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Lecture 11

CC100 Lecture 11: Crimes Of Power

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Andrew Welsh

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Crimes of Power: CC100 1. What is white-collar crime? By Edwin Sutherland  Crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his/her occupation  White-colour crime involved conspiracies by the wealthy to use their position or personal gain without regard for the law. It is an illegal act committed by an individual, or organization usually during the course of legitimate occupational activity by persons of high or organizational gain. The goal is to obtain money or property or to obtain business or personal advantage.  White-collar crimes also involve property damage and loss of human life, violations of safety standards, environmental pollution, and industrial accidents due to negligence  Swindling: stealing through deception by individuals who try to bilk people out of their money  Chiseling: cheating an organization or its customers (selling juice which is actually just sweetened water) o Churning: when a stockbroker makes repeated trades to fraudulently increase his or her commissions o Insider trading: illegal buying of stocks in a company on the basis of info provided by a person in the company  Internet securities fraud: involves the use of e-mail and websites to carry out various schemes aimed at cheating people at their investment money  There are many more including embezzlement and employee fraud, client frauds and corporate crime Social class and crime  Cultural components of middle and upper class 1. Ruthless competitiveness (E.g.: New England Patriots have been accused of different scandals) 2. Arrogance: superiority 3. Sense of entitlement (“I work really hard, you’re just jealous”) 4 Different types of white-collar crime  Organized/professional crime: refers to white-collar crime committed with the support and encouragement of a formal organization and intended to advance the goals of that organization (primary source of income is illegal)  Corporate crime: In which legitimate companies commit crime in the course of their usual business, fostered by a strongly competitive environment  Occupational crime: Crime committed by employees for money by bending the or breaking the rules using the structural advantage provided by their employment (E.g.: Robert R. Courtney)  Government crime: which includes illegal acts committed either by government officials or with their knowledge and support, as well as cover-ups of other person’s crimes  Iclicker: A pharmacist diluting prescription medication to increase profits is an example of which type of white-collar crime? Occupational crime  Clinard and Quinney divide white-collar crime into an occupational category (offences committed both by individuals in the course of their occupation and by employees against their employers) and corporate crime (Offences committed by corporate officials for the corporation, and the defenses of the corporation itself.) The cause of white color crime: greedy or needy? 2 theories: Corporate culture theory: organizations have distinctive cultures, which are more or less tolerant of law violation for the benefit of the firm. This explains why conventional people commit crime when they are employed in white-collar jobs The self-control theory: There is a desire for quick, certain benefit with minimal effort: criminals lack self-control More about organizational crime:  Organizational crime: ongoing criminal groups whose purpose is economic gain through crime. A structured enterprise is set up to supply consumers with merchandize and services banned by criminal law but for which a ready market exists: prostitution, gambling, and narcotics.  Corporation as a juristic person: the legal concept that corporations are liable to the same laws as natural persons  Executive disengagement o Pyramid structure of corporation: The person at the top doesn’t know what’s all going on near the bottom of the pyramid. o The custom by which lower-level employees assume that executives are best left uninformed of certain decisions and actions of employees.  Criminogenic Market Structure: An economic market structure that is structured in such a way that it tends to produce criminal behaviour 2. Corporate crime and legal sanctions  Corporate crime: a legal violation by a corporate entity, such as price-fixing, restraint of trade, hazardous waste dumping, unfair advertising, or monopolistic practices. o Price-fixing is where companies conspire together to artificially inflate the price of goods  Monopolistic enterprise: any corporation that controls all, or most, of the market for a specific product or service  Anticombines legislation: any form of competition reduction. Laws designed to prevent and punish corporations that work together to reduce competition More about Occupational crime Professional misconduct and malpractice 1. Misconduct and failure of organizations to deal with misconduct 2. Often hidden because dealt with by professional associations. (E.g.: residential schools, Mount Cashel or
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