Entrusted Criminals

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Entrusted Criminals: White Collar Crime

By Gary A McAvin (AKA Gavin)

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Entrusted Criminals: White Collar Crime

Introduction:

The shock and mental trauma felt when people learn all their investments and life savings were stolen; is amplified when it was someone they knew and trusted! When the thief turns out to be their local banker; or their savings and loan association manager, how could something like

public has been conditioned to accept? Don’t criminals look like; ah, criminals? A recent news

attention to fighting terrorism instead. I will include the entire article because of its relevance to

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Fewer fight white-collar crime FBI's criminal cases decline as agency focuses on terror April 12, 2007 BY PAUL SHUKOVSKY, TRACY JOHNSON and DANIEL LATHROP

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article almost declares the futility of fighting white-collar criminals. The FBI wants to pay more

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this paper.

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life of a successful businessman. Who would ever associate them with the criminal profile the

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this even happen? Today; criminals wear suits to work, travel first-class, and portray/depict the

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Entrusted Criminals SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER

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Thousands of white-collar criminals across the country are no longer being prosecuted in federal court -- and, in many cases, not at all -- leaving frustrated victims and potentially billions of dollars in fraud and theft losses.

About 51/2 years after the Bush administration restructured the FBI following the 9 /11 attacks; the White House and the Justice Department have failed to replace at least 2,400 agents transferred to counterterrorism squads.

the cost: a dramatic plunge in FBI investigations and case referrals in many of the crimes that the

An analysis by the Post-Intelligencer of more than a million cases touched by FBI agents and federal prosecutors before and after 9 /11 finds:

• Overall, the number of criminal cases investigated by the FBI nationally has steadily declined. In 2005, the bureau brought slightly more than 20,000 cases to federal prosecutors, compared with about 31,000 in 2000 -- a 34% drop.

• White-collar crime investigations by the bureau have plummeted. In 2005, the FBI sent prosecutors 3,453 cases -- a fraction of the more than 10,000 cases assigned to agents in 2000.

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civil rights violations.

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bureau has traditionally fought, including sophisticated fraud and embezzlement schemes and

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Although there hasn't been a terrorism strike on U.S. soil since the realignment, few are aware of

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Two attorneys general have rejected the FBI's pleas for reinforcements.

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• Civil rights investigations, which include hate crimes, have continued a steady decline since the late 1990s. FBI agents pursued 65% fewer cases in 2005 than in 2000.

Other agencies have picked up more of the load in drug enforcement, but the gaps created by the war on terrorism are troubling to criminal justice experts, police chiefs -- even many current and former FBI officials and agents.

If the FBI had continued investigating financial crimes at the same rate as it had before 9 /11, about 2,000 more criminals would be behind bars, according to the analysis released Wednesday,

number of fraud convictions in federal courts has dropped about 20%.

White-collar crimes often affect the people least able to afford it -- lower-income and older

"If you keep it small, and act quickly and get out of the jurisdiction, you can avoid being prosecuted," he said. "Scam artists know that."

Large numbers of agents also were transferred out of violent-crime programs because bureau officials knew that local police -- who have overlapping jurisdiction in violent crimes -- would have to help.

'Do more with less'

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Wayne State University.

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people, according to Peter Henning, a former Justice Department prosecutor who teaches law at

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which was based on Justice Department data from 1996 through June 2006. Since 9 /11, the

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In the months after Sept. 11, 2001, when the first waves of agents were funneled into counterterrorism, FBI Director Robert Mueller was made aware of the consequences.

Without a major influx of new agents, there was no way to maintain the bureau's grip on a long list of traditional crimes, particularly time-consuming fraud investigations.

Mueller asked for help from two attorneys general -- John Ashcroft and his successor, Alberto Gonzales -- only to be rebuffed each time.

"We were told to do more with less," said David Szady, a former FBI assistant director who left

"There was always discussion on backfilling," he said. "Always the push that we need to ask for more bodies."

programs, also blames the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Justice Department for failing to heed the warnings.

"The budget should be backfilled with additional agents," Watson said. "We've got to do this. But you could request 2,000 agents for white collar, and it would never see the light of day at OMB."

In 2005, the FBI sent a 5-year plan to the Justice Department that Szady called "the director's attempt to get this agency where it needed to be, including a robust criminal footprint. I know for a fact that the Justice Department beat that down."

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Dale Watson, who retired in 2002 as the FBI's executive assistant director over counterterrorism

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last year as head of counterintelligence.

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Antiterrorism duties

A report in September 2005 by the department's inspector general asserted that in addition to the 1,143 agents transferred from traditional crime programs, the FBI used 1,279 agents on counterterrorism work, even though they were on the books as criminal-program agents.

The inspector general concluded that the FBI "reduced its investigative efforts related to traditional crimes by more than 2,400 agents."

More recently, scaled-back staffing requests weren't granted.

In fiscal 2006, the bureau sought 250 to 350 new agents. It was given money for fewer than 75, a former official said. Over the past eight years, the ranks of FBI agents have increased, from about 11,000 to 12,575, and virtually all have been assigned to antiterrorism duties, records

The Justice Department and the Office of Management and Budget assert that traditional criminal enforcement by the FBI hasn't suffered. They say federal law enforcement agencies are working more efficiently to compensate for the continuing emphasis on homeland security.

"The administration strongly disagrees that the FBI has been anything less than effective in the years since 9 /11 in combating domestic crime issues," said OMB spokesman Sean Kevelighan. "We have worked to achieve a balance between the FBI's homeland security and criminal investigative missions."

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show.

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"We'll just abide by what the president's budget is," said FBI Assistant Director Chip Burrus. "We work a lot smarter than we have in the past."

But Burrus acknowledges that the bureau has reduced its efforts to fight fraud. He likened the FBI's current fraud-enforcement policies -- in which losses less than $150,000 have little chance of being addressed -- to triage. Even cases with losses approaching $500,000 are much less likely to be accepted for investigation than before 9 /11, he said.

There is no question that America's financial losses from frauds less than $150,000 amount to

Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., introduced legislation in February that calls for hiring 1,000 agents at a

"There's no doubt that fighting terrorism should be a top priority for the FBI, but we can't forget about the risk to our neighborhoods from everyday crime," Biden said.

"The FBI is at a breaking point. They're overworked and overburdened and, frankly, they need some relief." (Shukovsky & Lathrop, 2007)

Points of Consideration: While the attention is diverted away from pursuing white-collar crime/criminals, literally billions of dollars are (potentially) taken or diverted away from the initial investors. The article implies that the hardest hit will be the low-income and older citizens. People who have their life savings invested in IRA’s, 401 K Programs, Retirement Accounts, and other selected

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cost of $160 million a year.

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Biden legislation

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billions a year, Burrus said.

Entrusted Criminals investments for their golden years; stand to lose everything; because of unscrupulous people. How could something like this happen? Our studies have taken us through several theories. From Freud, Sutherland, Eysenck, Ellis,

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et al, we have found many reasons for criminality and the commission of crimes. But; where do we fit the white-color criminal into the theoretical paradigm? Low IQ’s? No; these are usually well educated people! Low income and socially challenged? Not here either! What about psychological growth and development? Can we factor these high level criminals into Freud? Maybe! What about the Ellis Arousal Theory? Are these types motivated by the excitement/arousal of secretly pilfering funds from the unsuspecting public? Could other

and execute white-collar crime. Lifestyles of the rich and famous come to mind with this

improper doses of drugs instead of what doctors had prescribed, he told investigators he cut the drugs’ strength “out of greed.” Greed is not the only motivation for white-collar crime; need also plays an important role. Executives may tamper with company books because they feel the need to keep or improve their jobs, satisfy their egos, or support their children.” (Siegel 2004:408) Corporate Culture Theory: “The corporate culture view is that some business organizations promote white-collar criminality in the same way that lower-class culture encourages the development of juvenile gangs and street crime. According to the corporate culture view, some business enterprises cause

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“When Kansas City pharmacist Robert Courtney was asked after his arrest why he substituted

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Greedy or Needy?

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motivator. What about corporate corruption theory?

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factor into the white-collar equation? Living beyond one’s means can motivate some to conceive

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theories supply necessary information for better understanding? What about greed? Does need

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crime by placing excessive demands on employees while at the same time maintaining a business climate tolerant of employee deviance. New employees learn the attitudes and techniques needed to commit white-collar crime from their business peers.” (Siegel 2004:408) (Ibid) White-Collar Criminal: Where did the appellation “White-Collar” crime/criminal originate? “After Sellin published his seminal work, Culture Conflict and Crime, Sutherland (1949) observed that white-collar criminals, a term he devised, espoused values with strong connections to the dominant culture. Yet they engaged in criminal conduct, violating federal and state law with impunity, and expressing little remorse when caught. After all, what was wrong with their acts of bribery, fee

Abadinsky, 2003:179) (Emphasis Mine)

Learned behavior from their business peers perpetuates this criminal activity. Do company demands and tolerance of employee deviance contribute to potential crime? Enabling by tolerance continues the cycle. What classification can we place upon white collar criminals? Are there differences between white collar criminals and street criminals? “Despite a multitude of differences in their backgrounds and crime patterns, criminals are alike in one way: how they, think. A gun-toting, uneducated criminal off the streets of southeast Washington, D.C., and a crooked Georgetown business executive are extremely similar in their view of themselves and the world.” (Samenow, 1984:20) (Emphasis Mine)

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felt by these types! Does it become a given that everyone is doing it, so; why shouldn’t I?

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entitled to the free taking, pilfering of other people’s money? Obviously; little or no remorse is

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Do those who commit crimes of supposed higher level; (respectable crimes) really feel

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Sutherland’s student Donald Cressey (1965), committed “respectable crimes.” (Winfree &

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splitting, price—fixing, fraud, embezzlement, graft, and the like? They had, in the words of

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Entrusted Criminals Applicable Crime Theories: What theories can be applied to white collar crime? Can we apply the Learning theories of Behaviorism; Watson, Pavlov, Skinner? Can we apply Merton’s Strain theory? (No other society pursues economic success as an absolute value?) What about Gottfredson & Hirschi’s Self-Control theory? (Their general theory posits that criminals lack self-control.) Can we ascertain any Neutralization theory; namely; Sykes & Matza? (Their theory posits denials by

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number) And of course we cannot leave out Sutherland’s Differential Association theory. (This theory posits that criminal behavior occurs when the definitions toward crime outweighs the definitions against crime.) Which one (or two, or more) of the possibilities are best applied for

laws? Sutherland & Cressey says the following:

political or financial importance of the parties concerned, because of the apparent triviality of the crimes, or because of the difficulty of securing evidence sufficient for prosecution, particularly in the cases of crimes by corporations. Even more important, methods other than prosecution in the criminal courts are frequently used to deal with white-collar criminals—action may be taken in the civil courts or in hearings before boards and commissions. Consequently, a precise statement regarding the extent of white-collar crime is impossible.” (Sutherland & Cressey 1978:44-45) (Emphasis Mine)

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found in police reports. Prosecution for this kind of crime is frequently avoided because of the

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course of their occupations-also are extremely widespread, but an index of their frequency is not

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“White-collar crimes committed by persons of respectability and high social status in the

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where they can make the laws; (a law unto themselves) ignore the laws, and even be above the

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white collar-crime? Does the socioeconomic status place the white-collar criminal at a level

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Entrusted Criminals White-Collar Entitlement:?

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In the paradigm of white-collar crime; how important is class status compared to criminals of poverty derivations? Do the upper echelons just feel entitled-privileged-because of their social economical structure? Does privilege come with this obvious disparity, or; are they devoid of any conscience, period? Or; can we apply everything we are discussing into one theory? What about Rational Choice Theory? Will this fit the white-collar criminal? Let’s see! But first; more information on their mind state: “The privileges of class are the most important characteristic of white-collar criminals, but they are privileged also by the respectable work they do. Apart from their location in a wealth-

a polite and sympathetic hearing. They are subjected infrequently to gratuitous, sanctimonious,

criminal elites. And; they do feel entitled because of the privilege that comes with their status. With this being under consideration, how can we apply Rational Choice Theory here? What is rational choice theory? Rational Choice Theory: “The emergence of rational choice theory within criminology paralleled the expansion of the concept of deterrence in the 1980s. Rational choice theory follows the principle of expected utility, which maintains that people will make rational decisions based on the extent to which they expect their choice to maximize their benefits (profits) or minimize the costs (losses)

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criminals are creatures of comfort and privilege? Yes; class status is paramount among these

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of prevailing.” (Shover & Wright 2001: Preface xii) So; would you say the white collar

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and classist comments about their “inappropriate” behavior, and they stand a reasonable chance

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hierarchy. Consequently, when they confront officialdom or mid-level bureaucrats, they receive

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and-property hierarchy, white-collar criminals also occupy privileged positions in this moral

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(Akers 2001). These ideas stem back to classical criminology. The nexus between deterrence and rational choice theories finds its origins in 18th-century utilitarian philosophy, in which principles of deterrence were typically applied to criminal law and principles of rational choice were applied to the economy. Despite rational choice theory’s long history, it has only developed within criminology fairly recently.” (Cote 2002:285) (Emphasis Mine) Classical Criminology and Rational Choice: Rational Choice Theory posits: “The classical assumptions about human nature have recently been embraced (with some qualifications) by neoclassical criminologists and proponents of rational choice, routine activities, and social control perspectives (Clarke and Felson 1993;

Individuals who commit crimes are not averse to breaking laws if they see an opportunity they

labor markets)—limit rationality and play a role in criminal behavior (Cornish and Clarke 1986; Wilson and Herrnstein 1985), but they also believe that rational choices account for a good proportion of criminal conduct. Herman Simon (1976) introduced the concept of bounded rationality or “limited rationality” to take into account the fact that choices of individuals and organizations are often based on incomplete or defective information and are only “rational” relative to the information available. Rational choice assumptions would appear to be especially applicable to white-collar offenders (Bartollas and Dinitz 1989; Cullen, Maakestad, and Cavender 1987’). If we assume

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(e.g., biogenetic inheritance), development (e.g., family influences), and social context (e.g.,

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Proponents of this perspective do not necessarily deny that other factors—such as constitution

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perceive to have a low likelihood of sanctions and the expectation of personal benefits.

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reason and plan strategically, adapt to particular circumstances, and weigh costs and benefits.

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Hirschi 1986; Peck 2001). These criminologists essentially see criminal offenders as people who

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Entrusted Criminals that humans have the capability of making rational choices, then those who are better educated and better positioned in life would seem to have an advantage in considering and acting on various options. It is perhaps paradoxical, then, that those who have prominently promoted the

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neoclassical and rational choice perspective have focused most of their attention on conventional offenders, not white-collar criminals.” (Friedrichs 2004:203-4) (Emphasis Mine) White-Collar Deterrence: White-collar crime can be a real sore spot with law-enforcement officials! Hiring the best lawyers, and having officials in high places turn their heads away from prosecuting these arrogant criminals, allows them to continue in this same criminal vein for quite some time. If the

are some measures that can be implemented. One would be the cessation of enabling these

“Although few investigators have explored criminal decision making by white-collar offenders, it is widely believed that clearly articulated threats coupled with swift detection and certain and severe penalties may produce substantial specific and general deterrence among them… Respectable offenders and their representatives play an active—many believe dominant—part in crafting the private standards, regulatory rules, and laws that circumscribe their conduct. And they do not sit idly by when the state and other parties try to curb their criminality; SLAPP lawsuits (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) and retaliatory actions against whistleblowers stand as powerful reminders of the determination of the privileged

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thought is not interrupted.

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applications. I include some relevant information in un-paraphrased form so the continuity of

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criminals. Another more feasible implementation could be found in deterrents and strong

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ended problem? Are there any measures that can be taken to alleviate this anomaly? Yes; there

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heat is placed on them… they just relocate to another area. So; what can be done with this open-

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Entrusted Criminals and powerful to conduct their affairs as they see fit. What is known about corporate codes of ethics gives reason also for concern about their willingness to regulate their own behavior; codes generally emphasize the importance of employee fidelity to organizational policies and norms but say remarkably little about the importance of compliance with legal norms. There appears, moreover, to be little relationship between the presence of these codes and firm-level

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regulatory compliance… Despite the belief by many that white-collar offenders are responsive to the threat of criminal sanction, the bulk of state and private effort to control white-collar misconduct is rules that carry minimal professional or civil penalties for most forms of whitecollar rule breaking; the body of statute law that citizens in their occupational roles and the

same problems faced by police and prosecutors. Largely because of this, an alternative

is best accomplished when the enforcers work flexibly and cooperatively those subject to regulation.” (Shover & Wright 2001:359-61) (Emphasis Mine) Accountability: So! What must occur to reign in these untouchables? The glass ceiling of the corporations that employ them must be breached by law enforcement authorities. The governance of these corporations must have tighter regulations placed upon them in oversight. When any bank, financial institution, Investment Company, stock market, et al; manage any finances for investment purposes; and; any/all monetary resources consigned into their control by good faith;

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for this system of regulation and control of business interests suggest that regulatory enforcement

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for industry, and from regulatory investigators. Known as the compliance approach, advocates

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perspective on and approach to regulation and enforcement has gained support for state officials,

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regulatory rules that confronts them. Regulatory enforcement, however, suffers from most of the

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organizations that employ them are expected to meet is small when compared with the volume of

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Entrusted Criminals financiers should be held accountable for every single dollar. And; if these individuals or corporations in totality violate in any way-terms and conditions legislated by laws, they should be arrested, charged, and sentenced accordingly-and that without mercy!

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Power resides in the legislative bodies of Congress. And this is where it must be considered and legislated upon accordingly. Laws protecting the investors must be enacted regardless if some of these Congressmen or Senators are business friendly. And; if there is found any apparent partiality observable or expressed by these legislators; this would be a conflict of interest; and; they should recuse themselves from any legislative participation! And they need to put some teeth into any laws protecting investors. Perhaps you might say there are already laws in this

Deterrence and Expected Utility:

people will make rational decisions based on the extent to which they expect the choice to maximize their profits or benefits and minimize the costs or losses. This is the same general assumption about human nature made in classical criminology.” (Akers 1994:57-8) (Emphasis Mine) Neutralization, Rationalization, and Accounts: “The interrelated concepts of neutralization, rationalization, and accounts play a central role in efforts to make sense of white-collar criminality. White collar offenders tend not to be classic “outlaw” types—that is, people who are contemptuous of law and conventional standards

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“expected utility” principle in economic theory. The expected utility principle simply states that

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into criminology in the 1980s of “rational choice” theory. Rational choice theory is based on the

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“The expansion of the concept of deterrence has been most associated with the introduction

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extinct.

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regard. I’ll say; they are not working; so; make some laws that will make white-color crime

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Entrusted Criminals of proper conduct. White collar criminals most typically conform to most laws and social

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conventions and are unlikely to identify with or endorse the activities of conventional offenders. How, then, do they become lawbreakers? One important step is adopting a “vocabulary of motives”: excuses, justifications, disclaimers, and denials (Mills 1940; Nichols 1990; Scott and Lyman 1968). Useful distinctions have been made between excuses, which tend to be defensive (e.g., an appeal to accidents), and justifications, which are positive interpretations of actions, such as an appeal to higher loyalties (Scott and Lyman 1968). Another useful dichotomy differentiates between neutralizations, which pertain to future or ongoing behavior, and accounts, which are invoked after the behavior has

Donald Cressey, in his classic work on embezzlers, Other People’s Money (1953), assigned

“borrowing” it. (Friedrichs 2004:207) (Emphasis mine) Collected Theories Provide Relevant Information: Collectively speaking; it takes a summation of relevant theories to understand the concept of white-collar crime. All of the great criminologists understood the reasoning behind criminal activity. Each one of the theorists we have glimpsed in this paper; has offered relevant information to the overall equation. The sum total of introducing these posits and to formularize them collectively into a viable theoretical solution; presents little difficulty; because the thoughts

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confronted with financial problem, embezzled money while rationalizing that they were only

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Cressey found that embezzlers were often individuals in positions of trust who, when

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central importance to rationalizations in explaining the conduct of white collar offenders.

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interchangeably.

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occurred (Nichols 1990). Despite these distinctions, these and related terms are often used

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Entrusted Criminals of each are connected. Criminology is built upon empirical observations and generalized findings. (Winfree & Abadinsky 2003:7) If we follow the design of this theory; (Rational Choice) coupled with the research of other major crime theories previously mentioned; we can arrive at intelligent conclusions as to why

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and who. People who are placed into positions that will test or tempt their vulnerabilities should be better screened. Psychological profiling tests could perhaps be applied according to job responsibilities. Also; performance of background checks, placing large security bonds on all personnel that come into contact with finances of any type; and; by implementing these precautionary procedures you will insure repayment for any finances misappropriated. Where

Conclusion:

Id and Ego (egocentric)! Ellis’s arousal-the need for excitement! (Risk taking, ambitious) Sutherland’s differential theory, weighing the consequences against the gain! Eysenck’s personality theory! The case can be made for a composite from these (et al) theories that essentially equal Rational Choice! These criminals make informed choices based on benefits and costs. And; these choices were made of their own volition! And Finally-The Statistics: White Collar Crime/Fraud Statistics
The following statistics about fraud and white-collar crime are from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners' Report to the Nation and the 2002 Report to the Nation.

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criminal. Sprinklings of all aforementioned theories can be found in white-collar crime. Freud’s

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aforethought) and the actus reus (wrongful conduct) is more than evidentiary in the white-collar

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The evidence presented (Newspaper clipping, theories, etc.) reveal the mens reas (malice

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saying;” Follow the Money!” comes to mind. And criminals will do exactly that!

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there is money, opportunity, and a weak mental constitution, crime will occur. And that old

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Entrusted Criminals
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Fraud and abuse costs U.S. organizations more than $400 billion annually. The average organization loses more than $9 per day per employee to fraud and abuse. The average organization loses about 6% of its total annual revenue to fraud and abuse committed by its own employees. The median loss caused by males is about $185,000; by females, about $48,000. The typical perpetrator is a college-educated white male. Men commit nearly 75% of the offenses. Median losses caused by men are nearly four times those caused by women. Losses caused by managers are four times those caused by employees. Median losses caused by executives are 16 times those of their employees. The most costly abuses occur in organizations with less than 100 employees. The education industry experiences the lowest median losses. The highest media losses occur in the real estate financing sector. Occupational fraud and abuses fall into three main categories: asset misappropriation, fraudulent statements, and bribery and corruption.

(http://www.diogenesllc.com/whitecollarfraudstats.html) (Stats Emphasis Mine)

Niebusch:

Justice Statistics, 2003). In addition, there is no realistic measure of white collar crime (Bartol & Bartol, 2001). To assess the populace requires that we assess both the overt (reported) and covert (unreported crime). Unfortunately, the nature and philosophy of capitalism is that not everyone succeeds (Liska & Messner, 2001). This represents the competitive nature of our society and system of government. Merton states that we should recognize the "innovator" as the nemesis of criminal ideology (Williams & McShane, 1988).”

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Unfortunately, the national clearance average for theft and larceny is 7% of all crime (Bureau of

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“I agree that the level of criminal behavior in the country as measured through arrest is very low.

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Gavin,

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References:

Akers, Ronald L. (1994). Criminological Theories: Introduction and Evaluation (1st ed., Vol. 1) (Claude Diether. Teweles, Ed.). Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing Company. Cote, Suzette. (2002). Criminological Theories: Bridging the Past to the Future (1st ed., Vol. 1) (Suzette Cote, Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Friedrichs, David O. (2004). Trusted Criminals (1st ed., Vol. 1) (Sabra Massiscotte. Horne, Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning.

Time Books.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer (www.freep.com) (Copyright © 2007 Detroit Free Press Inc.) Shover, Neal., & Wright, John Paul. (2001). Crimes of Privilege: Readings in White-Collar

Siegal, Larry J. (2004). Criminology Theories, Patterns, & Typologie (1st ed.) (Horne. Whitney, Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning. Shukovsky, Paul Johnson, Tracy., & Lathrop, Daniel. (2007, April 12). Fewer fight white-collar crime: FBI's criminal cases decline as agency focuses on terror. Sutherland, & Cressey, Donald R. (1978). Criminology Tenth Edirion (10th Revised ed., Vol. 1) J. B. Lippincott Company. (Original work published 1934 reset 1955) Winfree, L., Thomas & Abadinsky, Howard (2003). Understanding Crime Theory and Practice (1st ed., Vol. 1) (Massicotte. Horne, Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning.

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Crime (1st ed., Vol. 1) (Shover & Wright, Eds.). New York: Oxford University Press.

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Samenow, Stanton E. Ph.D.. (1984). Inside the Criminal Mind (1st ed., Vol. 1) . New York:

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