White-collar Crime
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White-collar Crime

White-collar crime (occasionally known as corporate crime) refers to financially motivated nonviolent crime committed by business and government professionals. It was first defined in 1939 by the sociologist Edwin Sutherland as "a crime committed by a professional in his or her capacity in the professional world against a large corporation, agency, or other professional entity."[1] Those who commit white-collar crimes are investigated and prosecuted by federal authorities in most countries, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States. There are many different variations of white-collar crime; examples include fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, and money laundering.[2]

Further reading

  • Cox, Steven P. (2017) "White-Collar Crime in Museums", Curator:The Museums Journal 60(2):235-248.
  • Dillon, Eamon Dilloninvestigates.com, The Fraudsters - How Con Artists Steal Your Money Chapter 5, Pillars of Society, published September 2008 by Merlin Publishing, Ireland ISBN 978-1-903582-82-4
  • Koller, Cynthia A., Laura A. Patterson & Elizabeth B. Scalf (2014). When Moral Reasoning and Ethics Training Fail: Reducing White Collar Crime through the Control of Opportunities for Deviance, 28 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub. Pol'y 549 (2014). Available at: http://scholarship.law.nd.edu/ndjlepp/vol28/iss2/5
  • Rolón, Darío N. Control, vigilancia, y respuesta penal en el ciberespacio, Latinamerica's new security Thinking, Clacso 2014.

White-collar crime

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

White-collar crime (or corporate crime, more accurately) refers to financially motivated nonviolent crime committed by businesses and government professionals. It was first defined by the sociologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939 as "a crime committed by a professional in his or her capacity in the professional world against a large corporation, agency, or other professional entity. There are fewer amount of lawyers that specialize in white-collar crime making it so everyone knows everyone. Those who commit white-collar crime get investigated and prosecuted by the federal authorities, therefore, defense attorneys in this area of crime have to go to court against the government.

Types of White-Collar Crime

Fraud makes up the vast majority of the white collar crimes and is the act of deceiving an individual for monetary advantage. [3]

A well known type of securities fraud is insider trading which is when an individual inside a company has information about investments or company exchanges and the information is exchanged in infringement of a duty or agreement.[3]

Embezzlement is the act of inappropriately taking money from an individual to whom you owe something.[3]

Tax Evasion is when an individual attempts to bypass paying taxes that they are normally obligated to pay.[3]

Money Laundering is when someone obtains illegally acquired money (dirty money). This is done through a sequence of transactions that serve the purpose of making the money look like as if the company made the money. [3]

Perpetrator Characteristics

According to a 2016 study Kimberly Dodson and Paul M. Klenowski for The Oxford Handbook of White-Collar Crime,

A considerable percentage of white-collar offenders are gainfully employed middle-class Caucasian men who usually commit their first white-collar offense sometime between their late thirties and their mid-forties. Most have some higher education, are married, and have moderate to strong ties to community, family, and religious organizations. White-collar offenders usually have a criminal history, including infractions that span the spectrum of illegality, but many do not overindulge in vice. Recent research examining the five-factor personality trait model determined that white-collar offenders tend to be more neurotic and less agreeable and conscientious than their non-criminal counterparts.[4]

In 2012, J.P. Morgan trader Bruno Iksil placed a large risky trade and ended up losing $6.2 billion for the bank. While losing money from a trade is not illegal it was indicated that his boss and his assistant conspired to cover up their losses by filing false reports. This lead to their arrest, but none of the men involved served time for their crime.


In the United States, sentences for white-collar crimes may include a combination of imprisonment, fines, restitution, community service, disgorgement, probation, or other alternative punishment. The Jeffrey Skilling and Enron scandal motivated the legislation of harsher punishments and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush. It defined new crimes and increased the penalties for crimes such as mail and wire fraud. In China, white-collar criminals can be given the death penalty, while some countries have a maximum of 10-25 years imprisonment.

When sentencing, Canada considers the relationship between the parties to be a significant feature when there is a breach of trust involved. Questions about sentencing disparity in white-collar crime continue to be debated.

In the US, the FBI, concerned with identifying this type of offense, collects annual statistical information on only three categories of convictions: fraud, counterfeiting/forgery, and embezzlement. All other types of white-collar crime are listed in as, "miscellaneous".

In the United States, the longest sentences handout to white-collar criminals to date are: Sholam Weiss (845 years for racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering in connection with the collapse of National Heritage Life Insurance Company); Norman Schmidt and Charles Lewis (330 years and 30 years, respectively, for a "high-yield investment" scheme); Bernard Madoff (150 years for a $65 billion fraud scheme); Frederick Brandau (55 years for a $117 million Ponzi scheme); Eduardo Masferrer (30 years for accounting fraud); Chalana McFarland (30 years for a mortgage fraud scheme); Lance Poulsen (30 years for $2.9 billion in securities fraud and money laundering).

The U.S. Department of Justice, announced new prosecution and enforcement regulations regarding white-collar crime on October 8, 2019 including, new guidance on how prosecution evaluation of corporate defendants's requests "for a reduction of fines and penalties based on a stated inability to pay," which states that [how the guidance has changed on this particular thing]. The second regulation the U.S. Department of Justice came out with was "the restructuring of DOJ's Securities and Financial Fraud Unit as the Market Integrity and Major Frauds Unit." The U.S. Department of Justice is trying to increase "transparency" by these new factors while also organizing a better enforcement system for the United States.

Longest white collar sentences (USA)

Name Company Occupation Crime Counts Losses caused by the defendant Company Loss Year Co-defendants Sentence (Yr)
Sholam Weiss National Heritage Life Insurance Investor, Consultant Racketeering, Wire fraud, Money Laundering[21] 77 $0 $0 (company realized a profit after all assets were sold off) 2000 13 845
Keith Pound National Heritage Life Insurance Mortgage Specialist Racketeering, Wire fraud, Money Laundering 74 $0 $0 (company realized a profit after all assets were sold off) 2000 13 740
Norman Schmidt[23] Capital Holdings Investment adviser, Financier Ponzi scheme, Money Laundering, Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, securities fraud 36 $38,414,988 $38,414,988 2008 5 330
Bernard Madoff Madoff Securities International Ltd Stock broker, Investment adviser, Financier Ponzi scheme, Money Laundering, Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, securities fraud, Theft or embezzlement, 11 $2,000,000,000 $13,000,000,000 2009 5 150
Robert Allen Stanford, Stanford Financial Group Businessman in the financial services sector Ponzi scheme, Money Laundering, Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, securities fraud. 21 $5,900,000,000 $5,900,000,000 2009 110
Frederick Brandau[26] Frederick Brandau's South Florida life insurance company Businessman in the financial services sector Conspiracy to commit mail fraud; conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering. 117,000,000 55
Bernard Ebbers WorldCom Businessman in the financial services sector and telecommunication Accounting Fraud 15 $11,000,000,000 ($0 after $5.6 billion settlement with victims) $11,000,000,000[27] 2005 25
Marc Dreier Dreier LLP Attorney Money Laundering, Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, securities fraud, Theft or embezzlement, 8 $700,000,000 $700,000,000 2009 20
Walter Forbes CUC International. Accounting Fraud 12 $3,275,000,000 $14,000,000,000[28] 2007 1 12
Jeffrey Skilling Enron Former CEO of Enron False statement, Insider trading, securities fraud, conspiracy 51 $41,950,874 $7,200,000,000 2006 10
Richard Marin Scrushy HealthSouth Corporation, Businessman

Founder and former chairmanand chief executive officer of HealthSouth Corporation,

former chairman and chief executive officer of MedPartners, Inc.

30 $2,800,000,000 $2,800,000,000 2006 1 7

See also


  1. ^ Conley, Dalton (2017). You May Ask Yourself. 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110: W.W. Norton & Company Inc. pp. 217-218. ISBN 978-0393-60238-8.
  2. ^ [i.pinimg.com/originals/a8/ee/e7/a8eee72d2d6507cddeaacdb6435be403.jpg "White Collar Crimes"] Check |url= value (help).
  3. ^ a b c d e "White Collar Crimes".
  4. ^ "Psychology of White-Collar Offending".
  1. "FBI -- White-Collar Crime". FBI.^ Sutherland, Edwin Hardin (1949). White Collar Crime. New York: Dryden Press, p. 9.
  2. ^ "White Collar Criminal Defense Guide". Law Offices of Randy Collins. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  3. ^ Andrew Restuccia and Emily Holden (16 May 2018). "Pruitt taps outside attorney for help amid investigations". Politico.com. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  4. ^ Friedrichs, David O. (2009). Trusted Criminals: White Collar Crime In Contemporary Society (4 ed.). Wadsworth Publishing. p. 50. ISBN 978-0495600824. citing Kane and Wall, 2006, p. 5
  5. ^ Shover, Neal & Wright, John Paul (eds.) (2000). Crimes of Privilege: Readings in White-Collar Crime. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513621-7
  6. ^ Appelbaum, Richard & Chambliss, William J. (1997). Sociology: A Brief Introduction. New York: Longman Pub Group. p. 117. ISBN 9780673982797.
  7. ^ Clarke, R. V. G. (1997). Situational Crime Prevention: Successful Case Studies (2 ed.). Harrow and Heston. ISBN9780911577389.
  8. ^
  9. Jump up to:
  10. a b c O'Grady, William (2011). Crime in Canadian Context: Debates and Controversies (2 ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195433784. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  11. ^ Anderson, Jenny (20 January 2005). "S.E.C. Settles ImClone Insider Trading Case". New York Times. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  12. ^ Anzalone, Charles (28 April 1991). "White-Collar Crime Has Become Priority of Law Enforcement". Buffalo News.
  13. ^ "State's white collar convicts get lighter sentences". California Watch.
  14. ^ Sukumaran, Tashny (16 February 2019). "What's the deal with Jho Low, Malaysia's most wanted man?". South China Morning Post Publishers. South China Morning Post. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  15. ^ Dodson, Kimberly D.; Klenowski, Paul M. (1 May 2016). "Who Commits White-Collar Crime, and What Do We Know About Them?". The Oxford Handbook of White-Collar Crime. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199925513.013.6.
  16. ^ Rubino, Esq. PA, Frank. "White Collar Crime - An Overview". Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  17. ^ "Penalties for White Collar Crime". Blumberg & Associates.
  18. ^ "Is China's White-Collar Death Penalty Fair?". The American Lawyer. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  19. ^ "What is Breach of Trust in Canada?". Alexander Ejsmont. Retrieved 30 November2013.
  20. ^ Podger, Prof. Ellen S. (21 February 2007). "Throwing Away the Key". Yale Law Journal. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  21. ^ "White-Collar Crime - Further Readings". law.jrank.org. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  22. ^ Liz Moyer, In Pictures: The Longest White-Collar Prison Sentences, Forbes (June 24, 2009).
  23. Conley, Dalton (2017). You May Ask Yourself. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110: W.W. Norton. pp. 217-218. ISBN 978-0-393-60238-8.
  24. "White Collar Crime". www.law.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  25. "DOJ Announces Changes in White-Collar Criminal Enforcement in the Interest of Transparency". JD Supra. Retrieved 2019-10-16.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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