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5. White-Collar, Corporate and Organized Crime.docx

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CRM 1300
Sam Alvaro

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CRM 1300
Nov. 7 2011
White-Collar, Corporate and Organized Crime
White Collar Crime
- Edwin Sutherland (1883-1950)
- Focused on Corporate Crime
- White collar criminals:
o Are mainly hidden from criminologists
o Cause high financial cost
o Damage social institutions and social relations
What is White Collar Crime?
- Committed by individuals who use their marketplace for their criminal activity
Middle-Class Deviance
- Tax evasion, credit card fraud, bankruptcy fraud
Professional (elite deviance)
- Medical fraud, investment fraud
Business Fraud
- Embezzlement
Occupational Crime
- Employee theft
Corporate Crime
- False advertising
State-Corporate Crime
- Kickbacks
How serious is it?
- Much higher cost than street crime
- 1997, 57% of companies claimed being cheated by their own employees
- US
o Over 20 million serious injuries
o Over 30,000 deaths/year
- Receive light penalties
- An international problem
High-Tech Crimes
- Internet Crimes:
o Pornography
o Stalking
o Hate crimes
o Get rich quick scams
o Computer Crime
Theft of services
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Use of data
Fraud to obtain assets
Theft (of software, downloading music)
Viruses over 56,000 in 2000
Corporate Culture Theory
- Corporate culture
o Encourages excessively high goals while tolerant of employee deviance
- Braithwaite (1987)
o “Corporate climate” conductive to crime is the result of poor relations
with government
- Shame of discovery
o Provides definitions unfavourable to law-breaking
o Internal (whistle-blowing) or external (inspections)
Self Control
- Hirschi and Gottfredson (1987)
o White collar crime is rare
o People who get ahead in business have learned self-control, are not likely
to engage in crime
o Similar to street crime in terms of who does it (gender, race, age)
o Offenders are egocentric, often repeat offenders
- Benson and Moore (1992)
o 3 types of white-collar offenders
impulsive, low self-control
Calculating, high self-control
Oppirtunistic, medium self-control
Controlling White Collar Crime
Conflict Theory
- Prosecution is rare
- Few are punished
- Sentences are light
- Small and medium-sized business are major targets for enforcement
- Judges don’t see them as real criminals
- Civil rather than criminal law
Law Enforcement
- Largely dependent on government administrators/inspectors
o Government cutbacks
o Complaint-based rather than proactive
o Focuses more on “organized crime” (bikers and drug trafficking)
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