White Collar Glossary

The White Collar Glossary contains terms and phrases that have been used on the show. After the definition, you will find a listing of which episode or episodes the term was heard.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Aiding and Abetting
A person charged with aiding and abetting or accessory is usually not present when the crime itself is committed, but he or she has knowledge of the crime before or after the fact, and may assist in its commission through advice, actions, or financial support. (1.4)
Anagram
A type of word play that involves rearrange letters in a word or words to form a new word or words. (1.11)
Almiranta
The Almiranta was a 60-gun galleon that served as the vice-flagship of the Spanish fleet in 1733. She grounded at Long Key during a hurricane. All of her registered cargo was recovered at the time. (2.9)
APB
Stands for All Points Bulletin (2.14)
Armagnac
A distinctive kind of brandy or eau de vie produced in the Armagnac region in Gascony, southwest France. (2.4, 2.8)
Attorney-client privilege
A legal concept that protects certain communications between a client and his or her attorney (1.7)

B

B&Es
B&E is cop-talk for Breaking and Entering. (2.4)
Backdoor draw
A backdoor draw, or runner-runner draw, is a drawing hand that needs to catch two outs to win. For example, a hand with three cards of the same suit has a backdoor flush draw because it needs two more cards of the suit. (Episode 1.1)
Backroom Deal
A private deal done under secrecy. (1.13)
Baudot Code
A code invented by Emile Baudot in which each letter is represented by a series of bits. (2.9)
Bearer Bonds
An official certificate issued without a named holder that enables the person who has the paper certificate can claim the value of the bond. It differs from the more common types of investment securities in that it is unregistered – no records are kept of the owner, or the transactions involving ownership. Whoever physically holds the paper on which the bond is issued owns the instrument. (2.5, 2.5)
Ben-Day Dots
A printing process, named after illustrator and printer Benjamin Day. (2.3)
Betting the chalk
In horse racing, it means to bet the favorites. When a horse has the most money bet on it (meaning it is favored to win) it is considered "the chalk." (2.10)
BOLO
Stands for "Be on (the) Look Out" (1.1, 1.13)
Boiler Room Case
A scheme involving "boiler rooms" or locations where a number of people use telephones to sell interests in a company or product to investors. The term boiler room describes the heat and high pressure generated by the callers as they try to convince investors to send in their money. In most cases, either the company or product does not really exist, or it does not operate as represented. (1.8)
Burner phone
A cell phone meant to be used for only a short term and then thrown away in criminal circumstances. (2.3)

C

Chase car
The car set by authorities to follow a known suspect. (1.13)
C.I.
Stands for Confidential or Criminal Informant. An informant is a person who provides privileged information about a person or organization to an agency. (1.9, 2.7)
Chechnya
Informal name of the Chechen Republic, a federal subject of Russia. (2.6)
Charlemagne's Cipher
A code that replaces the whole alphabet with symbols. (1.11)
Chi
In Chinese medicine, chi (or qi) is the flow of energy that is an active principle forming part of any living thing. (2.7)
Commodities Trading Commission
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) was created in 1974 as an independent agency with the mandate to regulate commodity futures and option markets in the United States. (2.15)
Confidence Trick
An attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence.
Copyright
Copyright is the set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work.
Copyright Infringement
Copyright infringement involves using exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work without permission or with the scope of free use. (2.3, 3.4)
Court Order
A direction issued by a court or a judge requiring a person to do or not do something. (1.9)
Couture
Short for "Haute Couture," it refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing.(1.2)
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
A phrase describing criminal punishment which is considered unacceptable due to the suffering or humiliation it inflicts on the condemned person. It is prohibited by the Eighth Amendment (2.1, 3.1)
Cryptanalyst
Someone who studies of methods for obtaining the meaning of encrypted information. (1.11)

D

DARPA
DARPA Stands for Defense Advance Research Project Agency. It Commissions advanced research for the Department of Defense. (3.4)
Defamation of Character
the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual a negative image. (2.1)
Denouement
The final resolution of the intricacies of a plot, as of a drama or novel. (2.4)

E

Ellis Island
Ellis Island served as a gateway for immigrants from 1892 until 1954. (2.15)
ERT
Stands for Evidence Response Team. They are a part of the FBI. (1.3, 1.13, 2.14)
Exigent Circumstances
A situation that allows law enforcement to enter a structure without a warrant. It must be a situation where people are in imminent danger, evidence faces imminent destruction, or a suspect will escape. (2.4)
Expat
Short for expatriate. An expatriate is any person living in a different country from where he or she is a citizen. The term is often used to refer to professionals sent abroad by their companies. (1.5, 2.5)
Extortion
Obtaining money or other goods through the abuse of authority. (2.6)

F

FBI Medal of Valor
According to the FBI, the Medal of Valor "is presented in recognition of an exceptional act of heroism or voluntary risk of personal safety and life, and this act must have occurred in the direct line of duty or within the scope of FBI employment and in the face of criminal adversaries." (2.7)
Fixer
A person who makes arrangements, esp by underhand or illegal means. (2.2)
Fortune 500 Companies
The Fortune 500 is a list of the top 500 companies as determined by Fortune magazine. (2.8)
Fractal
A rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole (2.10)

G

G-Man
Short for "Government Man." It is a slang term for special agents of the United States Government. (1.6, 2.7)
Go Rogue
To deviate greatly from one's training. Usually it refers to someone who breaks the rules. (2.15, 3.4)
Grifter
A practitioner of confidence tricks. (2.16, 3.4)
GTA
GTA Stands for Grand Theft Auto. (2.13)

H

Hedge-fund manager
Someone who manages an investment fund open to a limited range of investors that undertakes a wider range of investment and trading activities than traditional long-only investment funds. (2.1)
Heilige Scheisse
German for "holy shit." (2.15)
Hubris
Extreme haughtiness or arrogance (2.1)

I

Immunity
Exemption from legal prosecution, often granted a witness in exchange for self-incriminating testimony. (2.2, 3.4)
Inside Man
A criminal who operates a confidence trick. (2.3)
Insider Trading
The trading of a corporation's stock, bonds or options by an individual based on non-public information about the company. (1.11)
Interpol
Short for International Criminal Police Organization, it is an organization facilitating international police cooperation. (2.16)
IR-4 Visa
An IR-4 visa is issued to a child that will be adopted by the petitioner after being admitted to the United States. (2.6)
Ivan Aivazovsky
A Russian painter who worked in Crimea. He is most famous for his seascapes, which constitute more than half of his paintings. (2.1)

J

K

Keylog
Keystroke logging, or keylogging, is the action of tracking (or logging) the keys struck on a keyboard, typically in a covert manner so that the person using the keyboard is unaware that their actions are being monitored. (2.10)
Krugerrands
A South African gold coin, first minted in 1967 to help market South African gold. (1.12, 2.3)

L

Lapping Scheme
An accounting method that involves altering the accounts receivable section of the balance sheet when cash that is intended for the payment of a receivable is stolen. The method involves taking the first receivable collected and using that to cover the theft, while the second receivable collected is accounted to the first, the third receivable to the second, and so on. (1.14)
Lip Man
A person who is speaking for someone else. (3.4)
Long con
A confidence trick (scam) that attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. (2.11)

M

Making Book
Also known as a bookie or book maker, or someone who takes bets. (3.4)
Mark
A sucker or intended victim. Originated from the chalk mark carnival grifters placed on the back shoulder of a potential easy victim or someone known to be carrying a lot of cash. (1.11, 2.3, 3.4)
Melon Drop
A scam in which the scammer will intentionally bump into the mark and drop a package that breaks. He will blame the damage on the clumsiness of the mark, and demand money in compensation. This con arose when artists discovered that the Japanese paid large sums of money for watermelons. The scammer would go to a supermarket to buy a cheap watermelon, then bump into a Japanese tourist and set a high price. (2.3)
M.O.
Short for "Modus operandi" or "Method of Operating." (2.9)
Money laundering
A process by which illegal income is made to appear to come from a legitimate source. (1.6)
Morse Code
A code that replaces letters with a series of dots and dashes. (2.9)

N

Numbers Guy
(3.4)

O

Open Discovery
Open discovery requires prosecutors to share evidence with defense lawyers before a defendant goes on trial. (1.7)
Outside Patsy
Someone who acts like he is of the law, such as posing as a police officer, in order to do a (criminal) job. (2.13)

P

Pai Gow
A Chinese gambling game played with a set of Chinese dominoes. (1.6)
Patriot Act
Short for USA PATRIOT Act, an acronym that stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. It was signed into law on October 26, 2001. The Act dramatically reduced restrictions on law enforcement agencies' ability to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records; eased restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States.(Episode 1.1)
Patsy
A scapegoat or fall guy. (3.4)
Pay off the Books
To pay someone without reporting it on your tax statements. (2.2)
Peephole Reverser
A device that can be used on peepholes to see inside. (2.4)
Pigeon Blood Ruby
The brightest and most valuable "red" ruby. (2.12)
Pis Aller
French for the final recourse or expedient the last resort. (2.14)
Plausible deniability
In the case that illegal or otherwise disreputable and unpopular activities become public, high-ranking officials may deny any awareness of such act or any connection to the agents used to carry out such acts. (1.3, 3.1)
Plead the Fifth
To plead or take the fifth means that a person invokes their right not to incriminate themselves. (2.11)
Policy Bank
Headquarters for a street lottery or numbers game. (3.4)
Ponzi Scheme
A fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors, not from any actual profit earned by the organization, but from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors. (2.11, 2.16)
Pop Art
A school of art that emerged in the late 1950s and became popular in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1960s. It imitates the techniques of commercial art. An example is Andy Warhol's Campbell soup cans. (2.3)
Prisoner's Dilemma
A fundamental problem in game theory. Basically, it explains why two prisoner's might not remain silent even if it is both of their best interests to do so. (2.7)
Probable Cause
The standard by which an officer or agent of the law has the grounds to make an arrest, to conduct a search or obtain a warrant. (1.9, (1.13, 2.16)
Probationary Agent
After going through an 18-week training program at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia, FBI agents work a one year probationary period under the supervision of a senior agent. If they are found fit after that year, they are hired permanently. (Episode 1.1)
Provenance
With jewelry, provenance is documentation that may authenticate the jewelry item's history. It may be a location, a photograph, a sales receipt or certificate. (2.12)
Pump and Dump
A form of microcap stock fraud that involves artificially inflating the price of an owned stock through false and misleading positive statements, in order to sell the cheaply purchased stock at a higher price. Once the operators of the scheme "dump" their overvalued shares, the price falls and investors lose their money. (1.8)

Q

Quantico
Quantico, Virginia, is home to the FBI Academy, its national training facility. It is located on 385 wooded acres on a Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia. (2.4)
Quid pro quo
is Latin for "What for what." It is used to indicate a more-or-less equal exchange or substitution of goods or services. (2.1)

R

Recovery fee
A fee, usually a percentage, charged for collecting items or payments. (2.5)
Restraining Order
An order of protection usually granted for domestic violence or harassment. (2.4)
Rohan's Cipher
A cipher that uses random substitution to decode the message. (1.11)
Runner
. A runner carries the money between bookies and a betting parlor or policy bank. (3.4)

S

Samurai Bonds
A Japanese yen-denominated bond issued by a non-Japanese entity in the Japanese market. (2.5)
Satchmo
The nickname for American jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong. It is also the name of the Burke's dog.
Search and Seizure
A legal procedure used by law enforcement where authorities who suspect that a crime has been committed do a search of a person's property and confiscate any relevant evidence to the crime. (1.9)
Search Warrant
A court order issued by a judge or magistrate that authorizes law enforcement officers to conduct a search of a person or location. (1.9, 1.14)
Sealed Files
Files where access is restricted or prohibited by a court order. (1.7)
Shell Company
A company which serves as a vehicle for business transactions without itself having any significant assets or operations. (1.6)
Shell Game
A confidence trick or short-con that involves three shells (cups, walnut shells, etc.) and a small ball. (1.3)
Shift Cipher
One of the simplest and most widely known encryption techniques, shift ciphers substitute one letter with another letter a fixed number of spaces a way in the alphabet. It is often called "Caesar cipher" because it was used by Julius Caesar. (1.11)
Short-con
A con that is quick and easy to pull off.
Slash and Grab
A method of theft that involves cutting part of the item. It can be used to steal paintings by slicing them out of the frames but is also used to snatch purses by slicing the strap and running off with it. (2.3)
Slim Jim
A thin strip of metal that is used to unlock car doors without a key. (1.4)
Smash and Dash
A robbery committed by breaking the container of the item and then running. (1.3, 2.3)
Statute of Limitations
Law that sets forth the maximum time after an event that legal proceedings based on that event may be initiated. (1.4, 2.3, 3.4)
Straw Donor
A person who illegally uses another person's money to make a political contribution in their own name (2.2)
Street Lottery
A street lottery is an illegal lottery played mostly in poor neighborhoods. Bets are placed with bookie or a betting parlor. A runner carries the money between the bookies and the headquarters known as the policy bank. (3.4)

T

Tokley-Perry
An antiquarian and restorer who smuggled priceless artifacts from Egypt during the first Gulf War. (2.3)
Trifecta
A bet in which a person predicts the first three finishers in a race in the correct order; a run of three wins. (2.14)

U

U-boats
Military submarines used by Germany in World War I and II. (2.16)
Unwarranted Harassment
Harassment is a multifaceted term but typically means behavior intended to disturb or upset. Unwarranted means there is no justification for it. (2.1)

V

Voice modulation software
Software that can change a person's voice. (2.10)
Voice Stress Analyzer
Lie detection technology. It is controversial and considered unreliable by many scientists. (2.6)

W

War Room
A room from which business or political strategy is planned. (2.2)
Wire Con
Also known as the wire game or delayed-wire game. The con trades on the promise of insider knowledge to beat a gamble. In reality, it is all a setup to convince a mark to place a bet that he'll end up losing. It was featured in the movie The Sting. (3.4)

X

Y

Z

Zig Zag Scam
A confidence trick where one is falsely accused of theft and then held by police or those claiming to be authorities until a large 'bail' is paid for the alleged theft. (1.13)