Characteristics of a White Collar Criminal

Topics: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminology, Theft Pages: 4 (753 words) Published: April 22, 2014

The Common Characteristics of a White Collar Offender
White Collar Crimes

The Common Characteristics of a White Collar Offender
Anyone that has taken a class or even worked a “hint” of a white collar crimes understands that Edwin H. Sutherland is responsible for coining the term. In his book, White Collar Crime, Sutherland defines white collar crime as “[a]pproximately as a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.” (Benson & Simpson, 2009 ) While that definition may have held true in when he made the public definition in 1939, there are many examples in modern times that would argue against Dr. Sutherland’s characterization of the white collar criminal. In her paper to the U.S. Justice Department, Cynthia Barnett explains that even though the definition of white collar crime is , “hotly contested”, there appears to be three major categories white collar crime fits into. Those crimes are categorized by either the type of offender, the type of offense and those based upon organizational structure rather than offender or offense (Barnett, 2000). Barnett’s statement alone should tell us that the characteristics of a white collar criminal may be far too long of a list to generate.

According to Barnett, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has decided to define white collar crime as “[t]hose 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” (Barnett, 2000).

With a slight understanding of what white collar crime is, it is important to highlight the characteristics of the typical white collar offender in order to...

References: Barnett, C. U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division. (2000). The measurement of white-collar crime using uniform crime reporting (ucr) data. Retrieved December 8, 2013, from website:
Bauwens, A., & Egan, V. (n.d.). Are white-collar criminals a homogeneous or hetrogeneous group?. Home Team Journal, 91-101. Retrieved December 8, 2013, from
Benson, M., & Simpson, S. (2009). White-collar crime. (pp. 5-32). New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Types of White Collar Crime Essay
  • White Collar Crime Essay
  • white collar crime Essay
  • White-Collar Deviance Essay
  • Understanding White Collar Crime Essay
  • White-Collar Crimes Essay
  • Essay on White Collar Crimes
  • White Collar Crime Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free