Protection of Consumers against White-collar Crimes

White-collar crimes have been performed by corporate executives, entrepreneurs and many other people very widely in the recent years. The number of such crimes is only increasing nowadays because profits which are received from such types of crimes can be very large. “The issue of entrepreneurial crime is of current interest as the 'decade of reckoning' follows the excesses of the so-called “decade of greed” . People want to apply their intelligence in order to make large sums of money. They no longer rob banks because there are much more intelligent ways of obtaining the money in much larger amounts.

White-collar crimes are represented in many different forms and types. “Various forms of fraud are considered white collar crimes. They include bank fraud, check fraud ("kiting"), utilities fraud, mail and wire fraud, insurance fraud, bankruptcy fraud, credit card fraud, welfare fraud, stock and commodities fraud, and business fraud. ”  There can be named some more type of white-collar crimes, for example, pornography distribution which has become particularly profitable nowadays. A very popular form of white-collar crime is associated with avoiding tax payments to the budget.

Many businessmen nowadays are avoiding tax payments in order to increase their profits. White-collar crimes have a very negative influence on the quality of life of their victims. Discussions about the negative impact of white-collar crimes on consumers in particular are being carried out very widely nowadays. On one hand, white-collar crimes are not as dangerous as many other types of crimes which bring harm to people’s health. For example, “White collar crime is viewed as an "intellectual" crime rather than a crime of violence or a conspiratorial crime.

”  However, intellectual crimes can also be very dangerous for the consumers and other people involved in the white-collar crime. The paper investigates the major definitions of white-collar crimes, their relevance to the category of white-collar crimes against consumers. Significant attention is given to the problems of regulation of white-collar crimes against consumers in Australia, penalties which exist for those types of crimes and problems of improvement of the existing system of regulation after consideration of foreign experience in this field. Definitions of White Collar-Crime.

The importance of white-collar crimes problem has enforced many investigations of this subject. Definitions which are given to white-collar crimes are mostly very similar, however each author does his best to concentrate on some characteristic features of this concept. According to Poveda, Sutherland was the first scientist who gave a definition to the white-collar crime. The author mentions that “when Edwin H. Sutherland first introduced the concept of white-collar crime in 1939, he was quite explicit about wanting to call attention to crimes that occurred outside the lower (or dangerous) classes, and that could not be explained by poverty.

”   Freiberg also refers to Sutherland as the researcher who first started analyzing the concept of white-collar crime. As Freiberg states, in his works Sutherland “refers to such matters as misrepresentation in the financial statements of corporations, manipulation of the stock exchange, commercial bribery, bribery of public officials, misrepresentation in advertising, embezzlement and misapplication of funds, tax frauds and the like.

” Definitions of white-collar crimes were developed in the following years. As Boronia states, “entrepreneurial crime as a concept refers to punishable acts which are committed by individuals in controlling positions within corporations, using the resources and power deriving from the corporate form as a vehicle to achieve ends which benefit the entrepreneur personally.

”  Geis suggests a definition in which “white collar crime has been defined as "an illegal act or series of illegal acts committed by non-physical means and by concealment or guile, to obtain money or property, to avoid the loss of money or property, or to obtain business or personal advantage"  . According to Poveda, “a final consideration is the marked contrast between our conception and definitions of the white - collar crime problem and our comparable conceptions and definitions of conventional crime. Victor E. Kappeler and his associates (1993) refer to these collective views of the crime problem as crime myths. ”