Generally speaking, the reason for most white-collar crime is that those carrying out the illegal actions are seeking financial gain or taking actions to make such a gain possible.
For example, money laundering is a white-collar offense. While money laundering itself does not bring in assets, it is a way of taking money that is gained in another fashion—such as through the sale of illegal goods—and hiding it from the government. It is usually done by funneling the money through a legitimate business so that the origins of the money are hidden and it becomes "legal" money.
Another common type of white collar crime is investment fraud, which happens when investors are misled about the state of a company. For example, a company could intentionally misreport the amount of money earned in the last quarter to make it look like a good investment, when the truth is that the company lost money and is on the edge of bankruptcy. Investors can then be fooled into putting their money into the company—and then losing it when the company goes under.
Other types of financial crime include Ponzi schemes, insurance fraud, and mortgage fraud. These can all be complicated and difficult to unravel. There are also more straightforward types of white collar crime, such as embezzlement, which happens when money is stolen from a company by an employee. This is sometimes just done by altering the books to hide the missing funds.
These are simply a few examples of white collar crime, but they are some of the most common and they show how money is usually the driving force. Those who have been accused of any such crimes in Maryland have the right to a fair trial.
Source: FIndLaw, "White Collar Crime," accessed Feb. 11, 2016