Organized Crime, Blue-collar Crime, Pink-collar
Crime, Political Crime, Corporate Crime, Occupational
Edwin Sutherland in 1945, referred to the illegal activities of businesses and
corporations committed to further the goals of the business as white-collar crime.
White-collar crimes were not regulated by criminal law but by regulatory laws of
various kinds. These acts included false advertising, anti-trust violations, environmental
pollution or dumping product on the market below cost.
Criminologists now call this corporate crime or organizational crime and reserve
the term white-collar crime for those illegal acts committed by people in positions of
trust (usually in white-collar jobs) for personal gain. For example, making personal
long-distance calls on an employer's account.
White-collar refers to a person engaged in non-manual, especially clerical or
administrative, work; (of work or an occupation) not manual or industrial, especially
clerical or administrative.
Are White-Collar and Common Offenders the Same? An Empirical and Theoretical
Critique of a Recently Proposed General Theory of Crime - MICHAEL L. BENSON,
ELIZABETH MOORE -
Addresses two propositions on white-collar crime derived from a general theory of crime
recently proposed by Gottfredson and Hirschi. This theory predicts that white-collar
offenders are (a) as criminally versatile and (b) as prone to deviance as common
offenders. Authors investigate the criminal records of white-collar and common offenders
and their respective levels of participation in deviant activities. Some white-collar
offenders are involved in crime and deviance to much the same degree as typical street
criminals. Large majority differ significantly from street criminals in these regards,
contradicting the theory and limiting its generality. Authors argue that the theory's
rejection of motives as important causal forces is misguided and that a more complex
causal structure is needed to account for patterns of white-collar offending. -
Trafficking in Human Organs: An
Emerging Form of White-Collar Crime?
Thomas W. Foster, Department of Sociology, Ohio State University at Mansfield, 1680
University Drive, Mansfield, Ohio 44906, U.S.A. -
This article is based on a review and synthesis of media information and the professional
literature relating to international human organ trafficking. The article inquires into
the global scarcity of transplantable organs and explores the typical circumstances that
surround the sale-for profit-of organs. Factors contributing to the establishment of
legal, as well as clandestine, organ markets are discussed, as are the efforts of buyers
and sellers of organs to avoid, or to violate, national laws that criminalize the sale and
purchase of organs in most Western nations.
Women and White-Collar Crime
George Robb, History Faculty, William Paterson University in New Jersey
George Robb, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org -
Abstract: In Victorian society, women of the middle class were particularly vulnerable to
white-collar crimes. Denied opportunities to earn their own living, single women were
especially dependent on invested capital. Women, in fact, made up a significant portion of
investors during the nineteenth century, especially in such key areas of the economy as
banking, railways and insurance. Yet, bourgeois notions of gentility required that women
remain ignorant of money matters and refrain from active participation in business
affairs, leaving women especially exposed to all manner of fraud and malfeasance. This
article uses financial literature, newspaper debates and popular fiction to demonstrate
how women were victimized by white-collar crime. Womens financial victimization was
a common theme of the popular press, economic journals and fiction. These discourses
contributed to a feminist discourse of economic and political empowerment, and suffragists
and other progressives argued that women had to reform an economy and financial system in
which they were both marginalized and deeply implicated.
White Collar Crime Steals Thunder From
Conventional Crime, Says Police Chief
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 (Bernama) -- White collar crime steals the thunder from conventional
crime as it potentially affects the financial performance of commercial organisations in
As such, issues related to financial crime, fraud and corruption were a major concern to
the government, said Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar.
He said white collar crime or economic crime could take different forms, including
bribery, cyber crime, asset misappropriation, cheque and credit card fraud, identity
theft, insurance fraud, money laundering and counterfeiting.
The deputy inspector-general of police said over the years, capitalists, corporate
executives and even criminologists argued that white collar crime took a back seat to a
strong national focus on more conventional crimes, specifically violent ones.
White-Collar Crime and Criminal
Specifying a Trajectory of Punctuated Situational Offending
Nicole Leeper Piquero
University of Florida
Michael L. Benson
University of Cincinnati
The life course approach to the study of criminal careers has achieved a prominent place
in criminology. Life course researchers have identified several distinct patterns in
criminal offending and provided several provocative explanations to account for them.
Noticeably lacking in the study of life course criminology, however, is any recognition of
white-collar offenders. The typical whitecollar offender greatly differs from the typical
street offender and does not appear to fit into the proposed explanations of life course
offending patterns. Recently, some scholars have applied the techniques and terminology of
the criminal career perspective to white-collar offending. This article reviews the
current state of developmental theories as they apply to life course offending patterns,
summarizes what is known about the intersection of white-collar crime and criminal
careers, and suggests ways in which the current theoretical understandings of crime over
the life course can be modified to account for white-collar crime patterns.
On the Moral Structure of White-Collar Crime
Mitchell N. Berman
University of Texas School of Law
Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 5, p. 301, 2007
LYING, CHEATING, AND STEALING: A MORAL THEORY OF WHITE COLLAR CRIME, Stuart P. Green, ed.,
Oxford University Press, 2006
White-collar crime has long presented a puzzle for, or a challenge to, theorists of the
criminal law. Indeed, it might be more accurate to say that it presents at least two sorts
of puzzles. Some white-collar offenses are puzzling through and through: we are perplexed
about why the conduct at the core of the offense is criminalized in the first place.
Insider trading is like this, as is (assuming that it counts as white-collar crime)
blackmail. With respect to other offenses, our puzzlement attends only to the contours. We
have no difficulty understanding why fraud, for example, is criminalized but we have the
dickens of a time settling on how the criminal offense of fraud ought to be formulated -
what forms of arguably deceptive practices should fall within the criminal ban, what
should lie outside, and how much vagueness we should tolerate in the articulation of the
This review essay critically examines Stuart Green's attempt to resolve these puzzles in
his fascinating new book, Lying, Cheating, and Stealing: A Moral Theory of White-Collar
Crime. The book's central thesis, I argue, is that the contours of white-collar criminal
offenses (and, possibly, of criminal offenses more generally) ordinarily do, and ought to,
closely track the judgments of common-sense morality: Insider trading should be
criminalized because it instantiates the underlying moral wrong of cheating. Receiving or
soliciting a bribe should be criminalized because it instantiates the moral wrong of
disloyalty. Fraud and perjury should have the particular fine-grained contours they do to
reflect the fine-grained distinctions recognized by our moral norms against deception and
lying. And so on.
After summarizing the book's argument in significant detail, the essay challenges Green's
picture of the actual or desirable moral structure of white-collar crime. Focusing in
particular on what Green calls the failure to comply regulatory offenses, insider trading,
and blackmail, it seeks to show that some criminal offenses are better understood as
efforts to prohibit conduct that produces social harms that are not antecedent moral
wrongs, while others - which do target moral wrongs - sport contours that, for a variety
of practical reasons, depart significantly from the contours of the underlying moral norm
that the offense is designed in the first instance to cover. The essay argues,
provisionally, that criminal offenses of both sorts can be consistent with the moral
commitments of the criminal law - most notably, the negative retributivist commitment that
persons ought not to be punished absent, or out of proportion to, their moral
blameworthiness. It suggests, in short, that a satisfactory full account of the moral
structure of white-collar criminal law should be more sensitive than is Green's
provocative and sophisticated theory to the respects in which the law departs from
morality to accommodate its different needs and constraints.
Crimes of the Powerful: redefining white-collar crime?
By re-defining white collar crime as "crimes of the powerful" Frank Pearce
provided a much needed change in focus. Pearce's formulation, among other things, culled
from the white collar crime package those powerless individuals, like the bank clerk who
embezzles, from the powerful corporate managers and owners. Furthermore, it made power a
central feature of studies of white collar crime. Unfortunately, this important
contribution has not always been implemented in criminological research and theory as too
many scholars continue to practice psychology rather than sociology.
Understanding the Nature of White-collar Crime
Traditional criminological theorists tend not to directly address white-collar crime
issues, while white-collar crime scholars havent been paying much attention to the
development of major traditional criminological theories until very recently. While
reviewing and comparing four major classical criminological
theorieslearning/differential association, rational choice/opportunity, strain and
social control theory, this paper addresses the question that how these theories have been
or could be used to explain the nature of white-collar crime. Major empirical research
done on this topic is reviewed too.
Title: Identifying the Links Between
White-Collar Crime and Terrorism
John Kane; April Wall
Corporate Author: National White Collar Crime Ctr United States
Annotation: Using a case study of the investigation and prosecution of members of a
terrorist group (Jamaat Ul Fuqra) in Colorado, this research report identifies the types
of white-collar crimes used by the group for funding mechanisms and identity deception and
suggests how lessons learned from white-collar crime investigations can provide guidance
for State and local police and prosecutors who may investigate terrorist groups.
Abstract: The Fuqra group was first organized in Pakistan by Sheikh Mubarik Al Jilani
Hasmi, who also established a United States Fuqra organization in 1980. Most members of
the U.S. Fuqra are African-Americans who have adopted extremist beliefs and live in
communal environments or "Jamaats." In August 1989, the discovery of a storage
locker by the Colorado Springs police marked the beginning of an investigation that
focused on fraudulent claims for worker's compensation, a white-collar crime that is the
focus of this report. Linked to the fraudulent worker's compensation claims were other
white-collar crimes, notably identification fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion.
Proceeds from these crimes were used to plan violent terrorist acts. This research
obtained information on these cases through interviews and document analysis. This report
describes the Colorado investigation in a module format. The first module describes the
organization and activity of Fuqra, followed by a module on the investigation of
properties that included a vehicle search, a storage locker search, and the search of a
Fuqra compound. The third module details investigations of four fraudulent worker's
compensation claims, and the fourth module addresses the group's cash flow from fraud to
the purchase of property. Legal strategies are profiled in a fifth module, and the sixth
module discusses lessons learned and best practices. 13 tables, 4 charts, and 3
White-Collar Crime Victims and the Issue of Trust
This paper presents the results of a study exploring relationships of trust and distrust
between the offender, the victims, regulators and the wider financial system in a
particular case of white-collar crime. Individuals whose pension fund assets were
defrauded by Robert Maxwell were interviewed in order to examine the consequences of
financial crime and mismanagement upon the construction of trust towards financial
investment. Results reveal that individuals manage the risks posed by financial crime and
mismanagement through complex, yet routine, perceptions of trust and distrust, which may
be profoundly influenced by an experience of victimisation.
This paper emanates from empirical research on 'white-collar victimisation', which was
conducted between 1995 and 1998. In-depth interviews were carried out with twenty-five
victims of a financial crime. Part of this enquiry involved exploring trust in relation to
financial investment. Many authors have commented upon the importance of the notion of
trust in social life (Luhmann, 1979; 1988; Gambetta, 1988; Nelken, 1994; Evans et al.
1996; Fukuyama, 1996, Walklate, 1998). This research project examined relationships of
trust between the financial industry and its investors, through the viewpoint and
experiences of individuals who had been the victims of a financial crime.
In particular, the questions identified by Nelken (1994: 232), that is, whom can you
trust, how when and why do you trust and how much do you trust, were presented to the
interviewees in order to research the construction of trust towards financial investment,
and to explore the consequences of financial crime and mismanagement upon this
construction. This work builds upon previous research in white-collar crime, which has
examined the consequences of white-collar offences upon trust towards social, political
and economic institutions (Sutherland, 1949; Peters & Welch, 1980; Moore & Mills,
1990; Shover et al. 1994).
After Enron will Whiter than White Collar Crime Still Wash?
Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford,
Oxford, UK; email@example.com.
The British Journal of Criminology 46:1091-1109 (2006)
In thinking about white-collar crime, it is not just crime that becomes problematic but
compliance, particularly the practice of creative compliance. This article
asks, in the post-Enron era, can creative compliance by business still claim to be
whiter than white collar crime? It analyses the Enron prosecutions and the
implications of the states choice of enforcement strategy, before going on to look
at the wider impact of Enron, at the emergence of a concern with corporate culture,
business and professional ethics, and at new approaches to regulation and enforcement. It
suggests that while the states enforcement strategy and the showcase Enron trials
may represent a missed opportunity by failing to pose a direct legal challenge to creative
compliance, Enron has also sparked off some wider reactions which do challenge the
legitimacy of the creative compliance mindset.
WHITE COLLAR CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Reflections on Michael, Martha, and Milberg Weiss
J. Kelly Strader
We are deeply conflicted about white collar crime and punishment. This conflict is largely
born of the governments use of novel, gray-area legal theories in many
high profile white collar prosecutions. Such prosecutions undermine the integrity and
expressive function of our system of white collar criminalization. These prosecutions also
may violate the defendants right to fair notice of the possible crimes with which
they may be charged.
I argue for a new approach. First, in gray-area cases, we should rely upon civil and
administrative remedies except in extraordinary circumstances. Second, we should assess
whether extraordinary circumstances exist by examining whether the defendants
alleged acts caused substantial, identifiable harm.
To test this approach, I examine three of the most significant economic fraud
investigations and prosecutions of the last 20 years those of Michael Milken,
Martha Stewart, and the Milberg Weiss law firm. I conclude that none of the cases
warranted criminal prosecution on gray-area economic fraud theories, and that
assertion of those theories actually served to undermine our confidence in white collar
criminalization and punishment.
White-Collar Crime and the Study of Embezzlement
GARY S. GREEN
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 525, No. 1,
The term "white-collar crime" has come to mean many things since Edwin
Sutherland coined it more than fifty years ago. Many scholars, including Sutherland
himself, referred to embezzlement as a white-collar crime. Upon close examination,
however, this theft-after-trust offense is probably not a white-collar one in the original
sense of the term. This article addresses the problems of data interpretation and
behavioral explanation in the study of trust violation, especially in light of scholars'
focus on it as a white-collar offense.
Intellectual property and white-collar crime: Report of issues, trends, and problems for
Kane, John, Beresford, Annette D., Desilets, Christian, Haantz, Sandra, Wall, April
A research examines the association between intellectual property (IP) and white-collar
crime (WCC), and identifies future research that might benefit policymaker, federal,
state, and local agencies, along with the general public. Major challenges that obstruct
efforts to reduce the harm include increasingly sophisticated technology, including
Internet, increasing activities in global commerce and communication, and significant
differences in social and legal norms throughout the world.
Studying and Teaching White-Collar Crime: Populist and Patrician Perspectives
Authors: Shover, Neal; Cullen, Francis
Source: Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Volume 19, Number 2, July 2008
White-collar crime is both an integral part of undergraduate criminology courses and
textbooks and the subject of enduring analytic controversy. Much of the latter can be
traced to two conflicting but unrecognized conceptual paradigms employed by investigators
and teachers when they examine white-collar crime: Populist and Patrician. These
perspectives differ in definitional approach to the concept, explicit recognition of the
criminality of offenses committed by respectable citizens, how much attention is paid to
the victims and costs of white-collar crime, the analytic centrality of criminalization,
and the variables and dynamics that purportedly explain variation in offending. Preference
for one or the other analytic paradigm to some extent is predictable on the basis of a
scholar's educational background, type of institutional placement and disciplinary
training. Explicit acknowledgment and pedagogical use of conflicting paradigms hold the
potential to enhance students' ability to think critically about white-collar crime. It
also makes clear that the disagreements that plague this area of inquiry are deeply rooted
and thus are unlikely to be resolved soon.
Some Personality Correlates of Business White-Collar Crime.
Applied Psychology. 55(2):220-233, April 2006.
Blickle, Gerhard *; Schlegel, Alexander; Fassbender, Pantaleon; Klein, Uwe
On presente dans cet article les resultats de la premiere etude transversale europeenne
portant sur les dimensions de la personnalite en relation avec les delits financiers
commis par les cols blancs. Ce travail est un prolongement de la recherche de Collin &
Schmidt (1992) sur les delits des cols blancs aux Etats-Unis. Les donnees ont ete
recoltees aupres de 150 cadres en poste dans des societes commerciales allemandes et de 76
delinquants en col blanc anciennement cadres. Les repondants ont rempli des echelles
papier crayon mesurant l'hedonisme (l'Echelle de Valeurs de Schwartz), le sens des
responsabilites (NEO-FFI), le narcissisme (DSM-III-R), la desirabilite sociale (Crowne
& Marlowe), et le self-control comportemental. L'analyse de regression logistique
montra que 69% de la variance etait commune aux deux groupes. Le delit financier commis
par un col blanc depend du sexe (les hommes sont surrepresentes), d'un faible self-control
comportemental, d'un hedonisme eleve, d'un fort narcissisme et d'un sens des
responsabilites affirme quand la desirabilite sociale est statistiquement controlee. Ce
resultat concernant le sens des responsabilites est toutefois en contradiction avec
l'interpretation que Collins et Schmidt donnent de leurs travaux (1993). On peut supposer
que les delinquants en col blanc haut places combinent malhonnetete et sens des
In this paper the results of the first cross-sectional study in Europe examining
personality correlates of white-collar crime in business are presented. This study is an
extension of ( Collins and Schmidt's 1993) research on white-collar crime in the United
States. The data were obtained from 150 managers currently active in German corporations
and 76 white-collar criminals who formerly held such positions. Participants filled out
paper and pencil scales measuring hedonism (Schwartz Value Scale), conscientiousness
(NEO-FFI), narcissism (DSM-III-R), social desirability ( Crowne & Marlowe, 1960), and
behavioral self-control. The logistic regression analysis accounted for 69 per cent of the
variance between the two groups. Business white-collar crime is predicted by gender (males
higher rates than females), low behavioral self-control, high hedonism, high narcissism,
and high conscientiousness after statistically controlling for social desirability. The
results concerning conscientiousness, however, contradict the interpretation of findings
reported by ( Collins and Schmidt 1993). It is argued here that high-ranking white-collar
criminals in business combine low integrity with high conscientiousness.
The Neglected Victims and Unexamined Costs of White-Collar Crime
Elizabeth Moore, Michael Mills
Crime & Delinquency, Vol. 36, No. 3, 408-418 (1990)
In recent years research has documented the victim costs of criminal acts, and a victims'
movement has produced federal and state programs to alleviate some of these costs.
Although no one disputes that aggregate fiscal costs of white-collar crime dwarf
comparable losses from street crime, victimization researchers and the victims' movement
have ignored entirely the victims of white-collar crime. This legacy of neglect can be
attributed to conservative domination of the victims' agenda and the ambiguous moral
character of white-collar victims. This article distinguishes primary and secondary costs
of white-collar crime and calls for more research to describe and document them.
Globalization and the Federal Prosecution of White Collar Crime
Ellen S. Podgor
Stetson University College of Law
American Criminal Law Review, Vol. 34, No. 2 (1997).
Omitted from most of the recent discussions on the federalization of criminal law is the
impact of federal investigations and prosecutions involving international activities. This
essay specifically focuses on the international flavor developing in the prosecution of
white collar crime. It discusses statutes with clear legislative language indicating
extraterritoriality through either a direct international focus (Foreign Corrupt Practices
Act), or through the specific incorporation of an extraterritorial provision in the
statute. The essay next addresses judicial interpretation of white collar statutes where
there has been no explicit reference to extraterritoriality in the statute. Jurisdiction
bases in international law also are considered in the essay. The essay offers a sampling
of the jurisdiction questions that have arisen as a result of white collar criminal
activity exceeding the borders of the United States.
Knocking The Starch Out Of White Collar Crime
Overview: White-collar crime tugs at the bottom line of every company, from mid-sized
restaurants and lumberyards to Fortune 100 firms. The cost is staggering, with the average
organization losing 6 percent of its annual revenues to employee fraud. The major
embezzlers often are high-ranking executives. The top guys are most trusted because of
their position therefore there are fewer checks and balances. People arent going to
question their activities because, well, theyre the boss. To know more on how white
collar employees commit crimes read on the article. -
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WHITE-COLLAR CRIME FOR A GENERAL THEORY OF CRIME
TRAVIS HIRSCHI 1 MICHAEL GOTTFREDSON
University of Arizona
Advocates of the concept of white-collar crime have failed to make the case for its
scientific value. Steffensmeier's efforts to save the concept further support our view
that it is flawed and misleading. His efforts support our contention that the correlates
of white-collar crime are the same as the correlates of crime, that the age distribution
of offending is the same for white-collar crimes as for other crimes, that official
statistics have sufficient validity for many etiological purposes, and that the search for
a general theory of crime holds great promise for criminology.
On the Relationship between White-Collar Crime and Political Sociology: A Suggestion and
Resource for Teaching.
Gerber, Jurg; Fritsch, Eric J.
Teaching Sociology, v21 n2 p130-39 Apr 1993
A brief narrative description of the journal article, document, or resource.
Describes a college-level student research project on white-collar crime and its
relationship to political sociology. Provides suggestions for adapting the activity to
other classrooms. Includes recommended resources that can be found in most college