Tracking White Collar Criminals, One State at a Time

Utah’s white collar criminal registry recently went live.[1] The registry purports to help Utah residents track and avoid white collar criminal offenders.[2] But the registry creates more questions than it answers, while opening a disturbing new realm of public access to information. The registry is the first of its kind in the United States, and is modeled after the sex offender registries used in every state.[3] Lawmakers pointed to a rash of victims of predatory financial advisors in Utah, many Mormon[4],[5], and running a web search for “Utah Ponzi scheme” brings thousands of results. Reducing the spate of white collar crime in Utah, including Ponzi schemes, is a driving force behind the law.

Examining the details of the requirements surrounding the registry brings concern. Full restitution for an offense would result in removal from the registry, meaning those who could afford to pay would not be listed. Offenders, including those convicted of “securities fraud, mortgage fraud and money-laundering”, will remain listed in the registry for 10 years.  After three offenses, a listing will be permanent.

The registry law means that after Utah white collar criminals do their time, they may never truly escape the stigma of being convicted. This runs afoul of the United States’ concept that a debt to society is fully repaid after the time is served.


— By Julia Damron, Esq., Barnes Law

Julia Damron is an associate attorney with Barnes Law, licensed to practice law in California.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

[1] Lam, Bouree, “Why Is Utah the First State to Have a White-Collar Crime Registry?”, March 29, 2016, The Atlantic,

[2] H.B. 378 White Collar Crime Registry, Utah State Legislature,

[3] Tung, Jonathan R., “Utah Approves White-Collar Crime Registry”, March 30, 2016,,

[4] Protess, Ben, “Utah Passes White-Collar Felon Registry”, March 11, 2015, N.Y. Times,

[5] Lam, Bouree, supra.