Economic Crime

Topics: Criminology, Crime, Corporate crime Pages: 8 (2323 words) Published: November 7, 2010
Legislations on White Collar Crime


In 1939 Edwin H. Sutherland (1893–1950), a sociologist of the symbolic interactionist school, first used the phrase white-collar criminal in a December 27, 1939 speech to the American Sociological Association. In his 1949, he defined white-collar crime as "approximately as a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation." Fraud is widespread and growing. One conservative estimate indicates that fraud, in all its forms, comes out of more than $40 billion each year. Advancing technology has created more opportunities for fraud. Computer use leaves everyone vulnerable to fraud, including telemarketing fraud, identity theft, and health care scams. What Is Economic Crime?

Economic Crimes can be defined as the intentional use of deceit to deprive another of money, property or a legal right. Economic crimes fall broadly into the categories of those illegal actions under-taken by perpetrators to make money for themselves or those illegal actions undertaken principally to further the aims of their company or other organizations.

Types and scope of Economic Fraud:
Economic Crimes can be of various types and nature. It varies from individual to organizational level. Most commonly observed in our daily life are as follows: Serial| Crime Type| Brief Description|

1. | Asset Misappropriation| Include the misuse or theft of assets belonging to a company| 2. | Bank Fraud| Act to defraud a bank of funds|
3. | Bribery| Anything of value is offered/accepted with intent to influence decisions/actions of the taker| 4. | IP Infringements| Someone copies or imitate items without any authorization| 5. | Insider Trading| Illegal/inappropriate use of inside confidential information | 6. | Investment Scheme| Unsuspecting victim is contacted by an actor who promises large return on small investment | 7. | Kickback| Paying back a portion of purchase price to buyer| 8. | Money Laundering| Transfer of money from illegal activities whose original source is not traceable or legitimate| 9. | Tax Evasion| Fraud in filing or paying taxes|

10. | Accounting Frauds| Intentional manipulation with the accounts to show high profits or low expense|

Fig 1: Relative Percentage of the Commonly occurring Economic Crimes

Existence of Economic Crime:
Economic Crimes are not a localized phenomenon. Rather it truly has a global occurrence. Incidence of economic crimes varies by territory, some countries mainly those in emerging markets experienced much higher levels of fraud than the average. Global recession has increased the risk of economic crime incidence. In perspective of the industry sector, some sector (mainly insurance, financial services and communications) reported higher levels of fraud than others. But no organization is immune from this phenomenon.

Fig 2: Economic Crimes reported by sectors

Motives behind an Economic Crime:
There can be various factors which influence a well educated person into crime. Money/profit is the key motive behind the crime, being committed individual level or an organizational level. Also, within an organization when legitimate or conventional avenues make the attainment of a goal difficult or impossible, many of us, whether as individual or as corporate actors, will resort to illegitimate or deviant avenues. Fraud motive are defined in ‘Fraud Triangle’, which often point to three factors, need of an incentive or pressure to engage in misconduct, opportunity to commit fraud and ability to rationalize or justify their actions.

The Main Players:
Economic Crimes are committed by people at every level and in practically every department. One survey suggests that ‘Figureheads’ within a business are responsible for 25% of all reported frauds. Most fraudsters tend to be risk-takers, decisive, extroverted,...
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