Organized Crime In America Essay

1438 words - 6 pages

It is quite difficult to defend the statement: "The ranks of American organized crime, whether viewed in the past or present, cut across the lines of class, ethnicity, religion, trade or profession. Of course, the more successful organized crime endeavors attract the wealthier, more well established and well educated elements in our society." In order to defend this statement, it's important to dissect many elements of organized crime and find it's direct links to this statement.First of all, I think the most important point that needs to be established, is that "success" is definitely an aspect of any form of organized crime. I do not believe success means that you don't get caught for your actions. In fact, it is quite the contrary. In many cases, the one thing you will notice is each person has been exposed for the element of organized crime they were involved in. The "success" we talk about, clearly pertains to risk versus reward. For instance, when Qwest executives were indicted for fraud, they found several cover-ups in excess of $33 million. Extensive profits were made and little penalty was paid in return for the laws broken. Revenues were inflated by $144 million, and when Qwest stock plummeted, many executives cashed in millions in stock options. Basically cashing in stocks that were overpriced to begin with (due to fraudulent schemes), and selling them before they returned to a more accurate value. In this case, 4 people faced indictment, while 4 were sued... while perhaps hundreds got rich. In fact, those people who were indicted and sued, had the luxury of affording a great legal defense due to the amount of money they gained by their illegal actions. While they may have had penalties, and sentences that included prison time, the general opinion is that the risk was quite worth the reward. Furthermore, I believe that none of this had anything to do with ethnicity, religion, or profession; it was all about the good old American dollar.While organized crime may cut across the lines of class, ethnicity, religion, trade or profession, who's to say that it cuts across all at once. Occasionally you will come across a situation that may factor into a crime in one way or another. For instance, when the Hasidic Jewish organizations were taking PEL Grants from the government, and not using the money given from the government correctly, it did not cut across the line of religion. Religion became a means to facilitate the crime; it was a way to access government funds. Seeing that, you may not want to agree with the statement that American organized crime will cut across those various lines, where in fact, class, ethnicity, religion, trade or profession may come into play ONLY to motivate some crimes to occur. Using that perhaps only as an origin, I don't think those factors are necessary components to crime, whether it be organized or not. For example, although those PEL Grants were received by Hasidic Jews and it was Hasidic Jews that took...

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