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White Collar Crime Essay

1241 words - 5 pages

"The fact is that white-collar criminals are, in general, incredibly good at deluding themselves that they’re good people, even when they clearly aren’t." according to Felix Salmon on white-collar crime. The definition of a criminal is a person who has committed a crime but if you were to ask a white-collar criminal they wouldn't consider themselves a criminal. Many of the convicted white-collar criminals contrast their actions with "real" criminals who commit street crime. First I will summarize "Denying the Guilty Mind:Accounting for Involvement in White-Collar Crime" written by Micheal L. Benson. Then I will use information from my criminology class to better define white collar crimes. Lastly, I will define Strain Theory and how it relates to white-collar crimes The increase of certain strains that cause negative emotions such as frustration and anger better known as Strain Theory is the cause of white-collar crime.
Professor and Director of the Distance Learning Masters Program at The University of Cincinnati, Michael L. Benson has his Ph. D. in Sociology and is the author of "Denying the Guilty Mind: Accounting for Involvement in White-Collar Crime." In a classic study based on interviews with 30 convicted white-collar offenders all men, Benson examines the excuses and justifications used by White-Collar criminals to not only explain their involvement in the crime but also claim their innocence. It focuses mainly on the techniques that are used to deny they did anything wrong in categories separated by antitrust violators, tax violators, violations of financial trust and those committing fraud. Antitrust Violators focused on the everyday character and historical continuity of their offenses. They claimed to be following established and necessary industry practices, it was just business as usual. Tax violators cheat on their taxes but claim everyone cheats somehow, so since everyone does it why shouldn't they be able to. The Violations of Financial Trust were bank officers who embezzled of misapplied finds and a union official who embezzled from a union pension fund. Unlike other white-collar offenders they admitted responsibility but used excuses like impressing their wife and other personal issues to justify their crime. Those committing fraud admitted to fraud but are more likely to deny committing a crime at all and were innocent of any crime. In conclusion Benson was able to make some observations as to why offenders commit white-collar crimes.
White-Collar crime can be defined as a nonviolent crime that is financially motivated for illegal monetary gain. According to our criminology PowerPoint on Enterprise Crime:White Collar, Corporate and Organized, "In order to maximize their profits, US corporation routinely commit crimes against consumers, competitors, stockholders and other investors, inventors, employees, and the state. White-Collar crime can be separated into three categories which are Occupational Crime, Corporate Crime...

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