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Lecture One September 9, 2013
What is White Collar Crime?
Common Conceptions:
Crimes committed by CEOs and Executives
Money embezzling
Greedy business people
Examples from the Media:
White collar criminals are portrayed as more educated criminals
Bernie Madoff
10% of stocks being traded in the US go through his company
Bernard L. Madoff Securities
Multi-billion dollar Ponzi Scheme stole 60 billion from clients
oPonzi scheme: taking money from certain investors and don’t do what you are
supposed to do with it, spending it, and then using that money to pay out other
oOnce people stop coming in, there is no more money to continue paying people
Prison Sentence
o150 year prison sentence
Ponzi Scheme
According to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission:
oA Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported
returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors. Ponzi
scheme organizers often solicit new investors by promising to invest funds in
opportunities claimed to generate high returns with little or no risk. In many
Ponzi schemes, the fraudsters focus on attracting new money to make promised
payments to earlier-stage investors and to use for personal expenses, instead of
engaging in any legitimate investment activity”
Youtube video: How a Ponzi Scheme Works
White Collar Crime Research
Disappearing act: the representation of corporate crime research in criminology journals
and textbooks
Looked at journals, textbooks and PhD programs
Articles published between 1993-1997 (9)
Textbooks published between 1990-1996 (16)
Curriculum of 21 PhD granting institutions for courses pertaining to white collar crime
“White collar crime topics are underrepresented in all aspects of the discipline of
What is White Collar crime?
Weisburd et al
Harel and Pare
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