprudence Book Award before graduating cum laude. Accepting his first career position with the Law Offices of the Public Defender for Miami-Dade County, William Barzee spent over three years as a Special Assistant Public Defender and close to five years as an Assistant Federal Public Defender. After a year and a half as a solo practitioner in Miami, he cofounded his criminal law practice Barzee Flores. Located at the Courthouse Center, 40 N.W. 3rd Street Penthouse 1 in Miami, Barzee Flores has represented clients in federal and state cases since 2008. For more information on Mr. Barzee and the law firm, please visit www.barzeeflores.com.
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