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White Collar Crimes Question Answer

Related Topics: Deviance Enron Bernie Madoff Fraud

Pages:3 (1010 words)



Topic:White Collar Crime

Document Type:Question Answer


1 Identify and discuss some of the principal elements of E. H. Sutherland's contribution to the study of White Collar Crime and some of the limitations regarding his work.

Sutherland defined white collar crime as “crimes committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation,” and broke them into two types based upon: 1) the offender’s social status and, 2) the occupation/mechanism “by which the offense is committed” (Rosoff, Pontell & Tillman, 2003, p. 3). Sutherland argued that white collar criminals were of a higher class than regular blue collar criminals: they were more sophisticated and their crimes were not shown on the six o’clock news routinely the way blue collar crimes like murder, rape and theft routinely were. In other words, white collar crime was not as visible to the ordinary people on the street because the ordinary person is not of the higher class to which the white collar criminal belongs. Still, the middle class man may be the victim of a white collar criminal, who could be running a Ponzi scheme like Bernie Madoff with people’s pension funds or 401(k)s, etc. (Schultz & Greenberg, 2009). White collar criminals tend to commit crime in finance—such as embezzlement—or corporate fraud, such as cooking the books like what they did at Enron (Eichenwald, 2005). Sutherland helped to show how white collar crime consists of these elements. His work was limited, however, by its classist approach—white collar crime, today, does not necessarily have the same classist parameters and can be committed by anyone who is trained, for instance, in computer hacking.

2 Identify some of the main issues involved in the challenges of defining White Collar Crime, and then discuss arguments for and against White Collar Crime over elite deviance.

Some of the main issues involved in the challenges of defining white collar crime are that there is no specific type of crime that can be…

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…voted for Donald Trump—they believed him when he said he was going to go to DC and drain the swamp.

Another factor in that claim no longer being valid is that ordinary people are more and more being affected by white collar crime because everyone is living his life online: his data is online; his purchases are made online; his social media is all online. Life is lived on the computer screen, which is where a lot of white collar crime happens—so common people are more and more aware of what it means to be ripped off by someone posing as a professional. They understand that there are malevolent forces everywhere one turns—there are worms, and rootkits and malware online; there are hackers; there are bad investment managers; Ponzi scheme artists, corrupt CEOs; they get it and at the same time they accept just as they accept that the government is spying on their every action online. It is the price they pay…

Sample Source(s) Used


Eichenwald, K. (2005). Conspiracy of Fools. NY: Random House.

Rosoff, S., Pontell, H. & Tillman, R. (2003). Looting America. NY: Prentice Hall.

Schultz, K. & Greenbert, D. (2009). Bernie Madoff’s Billionaire Victims. Forbes. Retrieved from

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