Introduction to White-Collar Crime
White-Collar Crime, illegal acts committed by middle- or upper-class persons in conjunction with their ordinary occupational pursuits. The term, which has no legal significance, was first popularized by the American criminologist Edwin H. Sutherland in his classic paper “White-Collar Criminality” (1940). Sutherland argued that important sociological differences exist between conventional crimes such as burglary and murder, which are defined without reference to the social status or occupation of the perpetrator, and white-collar crimes such as fraud, embezzlement, price-fixing, antitrust violations, income-tax evasion, misuse of public funds, and abuse of political and legal powers. In general, the latter are committed by persons of relatively high social status, are intimately connected with the socially approved occupation of the perpetrator, and are treated by the authorities more leniently and inconsistently than are conventional crimes.
Historically, the chief sanctions against white-collar criminals have been loss of position and public trust, loss of a professional license, and the levying of fines. Rarely were jail sentences imposed and served. This leniency in prosecution stemmed partly from the perception that a high-status individual implicated in criminal activity was sufficiently punished by the presumed loss of social esteem or occupational prospects, or both; and partly from the fact that most white-collar crimes are so-called victimless offenses. Only recently has this attitude begun to change.
White-collar crime has become an increasing problem in the latter part of the 20th century. Authorities in the U.S., in particular, are dealing more severely with such crimes because of a growing feeling that an effort must be made to establish equality before the law for all citizens-without regard to money, power, or social status. In part, this is a result of the greater awareness of the fallibility of public officials in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal.” 
Federal Organizational Prosecution Agreements in the United States
This entry of the American legal encyclopedia contains a list and information on federal organizational prosecution agreements.
Corporate Criminal Liability
Notes and References
- Information about White-Collar Crime in the Encarta Online Encyclopedia
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedure
- Class and Crime
- Corporate Criminal Responsibility
- Crime Causation
- Economic Theories
- Criminal Justice System
- Economic Crime
- Anti-Trust Offenses
- Tax offenses
- Federal Criminal Law Enforcement
- Corporate Fraud
- Money Laundering
- Tax Evasion.
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