Neal Caffrey, a con artist, forger and thief, is captured after a three-year game of cat and mouse with the FBI. With only months left serving a four-year sentence, he escapes to look for Kate, his girlfriend. Peter Burke, the FBI agent who initially captured Caffrey, finds and returns him to prison. This time, Caffrey proposes a deal with the FBI, as part of a work-release program. After some hesitation, Burke agrees, and thus begins this unconventional arrangement where Caffrey helps Burke apprehend white collar criminals.
A skilled forger and thief, Caffrey was imprisoned after being captured by FBI Special Agent Peter Burke. Neal proposes he become an FBI consultant, in exchange for early release. Burke agrees on the condition Neal wears an ankle monitor. Despite being given the opportunity to build a new, honest life for himself, Neal often craves his old life, forcing him to choose between the two.
A hard-working, honest FBI agent, and the head of the investigative team on which Neal serves. He is very committed to his marriage and loves his home life. Peter is the person Neal trusts the most, and Peter is determined to convince Neal that an honest life is possible.
Another con-man and close friend of Neal. Mozzie, or Moz, is Neal's most trusted confidante. Abandoned as a baby, he grew up in an orphanage and several foster homes in Detroit, where he learned to be a con-man. Though lacking Neal's people skills, he appears to be a jack of all trades, has an eidetic memory, and, occasionally, helps with investigations.
An event planner and Peter's wife. She is supportive and understanding of his work and long hours away. An intelligent woman herself, Elizabeth is able to discuss Peter's cases with him, and admires Neal's refinement.
An insurance company investigator who testified against Neal when he was on trial, and determined to see him return to prison, she later discovers she enjoys working with him. During an investigation, they embark on a romantic relationship, complicated by the reappearance of Alex.
An elderly widow who meets Neal at a thrift store, June is a quick judge of character, and soon offers Neal her guest room. June also has a close friendship with Mozzie and is often seen talking to him or playing board games.
A professional thief and black market fence who was formerly romantically involved with Neal, when they meet up again the relationship is not rekindled. She periodically assists with Peter and Neal's cases.
Neal's missing girlfriend, who appears to be acting under the direction of a mysterious man, identifiable only by his 10-year commemorative FBI ring. She provides Neal with cryptic clues when she wants to communicate with him, and eventually prepares to reunite with Neal.
A mysterious former cop who turns out to be Neal's father, and who was framed for murder. Initially, Neal was skeptical of his father's self-proclaimed innocence. However, after revealing more evidence, Neal becomes convinced that his father's innocence. James (like Ellen) was also in WITSEC protection.
A discredited agent from the Office of Professional Responsibility, his abuse of authority in pursuit of Neal and Peter eventually leads to his forced resignation. Neal believes he is responsible for Kate's death.
Peter Burke's instructor when Burke was training at Quantico, and later Burke's mentor. Kramer works in the Art Crimes Unit in Washington D.C. He, like Neal, is an expert at art, and believes Neal is too valuable to be a free man, so plans to have Neal transferred to Washington DC to work with him.
A wealthy financier who is the subject of a long con soon after Neal and Mozzie get together. Kate was working as Adler's personal assistant when Neal took a job with Adler in order to gain his confidence and get the information needed for the con. Adler taught Neal about personal style and to enjoy an expensive lifestyle. Adler disappeared about two years before Neal first went to prison when it was discovered that he had been running a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme. He is shot by Peter after attempting to shoot Neal at the end of season 2.
He was James's (i.e., Neal's father's) captain when he was working for the D.C. Metropolitan Police. Peter and Neal are absolutely convinced that Pratt is corrupt, and has been corrupt since his days on the DC Metropolitan Police. He got into politics and eventually became a U.S. Senator representing the State of Maryland. According to Peter, Pratt has "incredible reach." Neal and Peter are certain that he was involved with the Flynn mob family syndicate. Peter and Neal are determined to take down Pratt and bring him to justice for personal and professional reasons.
Emily Procter as Assistant Special Agent (in charge) Amanda Callaway:
Her promotion to the White Collar Division in New York was met with great suspicion by Peter and Neal. They are convinced that her promotion from the Atlanta White Collar Division to the New York White Collar Division was due to political influence. More specifically, they believe that Senator Pratt brought about her promotion so that she could protect his best interests. Peter and Neal don't like her micro-management style, and they are also convinced that Callaway is stalling their investigation in order to protect Pratt.
A criminal caught during the first case on which Peter and Neal worked together. Later blackmailed Neal to destroy evidence against him in exchange for help in freeing Peter from jail. Forced Neal to steal Chapter 13 of Mosconi's Codex for him. Killed by Rachel Turner.
An expert about old books, especially Mosconi's texts. First meets with Neal while working as a curator in a museum, from which Neal steals the mysterious Chapter 13 of Mosconi's Codex. Rebecca joins Neal and Mozzie in their efforts to resolve the mystery behind the Codex and becomes Neal's new love interest. Later it is revealed that Rebecca Lowe was her fake identity created to seduce Neal. Her real name is Rachel Turner. She is an ex MI5 agent, who went rogue and became a paid thief and assassin for hire. She is responsible for murder of David Seigel and Curtis Hagen.
ION Television acquired the rights for syndication of White Collar in 2013 along with Burn Notice. This will be fourth USA Network television series to be in syndication on ION Television, along with Monk and Psych.
The first season of White Collar was released in the USA under the title White Collar: The Complete First Season as a widescreen four-disc Region 1 DVD box set on July 13, 2010. In addition to all the episodes that had been aired, DVD extras included Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Commentary, Exclusive Featurettes: "Pro and Con", "A Cool Cat in the Hat", and "Nothing But the Truth". The same set was released on July 26, 2010 in Region 2, and on August 18, 2010 in Region 4.
The season two four-disc Region 1 DVD box set was released on June 7, 2011. DVD extras consist of Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Episode Commentaries (for episodes 2x09 "Point Blank", 2x12 "Forging Bonds" and 2x16 "Under The Radar") and Exclusive Featurettes: "White Collar Roasts Burn Notice: Rivalry in the Writers' Rooms", "Burn Notice Roasts White Collar: Rivalry in the Writers' Rooms", "Slick Willie", and "So Here's The Deal: Anatomy of an Episode". The DVD was released on Region 2 on the February 18, 2013.
White Collar: The Complete Third Season four-disc Region 1 DVD box set was released on June 5, 2012. Region 1 DVD Features: Interrogation room, a trivia challenge with the cast, Jeff Eastin, @ddicted, Gag reel, Deleted scenes, Audio commentary on season finale, Dual Layer Widescreen - 1.78, Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Subtitles - English SDH, French, Spanish
^"Parting Shots". White Collar. Season 4. Episode 4. July 31, 2012. c. 40 minutes in. USA Network. "It is our recommendation that he [Peter Burke] be reinstated as Special Agent in Charge of the Manhattan White Collar Division effective immediately."