White Collar Crimes


White Collar Crimes




White Collar Crimes

White collar crimes are typically non-violent crimes that individuals, especially in businesses and corporation, commit for financial gain. Most of the white collar crimes are associated with embezzlement, corporate and security fraud, and money laundering. White collar derives its name from the fact that most of the criminals are elite individuals and tend to hold high ranking positions. White collar crimes are different from other crimes in business as they are characterized by deceit, concealment, and gross violation of trust, unlike other crimes that involve the use of physical force and in extreme cases loss of life. Moreover, unlike other crimes, the motivation of white collar crimes is solely financial; either to amerce finances or to avoid losing money, services or property. Furthermore, other business crimes tend to be caused by malicious decisions and neglect of the code of conduct that in turn causes harm.

The focus on business ethics and mandatory ethics training to all business professionals are crucial in ensuring that the commission of crimes in a business environment is reduced if not eradicated. Ethics instill morals and guidelines of what are the right and wrong business practices in line with the current issues in the business world. Business ethics are the written and unwritten rules that are used either to stop people from committing crimes in a business environment or prosecute wrongdoers.

One of the most famous white collar crimes was perpetrated by Bernard Lawrence ‘Bernie’ Madoff who was an American financier that ran the greatest Ponzi scheme in history defrauding thousands of investors billions of dollars over a period of seventeen years. He deceived his investors that he would generate substantial returns for them but instead deposited all the monies into a single account from where he paid only those that wanted to cash out. He was sentenced to 150 years in jail 2009 and ordered to forfeit all the assets he accumulated during the entire period of the scheme.


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