When we speak of crime, the very first thing that may come into our minds is an act that violates the law, an act of violence. A crime also indicates that there is a victim and as well as an offender and the offender or the criminal is punishable by the law such as being imprisoned for a particular period of time. In a general sense, it can be said that crime is a violation of something that is approved and accepted by society and the people.
There are several types of crime that exist and each has its own punishment as ascribed by the law of which felony and misdemeanor are included. These two crimes although different, are commonly intertwined. In common law system, the term misdemeanor is commonly used to refer to crimes with less impact and graveness. Such crimes are punishable by part-time imprisonments that are commonly done on weekends.
On the other hand, the term felony refers to serious crimes that had been committed and thus, having greater punishment compared with misdemeanor. The punishment may even involve life imprisonment and even death. Thus, it can be said that felony is different from misdemeanor and vise versa and should be used accordingly.
The case of former WorldCom chief executive Bernard Ebbers was indeed a crime as decided by the court, but the question now is whether the case should be categorized as felony or misdemeanor? Mr. Ebbers was found guilty of not just a small amount of money but of $11 billion fraud. The case may seem like a victimless crime but it actually has more than 10,000 victims.
These victims are the employees of the company that lost their jobs by the time of the company’s failure in the year 2002. It affected thousands of innocent and thus, it cannot be considered as a simple crime. The number of victims indicates that it is indeed a very serious crime, a form of felony. It may have not caused death in a literal sense, but the damage that it had brought to thousands of people is really something that must be punished. It was a crime indeed, not only in the eyes of the law, but of the people and the society as a whole.
McClam, E. 2005. Ex-WorldCom Chief Ebbers Convicted of Fraud. Retrieved February 17,
2008 from http://accounting.smartpros.com/x47410.xml