White Collar Crime in Government, Business, and Labor February 1, 2013 Supporting White Collar Legislation Our common law crimes are classified as either mall in SE or mall prohibit. The mall in SE offenses included crimes such as murder, rape, arson and theft (Schubert, 2012). These were crimes that people deemed as naturally bad. The mall prohibit crimes were defined by law to be prohibited. Our state statutes will help define, categorize and organize unlawful acts in today’s society.
These statutes are extremely valuable because there are crimes, such as fraud, that are not as obvious o the victims as “naturally’ bad crime would be. Fraud is categorized in the white collar realm of crime particularly because of it’s invisibility to the victim. There are a wide variety of phrases used that could be categorized as white collar crime and those who study such crimes tend to agree that it occurs in a legitimate occupational context; is motivated by financial or occupational achievement; is not defined by direct, intentional violence (Frederic’s, 2010).
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Society usually views these crimes to be committed by elites or respectable members of society, although this may not always e the case. The key elements of fraud include stealing by deception and there have been laws to attack such activity dating back as far as the 4th Century BC (Frederic’s, 2010). Government in the 4th Century recognized that the crime of fraud caused harm to society, as it still does today. There are estimates that state consumer fraud generates annual losses as high as $100 billion dollars a year (Frederic’s, 2010).
Victims can include people of all races, gender, and creed as well as the government. Most often, the fraudulent criminal preys on those who are desperate, lonely, insecure and fearful. Unfortunately, the elderly, unemployed and those with bad credit can be more susceptible to this type of crime. The scams utilized seem to be endless and can be orchestrated by a single person or by a group. Fraudulent scams range from attacking businesses down to the individual and are aided with technology, specifically the internet.
The internet allows for criminals to illegally obtain personal data regarding businesses and individuals. With this tactical advantage, the criminal is able to pose as someone he/she is not as well as offer services that will never be rendered. Legislation is one of the three basic functions of government. Our government is tasked with identifying conduct that is harmful to question posed “Do I support legislation which actively pursues those engaged in fraud including internet schemes? ” My answer is hell yes! However, there is always a “but”.
The problem with crimes involving the internet is that it can involve suspects who live outside our country borders. I would be hesitant to support legislation which allows for law enforcement to leave the country to investigate foreign suspects. That may be too costly. Instead, I would prefer the government educates the citizens of known foreign schemes and concentrate its resources on bringing those to Justice who are committing such offenses within our borders. Recouping Losses Google has been anticipating escaping a federal antitrust lawsuit over web search.
Alleged victims and competitors such as Franchiser consortium are prompting federal action against Google claiming that they have been attempting to maintain their monopolizing by anticompetitive practices. It is argued that Google has used its power via their search engine to harm rivals by ranking them in a particular order allowing a search. Instead, it ranks their own products amongst the top of their lists to sway searchers to choose their products. The Federal government has been involved in an exhausting two year investigation which will hopefully be coming to and end soon.
Google is proposing to offer voluntary adjustments to address the complaints from its competitors and avoid the Federal Trade Commission lawsuit. Additionally, there are other Google patents being investigated and should be coming too conclusion soon. Although not technically involved in a current lawsuit, I believe o avoid prosecution and make all parties happy, I feel that corporations involved in any similar scenario should abide by FTC regulations and refrain from engaging in anticompetitive practices. I am against criminal prosecution in cases like this and would prefer them to be handled in civil court.
I believe that the civil sanctions imposed can deter corporations more so than those imposed by criminal courts. Match. Com has a pending suit against them for deceiving practices to induce people to Join and renew their subscriptions to its dating website. Robinson, et al. V. Match. Com, LLC, Index No. :10-c.v.-02651-L, alleges that the website advertises millions of active members when in fact the majority of its profiles are in fact inactive. Evidence includes thousands of fake profiles and statements from current and former employees. It is argued that Match. Mom is posing the inactive profiles as active to induce legitimate subscribers. My view regarding this case is that it can be better handled in civil court. Fines should be imposed, money returned to subscribers and conditions imposed on the corporation to police their profiles Occupational Crime versus Vocational Crime Both occupational and vocational crimes are activities that are loosely associated with white collar crime. Because there numerous types of illegal activities defined as white collar crime, criteria is used to differentiate/categorize these activities into specific groups.
The criteria used include the setting and level within the setting; status and or position of the offender; primary victims; principal form of harm; legal classification (Frederic’s, 2010). Occupational crime means exactly what it implies. Criminals use their occupation to commit the crime. Frederic’s defines it as illegal and harmful financially driven activity committed within the context of a legitimate, respectable occupation. There “workplace crime”. These include more conventional crimes that occur in the workplace environment (examples robbery, assault, etc… . Also, “occupational deviance” refers to equal opportunity scenarios like sexual harassment as well as other forms of bad ethical behaviors like slacking off. However, in occupational crime the suspect is the financial benefactor while the company that he/she is employed by loses assets. Usually, white collar offenses seem to be committed by members of the middle and upper class. This has not changed regarding occupational crime however, those that are caught engaging in such activity happen to be members below the classes mentioned.
Examples of occupational crime include employee crime, retail crime, service crime and crimes of professionals. Vocational crimes are illegal but non conventional criminal acts committed by white collar workers outside a specifically organizational or occupational context (Frederic’s, 2010). Some examples include tax evasion, insurance fraud, purchasing stolen goods. These crimes are usually committed by respectable members of society and for the purpose of financial gain or to avoid financial trouble.
In comparing and contrasting the two forms of crime, the obvious distinction is that occupational crime uses the professional status as the main tool to commit the crime whereas in vocational crime, the perpetrator takes advantage of situations and uses tools outside of a workplace environment. Elements of Political White Collar Crime Political white collar crime is defined as governmental or political party officials engaging in illegal and improper activity for the purpose of personal gain (Frederic’s, 010). Most forms of white collar crime are committed with the purpose of financial gain in mind.
And one might think that the political version would focus on government or state goals rather than for personal gain, but it does not. Political parties are also the focus of political white collar crime. Upon gaining a seat in office, politicians take on a “win at all costs” mindset. They will do whatever they can to hold onto their seat. With the advantages that come with being a political figure including name recognition, ability to attain grants, implement state programs, and he fact that most people do not like change; politicians are able to accomplish their personal goals as long as they do not cross the quid pro quo policies.
Although the practices of such techniques may be value less, this is how the political system maintains a “not” corrupt existence. There is corruption that exists in the financing of the electoral process. In my opinion, it is especially highlighted in the presidential campaign processes to include the inauguration. To combat the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on the election process, financing reforms were put in place. Political action committees or Pace’s were established to aid the politicians in backcombing the system.
The Pace’s were made up of wealthy elites which funded the candidate they preferred in office. The preferred candidate was usually the incumbent which makes it virtually impossible for an equal campaign run. Persons in office can negotiate with business elites for favorable legislation in return for PACE support. The financing of elections is draws a fine line between what should be There exist forms of white collar crime in all branches of the government, more so in he Judicial and legislative branches including corruption in state government.
In the legislative branch, those use and have used their positions to avoid arrests, paid for personal expenses using tax payers money, and have used government resources for personal interests. Without a lengthy and costly investigation it is very difficult to catch the politician using such resources for personal reasons. White collar crime in the Judicial branch has included bribery, extortion, fraud, tax evasion, abuses of authority and embezzlement to name a few. Although it is rare for those in sections such as Judges to be prosecuted a few have been brought to Justice for illegal activities they participated in.
Examples include Sir Francis Bacon which dated back to 1621 (Frederica, 2010). He was prosecuted for accepting bribes in return for favorable decisions, ultimately to be pardoned. Conclusion White collar crime in general is very disturbing to me. Being in law enforcement and witnessing the elite’s continually making decisions which costs taxpayers millions of dollars a year, with no repercussions, is extremely disappointing and frustrating. To many, this activity goes unnoticed. To some, it is recognized and swept under the table because of the benefits to some.