“White Collar Crime” Sutherland’s Definition




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Title“White Collar Crime” Sutherland’s Definition
Date02.04.2013
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“White Collar Crime”

  • Sutherland’s Definition

    • Coined “white collar crime”
    • People of “status” in course of “occupation”
  • Types of White collar crime

    • Corporate crime
    • Government crime
    • Occupational Crime
    • Organized crime

Causes of W.C.C.?

  • Have we covered any theories that can explain something like corporate crime?

    • Why do millionaires break the law to get more money?


Sutherland

  • W.C.C. as “learned behavior”

    • Learn “rationalizations” and techniques
    • Not really “crime” but crafty business techniques
      • “Bait and Switch”
      • “Price Fixing”
    • “Corporate Culture”


Rational Choice Theory

  • The benefit ($) outweighs the cost (CJS penalties)

  • The “risk” of getting caught is relatively low (low certainty)



Messner and Rosefeld?

  • The “American Dream Ethos”

    • Monetary success is unlimited
    • All pressured to get “MORE”


Low Self-control

  • Desire for quick certain benefit with minimal effort

  • W.C.C. as “rare” because most business executives have high self-control



Theories not well equipped to explain WCC?

  • Merton (goals and means)

    • Most have “means” to achieve legitimately
  • Informal Social Control

    • Most have much to “risk” should they get caught


How Can we Prevent W.C.C.?

  • Compliance Strategies

    • Create environment where compliance is rewarded ($ incentives)
    • Internal audits, insurance industry as watch-dog, whistle-blowers hotline
    • Administrative Oversight
      • Securities and Exchange Commission


Preventing W.C.C. II

  • Deterrence—criminal penalties

    • Assumption made: criminal behavior is rational (WCC vs. “street crimes”
    • Criminal punishment rare—usually punish the more powerless businesses
    • Not “real criminals” don’t deserve prison
    • Most cases heard in civil court
  • CONFLICT THEORY!!!!!!



“Organized Crime”

  • Is there really a “mafia?”

    • Myth created by media and a few felons or truth?
    • How “organized” is organized crime?
  • Is the “mafia” on the decline?

    • RICO enforcement
    • The “geritol gang”
    • Infusion of street gangs and different ethnic groups


“Blue Collar Crime”

  • Crimes committed by people of lower status as part of their occupation

    • Steal from work (property, $)
    • Tax evasion


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