WHITE-COLLAR CRIME White-collar crime is a term that is usually applied to crimes associated with business that do not involve violence or bodily injury to another person. Examples of so-called white-collar crime are those crimes generally associated with lending institutions that involve bank fraud, such as making false statements to obtain a loan, filing false reports or returns with government agencies, embezzlement, using the mail or wire communications to defraud, and paying or accepting bribes. The best and most successful frauds are multi-layered conspiracies where your employee is only one person in a loop and possibly does not know all of the links, interrelationships, and other people involved. Internal frauds are successful where the business area under attach has inadequate or minimal managerial control, or where the organization/business area is subject to radical organizational change. Fraud is one of the most common types of a white-collar crime. This will occur if a person’s purse is stolen, and that purse contains personal information credit cards, checks, id’s, etc.
The person who stole it will be able to assume her identity, establish new credit, forge checks, and gain access to her bank account. The second type of white collar crime includes Price-Fixing: which is when two or more companies conspire to keep prices artificially high by agreeing to have non-competitive pricing, it is a violation of the Sherman Act. Companies’ profits from such illegal actions are enormous. Another type of white collar crime is Insider Trading that is when a person has information that a merger, buy-out, or other knowledge that will affect the value of a company [or its stock] before the general public, it is considered inside information. It is illegal since it gives an unfair advantage to the insider that the public does not have. In some cases businesses tend to repeat there offenses of white collar crime which makes it easier for law enforcement officials to detect it.
There have not been as many studies of recidivism (repeat offenses) of white-collar crime as there have been of common crime. The best studies show that about 33% of offenders who are convicted of a felony (for a common crime) and go to prison ever go back again. However, in Edwin Sutherland’s classic work on white-collar crime, he found that 97.1% of the corporations had two or more adverse convictions or administrative decisions. The average was 14 such convictions. Consider a judge thinking about a convicted defendant before her. In order to help prevent and stop white-collar crime the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was passed.
It was passed to promote free enterprise and competition. If a single company has a monopoly on a product or service, there is no competition or motive for improvement. In addition, a monopoly can stifle competition by lowering their prices to the point where they are actually losing money. The competition will go out of business, and then the monopoly can increase their prices to recoup what they lost while they were under-pricing their product or service to put the competition out of business. White-collar crimes may be prosecuted in state or federal courts, depending upon whether state or federal laws have been violated.
The penalties for committing white-collar crimes vary, but in some cases, they may be as severe as those prescribed for violent crimes. White-collar crimes are the same as any other crimes. They do not constitute an especially unusual set of laws, and those who are in a given business are expected to know the laws regulating those businesses.