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White Collar and Corporate Crime - Essay Example

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The paper focuses on white-collar and corporate crime. Corporate misconduct that involves violations of criminal statutes can be recognized in an assortment of forms. It may include illegal price-fixing, government contract fraud, bribery, illegal kickbacks, income tax evasion, money laundering…
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White Collar and Corporate Crime
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Download file to see previous pages The crime was defined only by traditional "street crimes" during the 30-year period between 1940 and 1970, and there was a minimal public concern with the issue of corporate criminal conduct. Since the early 1970s, however, "crime in the suites" has emerged as an important political, social, and economic problem. The extent and seriousness of criminal behavior by corporations, corporate officials, and employees led to the development of organized crime as a separate type of white-collar crime and, more importantly, an increased recognition of the need for criminal statutes that address corporate misconduct and more severe criminal corporate sanctions (Clinard, Marshall, and Peter Yeager. 1980, 132). Sutherland defined white-collar crime as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation," and used the term to refer primarily to "business managers and executives." (Edwin Sutherland, 1961, p. 19)
His studies and conclusions indicate, however, that white-collar crime meant corporate crime. Later studies divided white-collar crimes into two separate types -- occupational crimes and corporate crimes. Organized crimes were initially defined as "the offenses committed by corporate officials for their corporation and the offenses of the corporation itself" and occupational crimes were the "offenses committed by individuals for themselves in the course of their occupations and the offenses of employees against their employers." (Marshall B. Clinard and Richard Quinney, 1973, p. 188). Occupational crimes are committed by lawyers, doctors, businessmen, and politicians, for example, and may include crimes like income tax evasion, embezzlement, and check to kite. Corporate crimes are organizational crimes and can only occur in the context of the complicated relationships among executives, corporate officers, managers, and corporate agents on the one hand, and among parent corporations, corporate divisions, and subsidiaries on the other hand.
Nevertheless, a distinctive feature of organized crime is that the crime is committed primarily for the benefit of an ongoing legitimate business enterprise rather than for the individual who actually carries out the offense. Thus, organized crime is a specific type or form of white-collar crime and includes criminal conduct, intended to benefit the corporation, by corporations and by individual corporate employees, officials, or agents.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s has served to bring potentially dangerous corporate activities to the general attention of the public and has inspired the academic legal community to pay greater consideration to several very basic questions concerning the potential use of the criminal law in this area. (Fisse, B And Braithwaite, J, 1993, 134)
The criminal statistics show unequivocally that crime, as popularly conceived and officially measured, has a high incidence in the lower class and a low incidence in the upper class; less than 2 percent of the persons committed to prisons in a year belong to the upper class. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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