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Penalties For White Collar Crime Essay

1366 words - 5 pages

White collar crime has been discussed more frequently in the last few years. The news has made society aware that white collar crime occurs almost as often as other criminal activity. In fact, white collar crime is one of the most costly crimes. It is a billion dollar criminal industry. White collar criminals seem to continue to engage in the criminal practices because there is no set standard in the penalties given to those that are caught. A look into the public’s perception on whether the penalties given is harsh enough for white collar criminals since most types of crimes have a set of standard penalties for those convicted. A standard set of penalties needs to be looked at for white collar crimes to help in eliminating the criminal behavior and saving society billions of dollars a year.
Perception of Penalties
White collar crime is viewed as non-violent and treated differently than other types of crimes; some that are even violent in nature. In general, personal and public perception can vary from one individual to another. “A recent survey conducted by the National White Collar Crime Center (NWCCC) confirm that the public considers certain white collar crimes as more serious than some street crimes, according to Drs. Marilyn Price and Donna Norris” (Perri, J.D., CFE, CPA, 2011, p. 23). Even though white collar crimes do not seem a violent as someone that commits murder; there is still major damage done. For example, a fraud victim goes through a lot of hardship. They can be harassed, have their identity stolen and lose everything. This in many cases can be looked at as a severe crime. Valuables taken during a burglary can be replaced easily, but someone’s identity and livelihood cannot be given back. Most white collar criminals only seem to get a slap on the wrist or maybe even probation. Someone that burglarizes or robs someone can get five to thirty years depending on whether a weapon was involved. Vary rarely do a white collar criminal ever face a life sentence for the thousands upon thousands of dollars they have cost a company and members of society.
Compare and Contrast Penalties
Many of the judicial systems in the United States look at white collar crimes as being non-violent. This in turn causes those involved in white collar criminal activity to face lesser sentences than a person that robbed a bank which could easily face up to twenty-five years in prison; yet they did not acquire as much money as one that was involved in white collar criminal activity. In fact, “it would be more appropriate for the criminal justice system to determine what degree of aggression was perpetrated by the offender against the victim to assess harm” (Perri, J.D., CFE, CPA, 2011, p. 23). By doing this, punishments for white collar criminals would change. The penalties should be very similar to robbery and burglary since all typically involve money that is taken,; especially in financial robbery and burglary. White collar criminals should...

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