Sociology Index E-Books

WHITE-COLLAR CRIME

Blue-collar Crime, Pink-collar Crime, Occupational Crime, Conventional Crime

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 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. White-collar crimes were not regulated by criminal law but by regulatory laws of various kinds. White-collar crimes included false advertising, anti-trust violations, environmental pollution or dumping product on the market below cost.

According to a 2006 study by the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, White-collar crime costs the United States as much as $400 billion annually. White-collar crimes costs more than 10 times the annual budget of the state of Michigan.

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 in white-collar jobs, like, making personal long-distance calls on an employer's account.

Understanding the Nature of White-collar Crime - Liu, Haiyan.
Abstract: Traditional criminological theorists tend not to directly address white-collar crime issues, while white-collar crime scholars haven’t been paying much attention to the development of major traditional criminological theories until very recently. While reviewing and comparing four major classical criminological theories, learning/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.

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 crime offenders are (a) as criminally versatile and (b) as prone to deviance as common offenders. Authors investigate the criminal records of white-collar crime and common offenders and their respective levels of participation in deviant activities. Some white-collar crime 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. A more complex causal structure is needed to account for patterns of white-collar crime and white collar offenders. 

Women and White-Collar Crime 
George Robb, History Faculty, William Paterson University in New Jersey
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. This article uses financial literature, newspaper debates and popular fiction to demonstrate how women were victimized by white-collar crime.

 

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 the country. Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar 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. Capitalists, corporate executives and even criminologists argued that white collar crime took a back seat to a strong national focus on more conventional crimes.

 

White-Collar Crime and Criminal Careers
Specifying a Trajectory of Punctuated Situational Offending

Nicole Leeper Piquero, University of Florida, Michael L. Benson, University of Cincinnati
Abstract: Noticeably lacking in the study of life course criminology, however, is any recognition of white-collar offenders. The typical white-collar offender greatly differs from the typical street offender and does not appear to fit into the proposed explanations of life course offending patterns. Some scholars have applied the techniques and terminology of the criminal career perspective to white-collar offending. 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
Abstract: 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.
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 crime offenses 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. The essay challenges Green's picture of the actual or desirable moral structure of white-collar crime. A satisfactory full account of the moral structure of white-collar crime 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?
Chambliss, William.
Abstract: 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.

 

Identifying the Links Between White-Collar Crime and Terrorism
John Kane; April Wall - Corporate Author: National White Collar Crime Center 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: 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.

White-Collar Crime Victims and the Issue of Trust
Basia Spalek
Abstract: 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 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?
Doreen McBarnet
Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK;
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’?

WHITE COLLAR CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Reflections on Michael, Martha, and Milberg Weiss
J. Kelly Strader
ABSTRACT: We are deeply conflicted about white collar crime and punishment. This conflict is largely born of the government’s 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 crime and criminalization.

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, 95-106 (1993)
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 crime offense.

Intellectual property and white-collar crime: Report of issues, trends, and problems for future research
Kane, John, Beresford, Annette D., Desilets, Christian, Haantz, Sandra, Wall, April
Article Abstract: 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.

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
Abstract: 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. Explicit acknowledgment and pedagogical use of conflicting paradigms hold the potential to enhance students' ability to think critically about white-collar crime.

Some Personality Correlates of Business White-Collar Crime.
Applied Psychology. 55(2):220-233, April 2006.
Blickle, Gerhard; Schlegel, Alexander; Fassbender, Pantaleon; Klein, Uwe
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. 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. It is argued here that high-ranking white-collar crime 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).
Abstract: 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 crime 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 aren’t going to question their activities because, well, they’re 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, MICHAEL GOTTFREDSON, University of Arizona
ABSTRACT: 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
Abstract: 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.

 

Trafficking in Human Organs: An Emerging Form of White-Collar Crime? 
Thomas W. Foster, Department of Sociology, Ohio State University at Mansfield
The article inquires into the global scarcity of transplantable organs and explores the typical circumstances that surround the sale-for profit-of organs.