White-collar crime and its consequences are recognized from centuries which categorize number of crimes. Mostly business and government professionals are involved in series of frauds termed as white-collar crime because these are lucrative, comparatively risk-free, and nearly socially up to standard. Due to high occurrence of these crimes, security officials plan modern technique to fight back through prevention, investigation, and prosecution. U. S. businesses have to under go loss of more than $40 billion each year through white-collar crime (Stephenson, pg: 57).
The present paper explains white collar crime which is suitably used in criminal law discipline. It contends that white collar crime remains a crucial investigative tag. There are numerous ways by which people get involved in white collar crime and there are definite laws to punish the offenders. When the term white-collar crime is conversed, people are encouraged to think decisively about the nature of crime, law, and criminal justice. In the criminal justice system, the focal point of the investigative efforts on the crimes of the poor. If it is viewed from same legal eye of the state, the crimes of the powerful are hidden.
When white-collar crimes are considered in this way, one must expose their perceptions of this official view of crime (Sutherland, pg: 5). White-collar crime is defined as “ those illegal acts which are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and which are not dependent upon the application or threat of physical force or violence. Individuals and organizations commit these acts to obtain money, property, or services; to avoid the payment or loss of money or services; or to secure personal or business advantage. ” (USDOJ, 1989, pg. 3).
Generally the white collar criminals commit range of frauds to get personal financial gain. White collar crimes do not show any vicious activity, but the extent of these crimes are intense and it can bring about great economic loss for companies, investors. In 1939, Edwin Sutherland researched white-collar crime when he addressed to the American Sociological Society. According to him, white-collar crime was an important part of the landscape of unlawful activities. Despite Sutherland recognized the white-collar crime as a major category of crime but it never realized the main issue in criminological study (Chayet, pg: 2).
Statistics states that one in three American households commit white-collar crime, but only 41% cases are reported. Out of total reported cases, only 21% fall under law enforcement. A pioneering survey conducted by National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), a nonprofit, federally funded organization, indicate only 8% of white-collar crimes reached the appropriate authorities. The aim of NW3C is to support state and local police in their efforts to avert, investigate, and act against economic status (Johnston, pg: 36).
According to the FBI, white-collar crimes cost the United States more than $300 billion annually. Sutherland said that "crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation. " Normally the term white collar crime covers a multiplicity of nonviolent crimes committed by people in marketable situations for financial gain. Antitrust laws are made to shield competition in the marketplace. In a competitive market, companies must charge lower prices or offer higher quality products in order to be successful in gaining consumers’ business.
If these laws are violated by practices such as fixing prices, rigging contract bids, such activities constitute law breakings. Person involved may be punished with heavy fines or prison time. Bankruptcy fraudulent misleadingly claims bankruptcy, attempts to conceal their assets, launches petition mills or files multiple claims. The most widespread bankruptcy frauds are concealment of assets, petition mills, and multiple filings. When a person is caught by committing Bankruptcy fraud, he may be fined up to $250,000 and/or five years in prison.
Computer fraud is characterized as the crime committed to perform a plan or illegal activity and the targeting of a computer with the intention to modify, damage, or put out of action the data of computer system. There are many examples of crimes which include offering missing goods to a buyer, stealing someone’s funds by hacking into his bank or credit card account. Hackers find passwords and delete information, create programs to steal passwords, or even rummage through company garbage to find secret information.
An executor of computer of Internet fraud may be found responsible of a criminal act and he is fined of up to $250,000 and/or up to 20 years in jail. One of the most repeatedly committed types of white collar crime is a credit card fraud which is the deliberate procurement of goods, services, or monies with a stolen, lost, cancelled, or counterfeit credit card. A person is liable to be punished by fine and or up to 15 years in prison if he is involved in the possession of printed reproductions of federal currency, postage stamps or U. S. securities.