Overview of White-Collar Crimes in Australia

All of the mentioned definitions given by specialists define white-collar crimes as a synthesis of all of its forms, such as money-laundering, pornography distribution, stock fraud, misrepresentation of advertising and all of the others. These definitions can also refer to the white-collar crimes against consumers in particular. Generally, most of the described forms of white-collar crimes can be executed against consumers. For example, misrepresentation of advertising is very dangerous for consumers because they end up buying products which have qualities completely different from the promised ones.

Stock fraud can also be dangerous for an average consumer because he can invest his savings into stock and lose all of his scarce money as the result of the stock fraud. That is why white-collar crimes against consumer can be represented in most of the mentioned categories. As far as Sutherland’s definition shows, people who suffer the most from white-collar crimes are poor people, and this statement is completely true. Boronia’s definition also can be used for the description of white-collar crimes against consumers because it regards those crimes as a means of obtaining large profits through the use of controlling positions in the company.

Consumers are usually the ones who undergo losses in the result of such actions. Even though many researchers argue that the United States suffers the most losses from white-collar crimes, many other countries have problems while dealing with white-collar crimes. Australia is no different in this regard. The issues of white-collar crimes have not been widely discussed in Australia during the recent years. Therefore, it is very important to develop legislation regulating these activities in order to bring this practice to the minimum.

As Braithwaite states, “in Australia, we have been woefully neglectful of frauds that put lives at risk. The most serious frauds, particularly of the latter life-threatening sort, are perpetrated by corporations. ”   Boronia also mentions that the reputation of Australia has been greatly damaged. “Recent history is littered with examples of corporate failure, where great harm has been done to the economy as the result of unrestrained business activity which was not necessarily productive.

The entrepreneurial excesses of the 1980s cost Australia's commercial reputation dearly. ” According to the point of view of Braithwaite, it has been noticed by many specialists that Australia did not address the issues of white-collar crimes to the necessary extent and particularly on penalties for white-collar criminals which needed to be determined very carefully. The international vision of Australian regulators of white-collar crimes is very poor. Many researchers argue that Australia needs to develop the legislation in the nearest future.

As an example to support this thesis, Braithwaite outlines the fact that nobody is able to name a single governor in the US who is engaged in corruption. At the same time, it is possible to name some executives in Australia who were engaged in white-collar crimes. Graycar points at the low level of legal protection of consumers against white-collar crimes. He states that “in Australia, fraud is not recognised as a separate legal category of crime (other than conspiracy to defraud). Instead a variety of property offences may be used to prosecute any conduct which involves dishonesty, such as crimes of theft.

, and obtaining financial advantage by deception. In addition to this penalties associated with “white collar crimes” is often minimal and prosecution often difficult. ” Boronia also notices the same negative tendency in Australia. “The cost of white-collar crime to the Australian community is believed to be much greater than all other forms of crime combined. White-collar offenders are generally at less risk of apprehension or being convicted than other types of offenders, and on conviction they are likely to incur a lesser penalty.

”   The author argues that the tendency which is common for Australia now is very alarming. White-collar crimes make the state undergo many losses which could be avoided in case efficient legislation was introduced. Boronia also points at the large numbers of bankruptcies which occurred in Australia. Some of them were initiated by various fraud schemes applied by the management. As the result of those schemes application, the economy suffered significant losses while many executives became very wealthy.

This practice needs to be brought to an end. Boronia states that “the excesses of this minority have attracted considerable attention both at home and abroad. In considering the impact of entrepreneurial crime on the Australian community, it should be remembered that though there has been an enormous increase in the rate of bankruptcy over the last five years, very few of these cases have been proven to be associated with criminal activity. ” Major steps need to be taken in order to improve the situation with white-collar crimes in Australia.