White Collar Crime And Ways To Reduce It Essay

694 words - 3 pages

Ruth Oware

The form of deviance that i am choosing to talk about is white collar crime.  In this paper, I am choosing to take a essentialist approach, meaning that I will not only talk about what white collar crime is, but also how to reduce its occurrence.

According to the FBI, white collar crime is described as financially motivated nonviolent crime committed by business and government professionals. Within criminology, it was first defined by sociologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939 as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation". White-collar crimes could include fraud, bribery, Ponzi Schemes, insider trading, Labor racketeering, embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery.
To better understand what white collar crime is, it helps to look at some famous cases of white collar crime.  One of the most recent instances of a white collar crime case involves Wells Fargo, a banking and financial services provider. In 2016, federal regulators said Wells Fargo created millions of fake accounts without their customers knowing it CNN Money says.  Opening around 1.5 million fake deposit accounts and submitting 565,443 credit card applications allowed employees to hit unrealistic sales targets and receive bonuses. Customers were then wrongly charged fees for accounts they didn’t know existed. Wells Fargo must pay $185 million in fines and refund $5 million to affected customers. This is the largest penalty since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was founded in 2011.  The Wells Fargo incident was the most recent instance of white collar crime, but it's not just businesses who can commit white collar crime.  Perhaps the most well-known white collar criminal is Bernard Madoff, who was convicted of costing investors $65 billion in 2009. The wealth management portion of his business took money from investors to pay former investors, without ever actually investing funds. Madoff, the former chairman of Nasdaq and founder of a successful Wall Street firm, was sentenced to 150 years in prison for running an elaborate Ponzi scheme, which promised large returns on investments.
Like other forms of deviance, the conversation about white collar crime always goes...

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