White Collar Crimes

In: Business and Management

Submitted By slewis30
Words 6980
Pages 28

White Collar Crimes: How Does It Affect Businesses?
Shari M. Lewis
Strayer University (Online)

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Problem 4
Background of the Study 4
Statement of the Problem 4
Purpose of the Research 5
Research Questions 5
Significance of the Research 5
This paper investigates White Collar Crime (“WCC) in society and the affects it has on businesses in today’s society, the cost and statistics involved with white collar crime and the difference in how white collar crime and street crimes are dealt with.
While white collar crime has existed for many decades, I have conducted research regarding the definition of white collar crime, the history of white collar crime, the different types of white collar crime that affect businesses directly and indirectly, goals of white collar crime, fraud statistics and the cost factors related to white collar crime.
White collar crimes and business ethics play hand in hand with one another and often cross the line with one another into criminal behavior. White collar crimes have played a very instrumental part in our downward economy over the past five years, and the level of trust given by society to corporations and employers entrusted with their life earnings has changed dramatically. My research will include factors that contribute to this problem and how white collar crime affects the management and operations of business organizations; what part modern technology plays in white collar crimes being committed; and what positions our society and government have taken on dealing with this problem. I have also researched and examined the attractions and motivations that compel people to participate in WCCs.

Similar Documents

White Collar Crime

...White-Collar Crime SOCI 225 Instructor: John Casey Student: Date: April 14, 2012 Table of Contents Introduction 3 What is White-collar Crime? 3 Workplace Safety 4 Fraud 6 Sentencing 9 Conclusion 10 Endnotes 11 Introduction Crime is such a general word, and describes a whole conundrum of activities that are seen as unlawful. The oxford dictionary defines crime as “an action of omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law”. There are many different types of crimes, and they are classified based on the seriousness of the crime. Minor crimes/offences, for example a traffic offence, are called misdemeanors. More serious crimes, like murder, are called felonies and are punishable by more than a year in prison. When people hear the word crime, they most often associate it with a dangerous, violent act. There are crimes that are not violent in nature, but are still considered criminal acts because of their nature and their purpose. White-collar crime is one of those types of crimes that are non-violent but have a great impact on its victims. What is White-Collar Crime? White-collar crime is “generally identified as non-violent crimes that public officials and business people commit predominantly for their own personal gain”. Edwin Sutherland came up with the term “white-collar crime” to explain the crimes that both middle class and upper class people committed in the course of their business activities. White-collar crime is so often...

Words: 2653 - Pages: 11

White Collar Crime

...White-collar crime covers a great deal of offenses that might seem very different; however, some of these traits have them united under the same umbrella. All white-collar crimes deal with some deceit, avoid the usage of violence and many times come about because the perpetrator was given the chance by advantage of his or her occupation. According to Edwin Sutherland, white-collar crime is “crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation” (1949, p.9). In addition, many of the features of the committed crime happen during the course of work while being as part of the employment duties of the criminal. One great example of white-collar crime is embezzlement in which is defined by The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as the “misappropriation or misapplication of money or property entrusted to one’s care, custody, or control” (FBI, 2001). In other words, embezzlement is type of fraud where a person illegally takes money from an account he or she has given legal access to ranging from high-end bank employees to a cashier or waiter who pockets the money given from a customer to pay a check. This paper will discuss how embezzlement happens, some of the costs and statistics related to embezzlement in the United States, and, lastly, some of the current efforts companies and federal agencies are doing in order to stop or prevent embezzlement. Embezzlement is a non-violent crime; however, it is a serious crime that has much...

Words: 1560 - Pages: 7

White Collar Crime

...Beliefs on White Collar Crime Versus Traditional Crime Beliefs on White Collar Crime Versus Traditional Crime Is there a difference in white collar crime (WCC) and traditional crime? While the actual crime may be very different a crime against someone is still a crime. This paper will discuss the differences between WCC and traditional crime while looking at the etiology, theories, justice, and social construct in relation to crime. Sutherland defined white collar as “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation” (as cited in Croall, 2001, p.3). Traditional crime is more so one that society has developed into a law against and is generally thought to be more punishable. Etiology Traditional crime is one is one in which there is an underlying theme of violence attached to it in some way. There has been a law broken and a person or persons is harmed usually through violence or the threat of violence in some way. These crimes are often face-to-face (like robbing someone at knife or gun point) or done specifically to someone or something (like an assault or automobile theft). Traditional crimes are usually published in the media and the offender is usually punished differently than in WCC. There is an entire different aspect to WCC. It is one in which a person or persons is placed in a position of trust and they breach that trust. It may be a position within a company and they embezzle out of the company or they...

Words: 1324 - Pages: 6

White Collar Crime

...Discuss employee theft, how employees steal from their employers, the different levels of employee theft and possible employers’ responses to employee theft. Employees theft continues to be a challenge for any employer in the US. For example, we can read in the National Retail Security Survey, 2013 (1) that “employee theft still constitutes the largest majority of losses at 43.9 percent or approximately $15.1 billion, followed by shoplifting, which makes up 35.7 percent of shrink or $12.3 billion.” Therefore, it is not a surprise that such huge losses are one of the biggest problems that employers are facing in the today’s economic environment or have always faced for that matter. Employee theft is manifesting in different ways but, somehow, a theft done by a low-level worker is almost always comes first to our minds when we hear about this form of white-collar crime. However, we should not forget that any person who is paid by an individual, an owner or a business is an employee by the definition; therefore, a highly paid manager or a CEO can also commit a theft. According to the book Trusted Criminals by David O. Friedrichs, page 114, “executives and managers are responsible for the largest proportion of losses business suffer at the hands of employees.” In the above-mentioned book we can read examples where lower level employees can embezzle significant sums of money or property. In one case, a Goldman Sachs secretary managed to embezzle at least $7 million by...

Words: 592 - Pages: 3

Defining White-Collar Crime

...According to the Oxford Dictionary crime is “an action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law” (reference). There are different types of criminal offenses. Crimes are sub-categorized into violent crimes and non-violent crimes. Crimes of violent nature may involve assault, battery, rape, homicide, and kidnapping, to name a few. These types crimes bring either physical or mental harm to a person. Non-violent crimes may involve crimes such as embezzlement, money laundering, forgery, and burglary. Such crimes are offenses against property. White-collar crime is a non-violent crime. According to Geis’ (Geis, 2002, p.8) the term “white-collar crime” was coined by Edwin Sutherland. He introduced the concept during the American Sociological Society Meeting in 1939. During the meeting, Sutherland raised a concern about high-status white-collar offenders receiving less attention for their crimes than the attention that traditional criminals of low-status are receiving. Later, in his book “White Collar Crime”, Sutherland defined white-collar crime as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.". Through his definition, Sutherland intended to point out that traditional crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, and the likes were more likely to be committed by lower class citizens. While he also tried to point out that white-collar crimes are mostly committed by persons of high stature in society...

Words: 908 - Pages: 4

White Collar Crime

...Final Paper Nick Beech Fort Hays State University A contemporary analysis of the term “white collar crime” is as pertinacious as various concepts within the realm of the Criminal Justice System. According to fbi.gov, there are a host of crimes ranging from health care fraud to computer crime amassed under the umbrella of white collar crime. In addition, the term is widely utilized by both criminologists and sociologists alike, incorporating a mass of non-violent behaviors related to pecuniary fraud. Beyond the fundamental description, currently there is a pervasive inaptness and disciplinary criticism of the definition and application of white collar crime. An assortment of criminologists with the focal point being on state and federal law, contend that many of the behaviors society believes to be white collar crimes are in fact not crimes at all. Short of a statute to delineate whether specific conduct is labeled as a criminal violation of law, behaviors tend to be categorized by individual standards rather than in the context. An individual evaluation of what is or is not deviant allows for a subjective approach that softens the scientific objectivity of criminology (Tappan 1977). Furthermore, the Criminal Justice system was assembled upon the foundation of individual culpability. This presents difficulties when criminal acts involve cooperative intricacies. The penalty phase in regards to the corporate criminal action was not intended to impose sanctions against...

Words: 3093 - Pages: 13

White Collar Crime

... lucky that she didn't have more money in the bank, and that the whole incident was cleared up quickly, which isn't always the case with other types of identity theft crimes. "The thieves carried on trying to use my credit card but since I had reached the overdraft limit, the bank stopped letting it go through. "I got my money back but the bank at the time actually seemed to think that the shops would not get their money, as my bank was refusing payment even though the shop had accepted it. "In the end, I was just happy to be out of it all!" Identity fraud case study Identity theft is when an individual's personal or confidential information is obtained by another person without their knowledge. Identity fraud occurs when fraudsters use this information to obtain credit, goods or other services in that person's name. Identity Fraud case study - Marc, a 22 year old assistant manager, never gave much thought to Identity Fraud until he received an email from a bank telling him that his ‘application for a credit card was being processed’. Marc hadn’t applied for a credit card so he contacted the bank immediately and cancelled the application. Unfortunately the fraudster – who had got hold of Marc’s date of birth, email and postal addresses among other bits of key information,– had applied for other loans and credit cards and Marc continued to receive emails alerting him to new applications under his name. Marc contacted the police. He was extremely worried about the...

Words: 1346 - Pages: 6

White Collar Crime

...Analyzing White-Collar Crime Dawn Kellerman Capella University SOC3400 – Social Deviance 1. In examining the recent data on white-collar crime, what key trends or patterns do you notice? Describe three trends or patterns and share your thoughts on the sociological factors that may be contributing to them. There were three noticeable trends in analyzing the data found in this unit’s studies. Between the years of 2002 and 2009, there was a steady increase of investigations into and pending fraud cases. Secondly, despite the rise in white-collar crime cases and investigations, there is a significant decline in actual prosecutions and convictions for these crimes. For example, in 2002 there were 291 corporate fraud cases pending which rose to 592 by 2009, this equates to an increase of more than 103% in the seven represented years. In spite of the rise of cases pending, between 2005 and 2009 there was a decline of more than 50% of convictions and 70% of indictments for corporate criminals. Lastly, even with the decline of convictions, the monies recovered increases for the same years rose; from 2005 through 2009, the FBI secured a total of $336.9 million dollars in fines. Edwin Sutherland and his theory of differential association can explain the sociological factors contributing to these trends. Differential association theory is principally a learning theory, which states that deviance is a learned phenomenon that is brought about through interaction and communication...

Words: 1027 - Pages: 5

White Collar Crime

... America $300 billion a year according; to white collar crime statistics. Embezzlement of money, such as The Enron case, theft of goods and services and health care fraud are among the biggest white collar crimes committed in The United States. The Enron scandal was one of the biggest White Collar Crimes committed in The U.S.; where top level executives hid the company losses from investors and shareholders and placed the losses with special partnership companies. Their actions which cost upward of $70 billion dollars caused the company to file for bankruptcy and over 20,000 employees lost their jobs. White Collar Crime costs the economy by raising the cost of goods and services and it also decreases the effectiveness of doing business in the long run that has a negative effect impact on businesses and society. From the Conflict Theory perspective, this analyzes the struggle between groups of people engaging in conflict over limited resources. White Collar crimes are usually committed by members of elite society, during the course of their occupations. They also have heavy ties to top level Government officials responsible for enforcing the law. Street crime is usually committed by working class people. Street Crime Street Crime is defined as any criminal activity committed in a public place. www.macmillandictionary.com. It affects all of society in some form. Everyone feels the ramifications in different degree levels; from medical costs, property damage or......

Words: 1043 - Pages: 5

White Collar Crime

...WHITE COLLAR CRIME How are corporate abuses of power, corporate fraud and corporate economic exploitation interrelated?  Which segments of society seem to bear the largest burden from these forms of corporate crime and which segments seem least vulnerable?  Which of these forms of corporate crime concern you most and which concern you least, and why? Much corporate crime wreaks no violence but has vast political and economic consequences. In his landmark study of white collar crime, Sutherland (1949) focused almost entirely on corporate fraud that had economic rather than violent consequences. These offenses included restraints of trade; rebates; patent, trademark, and copyright violations; misrepresentations in advertising; unfair labor practices; financial manipulations; and war crimes. With respect to the last offense, Sutherland, writing during and immediately after World War II, examined illegal profiteering and violations of other laws (such as embargoes and restraints on trade of war materials) committed by corporations during the war. He concluded that for large corporations, profits took precedence over patriotism. Corporate abuse of power in the form of corruption of the political process has economic consequences for ordinary citizens. Corporations obtain favorable treatment on such matters as reducing their tax liability and increasing their freedom to raise prices or underpay workers. Corporations also use their immense economic clout to distort the...

Words: 451 - Pages: 2

White Collar Crime

...Preventive could be one of the main strategy. You need to have the correct policies in place so you can encourage people not to do these crimes. If you make your staff aware and of teach them what could happen and how to safe guard their information. Give them proper training they may be able to prevent these crimes or at least lessen the chances of them happening. According to the text some strategies that might elevate consciousness are first to have a persistent thesis in literature, so you are more limited and less severe that the response to the conventional crime. If you know the possibilities of the white collar crime that could happen in you department then you are more likely able to prepare you and your organization from fraud. The major challenge that the text finds is to cultivate one with the reality rather than rhetoric. If you do keep thinking that this could only happen to another company and not yours, then you are letting your guard down and more likely to have someone to commit these crimes in your organization. Generally the government wants action and laws and regulations put into place to prevent these types of crimes from happening. I have also read in the text this could be better served as a middle ground. Just because we have the laws or regulations does not mean the crime is going to be deterred or stopped. We need to come up with the correct training and awareness as well. Work cited Friedrichs, David O. Trusted Criminals: White Collar Crime......

Words: 270 - Pages: 2

White Collar Crime Ca2

... data. 2. Identify and discuss how the corporate abuse of power, corporate fraud, and corporate economic exploitation are interrelated, and which segments of society suffer from these forms of White Collar Crime. The corporate abuse of power, corporate fraud and corporate economic exploitation are interrelated by very undefined line. Based on my reading corporate abuse of power may be committed by a company who takes advantage of a tax break a local government may offer companies operating out of their jurisdiction. Also, economic exploitation seems to be when the corporation takes advantage of situations such as an ongoing war and/or demand for a particular product that they may be able to supply. The two aforementioned “White Collar Crimes” standing alone do not seem to be crimes at all. One is a smart business moving to an impoverished or growing locale while the other is a smart business in the employ of microeconomics’ supply and demand. Corporate fraud is what ties these all together. The corporation who bribes local government for the tax break and muscles its way into contracts, underbidding competitors seems to fit the bill. I do believe that the bigger the corporation the more opportunity they have to be able to take advantage of tax breaks, to be able to exploit supply and demand. The author doesn’t exactly say how something like that is illegal. I am familiar with Camden City, NJ who offers tax breaks to business within the City, such as Campbell’s...

Words: 836 - Pages: 4

White Collar Crime

... “wanted to help people to earn money”, as he put in an interview with New York Magazine in 2011 (The Madoff Tapes, by Steve Fishman). It is credible because he was not under the influence of financial needs. He was a prominent philanthropist for many non-profit organizations. So was he trapped in the vicious circle because of greed? Probably not. This led me to believe that what Weinberg discussed is only the surface of a deeper problem. In order to prevent such white-collar illegal acts, we need to dig further on how our society works and how social expectations affect our decisions. MCI was a fast growing company, why would management be under such pressure from Wall Street? To be fair, WE are the investors that place such expectation on a company’s performance. It is never enough on Wall Street. We are built and trained to “beat expectation”. Is there something missing in our MBA training program? I recall our Strategy class when our main concern for Wal-mart was “Can Wal-mart continue to grow at a rate of 10% and exceed investors’ expectation?” Naturally, when it does not meet the forecasted earnings, its stock price will drop and that hurts people who hold stock options. I believe that it is us who create such incentives for management to focus on earnings instead of innovation or efficiency, not to mention corporates’ social responsibility. It is a profit-driven society that we live in and that, to me, is the root problem of white-collar crimes. Yes, it brings us......

Words: 785 - Pages: 4

White Collar Crime

...Types of White Collar Crime Leg200001VA016-1122-001 White collar crimes are crimes that are committed by a person or persons of middle or higher status within their occupation. These types of crimes are considered nonviolent. Generally, the trusted and valued employee commits this type of crime within a company. White collar crimes include insider-trading, conspiracy, embezzlement, fraud, forgery, money laundering, and a few others. These crimes are ones that people of a higher class perform because their occupations put them in a position in which they are able to execute these types of crimes. You would not find a poor black man committing crimes of this nature. He would not generally have the means to perform crimes of this type. It would be rare for you to find a person of higher class to commit street crimes such as assault, robbery, rape or other illegal acts. Younger people generally perform street crimes while middle aged or older people commit white collar crimes. Age does not happen to be the only way in which these crimes differ when generalizing who is committing these crimes. You can also say they are gender committed. This means that on a whole more men execute these types of crimes than women do. When you look at the opportunity in which one person is able to commit a white collar crime, we say they can use their employment to gain access to commit those types of crimes. An accountant has the ability to change the books or alter them if they are...

Words: 1420 - Pages: 6

White Collar Crime

...Assignment 1: Types of White Collar Crime Angela L. Langley LEG 200 – White Collar Crime in Government, Business, and Labor Professor Thomas Demko Strayer University May 28, 2012 Assignment 1: Types of White Collar Crime A white collar crime is illegal and unethical, which violates the public trust. It deals with lying, cheating, and stealing by high profile individuals.  A single con can destroy a business, hurt families by cleaning out their life savings, or cost investors billions of dollars. “Devastating losses in relation to homes, businesses, jobs, retirement funds, and college savings were widespread. “It was clear that fraudulent misrepresentations on many levels were at the center of this crisis” (Friedrichs, 2010, p. 1). We will compare and contrast the nature of white collar crime with other types of illegal acts, compare and contrast the typical participants of white collar crime against the participants of other types of illegal acts, discuss the role of technology in white collar crime and how its role may create differences from other forms of crime, and analyze the role of opportunity and how it contributes to white collar crime. Compare and contrast the nature of white collar crime with other types of illegal acts. The key elements of white collar crimes are trust and its violation. “White collar crimes take on the form of misrepresentation, stealing, misappropriation, self-dealing, corruption, and role conflict” (Friedrichs, 2010...

Words: 1251 - Pages: 6