White Collar Crime

Essay by chinook January 2006

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The crime of choice for the businessperson seems to be white-collar corruption. Corporate corruption has been around since business was started but lately there has been a swell in business fraud and corruption prosecutions and investigations. Experts to demographic shifts and economic forces have accredited the changing character of crime. One problem with today's crimes is the advances in technology. The Internet is a major contributing factor to the proportion of financial crime cases. Since the birth of the Internet, the rate of financial crime has risen considerably, from identity theft to software privacy and e-mail schemes. In response, federal and state officials have allocated teams of investigators and prosecutors to combat this exploitation.

Demographic changes in populations' increasing prosperity and level of education have played a role in blue-collar crime. Crime is, for the most part, a factor dependant upon age. Fraud is the preferred crime of the older perpetrators, so as the general public ages, the number of fraud cases should swell.

Another basis of white-collar corruption is correlated to the increasing education level of society. To the better-educated public, committing fraud over crime is the best bet. With fraud the proceeds are better and the punishment is less. Generally the people who tend to commit fraud is influenced by what is known as the fraud "triangle" which is defined as the following: financial pressure, the perception of an opportunity and rationalization that it is okay.

The courts are now working through America's once-backlogged white-collar crime docket. As the white-collar crime cases continue to alter in the courtroom, one point is already making itself clear: the scheme of the legal process in white-collar cases is evolving rapidly. Both sides are learning from their mistakes and reevaluating the conventional wisdom that they followed in the past.

For prosecutors the...