Corporate crime is a non-violent form of crime committed by persons of high social status in a business or corporations through some forms of fraud and dishonesty. Corporate crime is also referred to as white-collar crime and leads to major social, financial and physical harm to the corporate.
Corporate crime exists in several forms such as monopolization of certain products in the market through unfair means, environmental crimes such as poor disposal of hazardous waste, deceptive pricing of commodities, claiming over false advertising, selling of unsafe products knowingly, making of inferior products, insider trading activities, kickbacks on certain corporation transactions and obstruction of justice meant to convict corporate crime offenders.
The construction of corporate crime starts with inductive reasoning, it then progresses to the deductive reasoning, and the offender then breaks down his plan of action before synthesizing his action. Most of the crimes of these nature use the same methods of crime, time of operation . They involve a groups of people though few choose to be alone. An example of a typical corporate crime is as; “C. Arnolt Smith, the Chairman of National Bank U.
S. was involved in one of the largest corporate crimes in American history. He was charged with defrauding $250 million through conspiracy, misapplication of bank funds, filing false claims and statements, and making false entries in his bank books. His penalty for this crime was only a mere $30,000 fine, that was to be paid at the rate of $100 a month over twenty five years — with no interest” (Eitzen, 1986:427).
Some of the major causes of corporate crime include; unmet financial problem of the offender who lives beyond their earning and has filled up huge debts and do not wish anyone should known of their situation since it will ruin their reputation, businesses that spend millions of dollars to conduct audit internally while neglecting its workers warfare creates an atmosphere for workers to commit such an offence. Maintaining several set of books of record encourages crime since follow up is not easy, these records can easily be destroyed thus encouraging more crime.
Payments of money to fictitious companies or persons with no proper explanation results to this crime, this can be through false invoices and double payment of billings. Avoiding large and frequent currency transaction and use of photocopies instead of original documents and the use third party endorsements on payment checks encourage corporate crime. Businesses with no physical assets are more prone to corporate crime compared with those whose assets are physical and less fraud can be committed on them.
As a way of reducing corporate crime businesses should impose on safeguard measures to check the conduct the employees even those trusted. All transactions should be audited as a means of stopping any unauthorized transactions within the corporate employees and any hidden transaction should be questioned. Proper record keeping should be maintained and internal investigations launched incase of allegations of any wrongdoing. Businesses should always ensure they use valid transaction documents such as checks, avoid the use of photocopies and ensure all bank transactions are mainly via a single account if possible.
The business should have the appropriate mechanism to handle any rumors of illegal conducts of its employees, these will keep off those with similar intend and mainly involve an external investigator who cannot be easily manipulated for their individual gain.
Stanley E. D. & Zinn M. Social Problems. (3rd Ed. ) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Reiman, Jeffrey. (1986) Albanese, J. White Collar Crime in America. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall. (1995) Rosoff, S. et. al. Profit without Honor: White Collar Crime and the Looting of America. NJ: Prentice Hall. (2002).