Occupational and Corporate Crimes

An occupational crime generally refers to a white-collar crime committed by a person or organization using their employment as means to illegally enrich themselves. This involves all unethical and unlawful activities for financial reasons, or to cover a financial loss under cover of a legitimate work. Corporate crimes, on the other hand, are those unlawful and unethical functions made by a business as an entity.

Examples of occupational crimes include thefts of a company's properties; vandalism at work; and hacking of information from other companies. Theft can range from simple ones to highly organized activities. For instance, a person bringing home company supplies like bond papers, stapler, and pens are considered to be stealing company property. These things are meant for office consumption and not for home use. In this instance, the employee is doing a simple occupational crime.

It could go unnoticed by the property custodians since the things are small and could be easily hidden. In other cases, some people would bring home bigger items like computers and fax machines on the pretext of repairing them at home. In the long run, there's a big possibility that these equipment won't be returned for good especially when there are no records of their being taken out of the company premises. Occupational crimes can be on a big scale. As an example, Hong Kong is teeming with organized criminal groups.

They move freely and seem to be untouchables. The law either ignores them or is not aware of their presence. Neither is true. What's true is how some members of the law enforcement group and even lawyers are using their occupations to protect these criminals in exchange for money. Instead of arresting gangsters and putting them behind bars, some police officers use their badges to make things easier for their paying gangsters. Corporate crimes are generally categorized into fourteen areas of responsibilities.

Among these are: antitrust or monopolistic activities; environmental damages; financial crimes; bribery; tax evasion; worker death; financing a politician's campaign; and fraud. As an example, Chiquita Brands International was recently convicted and made to pay millions in fines and damages to its workers in Latin America for using dangerous pesticides on their banana plantations. Because of the pesticides, many male workers found themselves sterile. In another case, Chiquita was also found guilty of supporting terrorists in Colombia for many years.

Enron Corp. , one of the biggest energy firms in the 1990s, was plunged into one of the biggest bankruptcies in the United States as a result of fraud and financial misstatements. The company cheated its shareholders and investors by falsely declaring profits on their balance sheets for many years. The inflated net income made the company's shares rose for many years, as the market was blind about the real state of the company. Implicated in this scandal was the external auditing firm of the company, Arthur Andersen.The firm, in effect, also committed corporate crime because it would appear that it aided Enron in manipulating its balance sheet figures for many years.


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