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Lecture

CRIM 101 Lecture Notes - White-Collar Crime, Relative Deprivation, Social Disorganization Theory


Department
Criminology
Course Code
CRIM 101
Professor
Barry Cartwright

Page:
of 5
CRIME AND EMPLOYMENT
THE CHANGING WORKPLACE
Nature of the workplace has changed significantly over the last few decades
Better paying, full-time manufacturing jobs have been disappearing
Replaced by lower paying (often part time) service jobs
Women at work
New technology
*UNEMPLOYMENT AND CRIME
Many theories of crimee.g., anomie theory, relative deprivation theory, social
disorganization theory, - assume there is a relationship between unemployment and crime
Researchers have found weak or even negative relationship between these two factors
*TEENAGERS AND EMPLOYMENT
Evidence suggests that employed teenagers are more likely to be involved in crime than
unemployed teenagers
Away from home more often, have their own money, may have their own transportation
*ROUTINE ACTIVITIES
Routine activities/opportunity theorists suggest that weak or negative relationship
between unemployment and crime caused by the fact that unemployed people have less
disposable income
More likely to engage in leisure activities at home or within their own neighborhoods
(avoiding offenders)
At home or close to their home, and thus able to protect their property from would-be
offenders (provide capable guardianship)
*HIGH RISK OCCUPATIONS
Police officers, prison guards, probation officers, nurses, mental health workers, and
welfare workers at higher risk of being assaulted, because they come into repeated
contact with high risk groups of offenders
Bartenders, hospitality workers (e.g., waitresses) and recreation workers (e.g., at
amusement parks) are also at increased risk, because they come into regular contact with
large numbers of strangers
Taxi-drivers and newspaper vendors are at increased risk of being robbed, because they
usually have cash on them, and come into frequent contact with the public
**low risk occupations: farmers, technical support
*RISK FACTORS (PRECURSORS)
Dealing with a large number of people
Handling cash money
Doing a lot of travelling
Delivering goods or passengers
*VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE
Risk of violent victimization in workplace is lower than risk during leisure time activities
Workplace still accounts for between 14% and 22% of all violent crime
Many violent crimes (or transactions) committed by irate or impatient clients/customers
Other violent crimes committed by irate colleagues, fellow employees or friends and
family members of employees
THREATS AND HARASSMENT
Some workers are threatened or harassed by customers or co-workers, but may not be
physically injured
Some threatening or harassing behaviour in the workplace may meet definition of a
crime- including sexual harassment and criminal harassment
THEFT OF PERSONAL PROPERTY
21% of burglaries take place while victim is at work
Some employees have their personal property stolen by co-workers while they’re in the
workplace
*REPORTING WORKPLACE CRIME
Victimization incidents in the workplace likely to go unreported
Many employers have "in-house" methods for addressing such issues- e.g., private
security forces, internal disciplinary procedures, dismissal of troublesome employees
*OCCUPATIONAL CRIME
Types of occupational crime include white collar crime, corporate crime, employee theft
and embezzlement
Workplace provides opportunities for both employers and employees to victimize their
customers, or to victimize each other
Work domain brings large numbers of people together in time and space on routine
(daily) basis, against environmental backcloth that involves financial transactions, and
sometimes vast amounts of money
*WHITE COLLAR AND CORPORATE CRIME
Term "white collar crime" first coined by Edwin Sutherland (same dude who came up
with differential association theory)
Term "corporate crime" came somewhat later, to distinguish between crimes committed
by wealthy, powerful individuals for their own personal benefit (white collar crime), and
crimes by corporations or corporate officials for the benefit of the corporation (corporate
crime)
*THE PRECURSORS
Individuals (or groups of individuals) in positions of trust, power and responsibility
Often have vast sums of money at their disposal
Organizational framework may permit them to deflect attention away from themselves
(through accountants, lawyers, and bankers)
Easy access to money, by virtue of their “legitimate” occupational duties
*SPENDING MONEY
Misappropriation of funds, e.g., embezzlement
Using company assets to purchase items intended for personal rather than business use
Misrepresenting corporation's financial situation (overvaluing or undervaluing assets, or
exaggerating sales figures)
*HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
White collar/corporate crime costs about $250 billion in a year in the US, twenty times
more than cost of all “street crime” combined
1994 municipal bankruptcy in Orange County, California resulted in financial losses of
$3 billion (county treasurers found guilty of six counts of fraud)
*HOW TO GET RICH QUICK
Chief executives (while drawing $100 million each out of Enron corporation) deliberately
misrepresented profit picture.
When Enron collapsed, $70 billion in investors’ equity was wiped out
DOING BUSINESS
One of the world's largest telecom companies (WorldCom)
Defrauded investors out of $11 billion in an accounting scandal
Involved Arthur Anderson, one of the world’s largest (but now defunct) accountancy
firms
*BACK IN THE GREAT WHITE NORTH
In 1990’s, Eron Mortgage Corp. guaranteed thousands of investors in B.C a 24% return
for investing in their property development projects
President and Vice President were aware there was little or no cash flow from the
projects
Eron was paying interest and repaying the principal on older investments by using money
from new investors
Investors lost around $200 million, the president was found guilty of 5 criminal charges,
and sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment
*THERE’S GOLD IN THEM THAR HILLS
Bre-X claimed its gold mine in Indonesia had massive reserves
Backed up claims by adding gold to mineral samples sent for assaying
*BUT IT’S NICER IN THE CARIBBEAN
Share prices of Calgary-based Bre-X (which traded on the TSE) went through the roof,
and then collapsed when fraud was exposed
Some of main participants sold their shares at an enormous profit, and left Canada for the
Cayman Islands
Bre-X investors lost around $3 billion