CRJU 20423 Chapter 9: Demystifying Crime: Chapter 9

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Criminal Justice
CRJU 20423

Demystifying Crime and Criminal Justice Chapter 9: The Myth That WhiteCollar Crime Is Only About Financial Loss I. The Myth a. Whitecollar crime = a term broadly encompassing the whole range of illegal, unethical, and harmful practices carried out within a legitimate organizational or occupational context, to generate financial gain or to avoid financial loss. b. Corporate crime = specific form of whitecollar crime carried out on behalf of corporations, by its executives and employees. c. Occupational crime = specific form of whitecollar crime carried out by small business owners, professionals, and employees for their own benefit. d. Myth = whitecollar crime is only about financial loss II. The Kernel of Truth a. Whitecollar crime is driven mainly by financial considerations 1. Driven by rational calculation, not by emotion or irrational factors 2. Does not include physical harm, but an immense amount of physical harm and violence on many different levels is one of the major consequences of corporate crime, and in some cases of occupational crime as well b. If whitecollar crime has focused principally on extending financial advantage or minimizing financial loss, the scope of financial losses that result is immense, and dwarfs the size of such losses as a consequence of conventional crime, however those losses are measured. c. It is difficult to measure accurately the financial losses due to any form of crime, and the difficulties are compounded in the case of whitecollar crime. 1. Economic losses in the U.S. due to subprime mortgage fraud alone ran as high as 500 billion 2. Annual financial losses due to whitecollar crime exceed a trillion dollars d. Whitecollar crime differs from conventional crime in a number of important dimensions. 1. Perpetrators of whitecollar are more likely to be middleclass or wealthy and some exceedingly wealthy 2. Much of the most consequential crime is committed on behalf of, and by means of the resources available to, an organization (corporation) 3. Corporate crime is carried out on behalf of an entity with vast resources that is consequences can be so widespread and substantial III. The Truth of Facts a. Today, a series of laws were adopted and regulatory regimes were established to enforce attention by corporations to health and safety concerns. b. c. IV. Interests Served by the Myth
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