White collar crimes


Whitecollar crimes


WhiteCollar Crimes

Whitecollar crimes refer to crimes of non-violent nature that arecommitted in a business setting. The acts committed violate eitherfederal or state criminal statutes. The term white collar was firstcoined by sociologist Edwin Sutherland in a paper to the AmericanSociological Society in 1939. In his definition, white collarinvolved a crime committed by an individual of high social statusduring the stint in their occupation(Bucy,Formby, Raspanti, &amp Rooney, 2012).Individuals involved in such crimes are usually characterized bygreed, having an addiction such as gambling or undergoing adepression. According to experts who have dealt with individuals whohave committed white collar crimes the perpetrators are motivated bythe following. There is always easy access to money which means thatthe perpetrators can always put away some money for themselves. Insome cases, the perpetrators often rationalize their acts of crime bytelling themselves and believing that they are doing the right thing.This rationalization provides an excuse for competition whilebreaking a few rules. Finally, the perpetrators of such crimes arebelieved to experience a kick when committing such crimes. Crimeoften seems like a game of money. According to most cases, the commondeterrent to white collar crimes is serving some time in prison. Thiscould range from a couple of years to 20 years in prison depending onthe severity of the crime.

Thecorporate culture and government regulation are capable of suchcrimes because they do not enforce enough punishment or deterrent todiscourage individuals from committing such crimes (Schmalleger,2012). A good example would be the BP handing of their former CEO whowas actually rewarded instead of being punished for his handling ofthe BP oil drill spill in the Gulf. The government on the other handends up punishing the shareholders instead of the individual.


Bucy,P. H., Formby, E. P., Raspanti, M. S., &amp Rooney, K. E. (2012,January 12). Why Do They Do It: The Motives, Character, Mores andCharacter of White Collar Criminals. St.John`s Law Review,pp. 401-572.

Schmalleger,F. (2012).Criminology today: An integrative introduction (6thed.).Upper Saddle

River,NJ: Prentice Hall.

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