White-collar crimes encompass nonviolent felonies executed for fiscal gains. Most of them are conspired by highly-ranked personnel within their organizations (Gottschalk 52). Notably, such crimes are not easily avoidable; however, they are taken as serious crimes by the federal government. Besides, they are committed at various levels by people who have excellent socio-economic backgrounds and the community at large. They are also committed by people working in high profiles and large organizations. Highly respected public servants stealing public funds are also victims of this offense.
In addition, Security and tax scams witnessed in the government institutions are viewed as white-collar crimes. They are crimes committed without violence but through being dishonest (Gilbert 198). These offenses are majorly committed by wealthy individuals for their own personal and financial gains. The individuals always take advantage of their various positions in high-profile organizations to commit various offenses. According to the language of practitioners and judges, white-collar crimes do not have any connection with organized crimes. Additionally, they are crimes that are not directly related to those of immigration and civil rights. Taking appropriate actions to avert the matter is vital in various contexts.
Examples of white-collar crimes
Taking part in criminal activities to steal money from the bank is considered a white-collar offense. A command to receive money and any other valuable material from an individual by giving blackmailing reveal secrets is also taken as one of the offenses. Another form of white-collar crime is bribery (Weisburd, and Elin 24). This is the act of obtaining money, properties, or any other valuable item to manipulate the actions. The offenders are often charged with suborning whether a bribe is taken or offered. The use of stolen properties or personification is also regarded as a white-collar crime. This is a considerable provision in the criminal context, especially when considering the aspects of white-collar offenses.
Those who hack into other people’s computers and do away with their secret information will be charged in a court of law for committing this type of crime. Counterfeiting is also one of the white-collar crimes. This happens when an individual copies or steal ideas from an existing invention or genuine item without being granted that authority. On most occasions, it is linked with money but it can also be connected with handbags and designer clothes. The use of fake credit cards to illegally obtain cash or goods of value is categorized under this offense. In addition embezzlement of public and private funds is also under this type of crime (Gerber 189). When organizations over quote their budget for the operation of various projects, they are at risk of being charged with this type of criminal offense.
The act of obtaining property from another person by threatening to use violence, kill or take advantage of the official right is punishable under this offense. Moreover, when an individual uses a fake device like forged security to deceive or injure the recipient, he will be arraigned in court and charged with the offense of white-collar crime. Healthcare scams, where certain health care institutions receive government monetary aid fall under this offense. This is a considerable provision when scrutinized critically in various contexts. It is vital to understand various provisions of white-collar crime before rendering them harmless within society. These private health organizations always receive funds on the pretext of being registered or licensed. Additionally, when an individual uses confidential information from their organization to carry out business for his gain, then he is liable to be charged in the court of law. White-collar crimes are executed professionally in various contexts. They occur as one of the major crimes in society as indicated earlier. Governments have established credible structures to help in fighting the vice.
The other type of white-collar crime is participation in insurance fraud and investment schemes. Taking an individual’s money or property in the wrong way to convert or steal is also one of the offenses. Intentionally increasing the value of shares in the stock exchange market to register more buyers is also a white-collar crime. In addition, an individual who tries to evade the monthly government tax payment risk being charged in court with the type of offense discussed below. Selling relief food that is meant for a certain group of people who are starving is also under this kind of crime. White-collar crimes are executed maliciously without considering the looming repercussions of the matter.
Damages caused by the white-collar crimes to the United States
The prosecutors and judges have all the reasons to look for and prosecute those individuals who are found guilty of white-collar offenses. Through these crimes, the federal government loses a huge amount of money annually. Consequently, the government experiences reduced economic and financial growth. Besides, the state government and the local government are also not exempted; they too lose huge amounts of money through white-collar crimes (Sutherland 333).
Court of appeal concurs that white-collar crimes constitute one of the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies. An excellent example is when the country was faced with an insider trading scam. Consequent inquiry to the scandal discovered that some of the company workers had made a lot of money through doing business using secret information from that organization. They had leaked the information to some common investors who could not access the information during the trading period. Besides, such scandals subvert the public assurance on market security.
In early 1990, the United States savings and loan industry was brought down. This happened when the people in charge of the organization were involved in extensive fraudulent practices. Consequently, many people lost the money they had saved with the organization. Hence, they lost trust in the organizations and could not associate themselves with such companies. Recently, Wall Street Company was in the headlines over some accounting scam. Reliable sources indicated that this took place because some of the corporate officials and their accountants were involved in money laundering.
Barriers in enforcing the white-collar laws
Even though the government is trying to implement some legislative laws to fight this virtue, there are still some difficulties being realized. The main reason why this criminal offense is still common is that it cannot easily be identified. This is contrary to the crimes committed along the streets and other common property crimes which can easily be detected. Another difficulty is that most of these white-collar offenses are always committed in secret places, homes, or offices. Thus there is nobody to follow or act as a witness when the case is taken to the courts. The capability of the government to discover those who fall victim to white-collar offenses is always hindered by inadequate resources and a lack of expertise to handle these complicated cases.
The problem of federalism is charging those found guilty of white-collar crimes.
In the United States, criminal statutes are drafted and put into effect at the state level and not at the federal level. Only a small percentage of the cases are referred to the federal law courts (Scheb and John 387). The majority of the cases being taken to the state level are white-collar cases with a few street crime issues. Several states have started creating several laws that would govern white-collar offenders. Many of the adopted laws will not be in line with that of the federal law. Additionally, some of the complicated cases of white-collar crimes are always referred to the federal courts. Some of these cannot be handled by the states since they engage in complicated scandals that require resources that are not available in most state law enforcement organizations.
Jurisdiction for several centralized white-collar offenses is made concerning the commerce clause. In recent times, the United States high court rejected some non-white-collar federal laws since they did not contain a jurisdictional foundation. The court realized that the non-white-collar federal law did not meet the requirements.
Arguments – Centralization of crimes
Debates concerning the federalization of crime ideologies are enormous in the current transgression jurisdictions. Besides, under the established law of federalization of the criminal cases, they (cases) should not be left to the states but taken to the United States Supreme Court. However, in the early 1980s, Congress started creating laws like money laundering laws, criminalizing many activities that have practically been the topic of the state law. Money laundering cases regard offenses like security and bank fraud. They depend on indulgence in the offenses like bribery and extortion. Possibly, some federal laws applied to white-collar crime cases are not even supposed to be handled at the federal level. As discussed earlier, mail and wire scam laws are supposed to involve political provisions. This is a considerable provision in various contexts.
Relevance of common criminal law to white-collar offense
This type of crime is majorly managed by the rules of criminal law. Thus, to be given a conviction of this crime, the federal government must verify the needed psychological state (Men’s rea) and the necessary physical factor (Actus Reus).
Men’s rea (psychological state) issues in this type of crime
There are several “Men’s rea” issues that crop up in the white-collar cases. The first issue is willfulness. Several white-collar laws need some evidence showing that the accused acted knowingly. Willfulness occasionally requires the government to prove that the accused intentionally went against the law. These evidence obligations are limited to certain areas of the law like tax fraud. The second issue is recklessness and negligence. Various white-collar convictions are based upon carelessness. Thus, the government doesn’t need to provide evidence that the accused intentionally went against the law. Instead, it should show that the defendant knew about the risk.
In environmental crimes, the defendant can be convicted of negligence. The other issue is about the inchoate crimes. Numerous white-collar crimes are inchoate, meaning the accused might be criminally responsible even if the criminal intent is not realized. Some of the examples of amorphous crimes comprise schemes as well as efforts to commit crimes. It does not matter whether the crime was successful or not. Practitioners and judges understand that white-collar crimes do not have any connection with organized crimes. Additionally, they are crimes that are not directly related to those of immigration and civil rights. As indicated earlier, white-collar crimes are nonviolent felonies executed for unlawful financial gains. Prominent people always scheme such crimes (Gottschalk 52).
Conclusively, white-collar crimes incorporate nonviolent felonies executed for unlawful monetary gains. The capability of the government to discover those who fall victim to white-collar offenses is always hindered by insufficient resources and a lack of the expertise to handle these complicated cases (Geis 34). It is vital to understand the aspects of white-collar crimes in the context of their applicability and prevention. This predominantly happens where the cases involved are monetary offenses like tax scams and money laundering. The judges may need technological help from the government unit. White-collar crimes do not have any connection with organized crimes. Additionally, they are crimes that are not directly related to those of immigration and civil rights. It is crucial to understand various provisions of white-collar crime before rendering them harmless within society. Taking appropriate actions to avert the matter is vital in various contexts. Notably, White-collar crimes are not easily avoidable; however, most governments have taken stern measures to curb this menace. Surprisingly, such crimes are committed at various levels by people who have excellent socio-economic backgrounds.
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Gerber, Jurg. Encyclopedia of White-Collar Crime. Westport. CT: Greenwood Press, 2006. Print.
Gottschalk, Petter. White-collar Crime: Detection, Prevention and Strategy in Business Enterprises. Boca Raton: Universal Publishers, 2010. Print.
Scheb, John and John Scheb. Criminal Law and Procedure. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
Sutherland, Edwin. White-collar Crime Reconsidered: [essays in Honour of Edwin H. Sutherland]. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1992. Print.
Weisburd, David, and Elin Warin. White-collar Crime and Criminal Careers. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001. Print.