Monday, August 6, 2012

Basics- white-collar crime

Edwin Sutherland coined the term White-Collar crime first time in his address to the American Sociological society, in 1939. He defined the white-collar crime as "crimes committed by a person of the upper socio-economic class who violates the criminal law in the course of his occupational and professional activities". 

Crimes – traditional and white collar have two traits, namely, 1) an objective and 2) a modus operandi. The difference lies in the fact that the white collar criminal has a grandiose plan and also the ability, knowledge and technology to execute it. Traditionally a criminal would rob a bank by using brute force to steal cash. On the other hand a white collar criminal uses technology, mass communication and appeals to greed to steal huge sums of money. Securities Fraud, Insider Trading, Bank Fraud, Tax Fraud, and Money Laundering are all examples of white-collar crime.

It is interesting to know that while 'crimes in the street' were known to most people, the extensive and more costly 'crimes in the suites' were rarely noticed. In fact, cases of white collar crime are worth noticing because in most cases, a white collar crime would cost several times more than other crimes added together.

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