white-collar crime


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white-collar crime,

term coined by Edward Sutherland for nonviolent crimes committed by corporations or individuals such as office workers or sales personnel (see white-collar workerswhite-collar workers,
broad occupational grouping of workers engaged in nonmanual labor; frequently contrasted with blue-collar (manual) employees. American in origin, the term has close analogues in other industrial countries.
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) in the course of their business activities. White-collar crimes include embezzlement, false advertising, bribery, unfair competition, tax evasion, and unfair labor practices.

white-collar crime

‘a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation’. This is the definition which Edwin H. Sutherland gave in his book which started systematic sociological interest in this area: White-collar Crime (1949). Sutherland argues that criminal behaviour is not confined to working-class people. It is frequently, even routinely, found among people of high social status and respectability, but white-collar crimes are rarely treated as such.

Sutherland's focus was on crimes committed by managers and others in the course of their occupations, though the usage has often been broadened to include other areas of middle-class crime. In a study of 70 US corporations Sutherland found a large number of crimes including fraud, misrepresentation, infringe-ments of patents, and others. Much of his evidence did not come from criminal statistics but from the investigations of independent commissions, because very few of the offenders had been prosecuted. Even though the total amounts of money lost to companies, banks, etc., runs into many millions of pounds, it is still the case that white-collar crimes are very much under-represented in the CRIMINAL STATISTICS and are not stigmatized in the way that violent crimes or thefts from individuals are. The importance of Sutherland's work is in correcting common assumptions about the distribution of crime and in qualifying some arguments which have linked crime exclusively to deprivation.

References in periodicals archive ?
An order would not be enough to resolve the grievance of white-collar crime.
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com)-- The Knowledge Group/The Knowledge Congress Live Webcast Series, the leading producer of regulatory focused webcasts, announced today that it has scheduled a live webcast entitled: White-Collar Crime Enforcement: Legal Trends and Developments in 2017 and Beyond.
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He also handled several high profile white-collar crime cases, and he assisted the government in its case against Swiss bank Wagelin & Co.
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Now Justice Minister Alan Shatter has vowed to crack down on white-collar crime following the release of the figures from the Central Statistics Office.
In May, criminal justice professor David Friedrichs wrote a letter to the New York Times claiming that white-collar crime has further reaching, deeper and more lasting impact than street crime.
A UNIVERSITY academic has become the first person in Britain to lead an American society dedicated to researching and raising awareness of white-collar crime.