Each response needs to be 250 words with one reference each.
Response 1 Adams
Crime can be broken down into three different categories – property crimes, violent crimes, and white collar crimes. White collar crimes fall under the category of a non-violent type of crime. Unlike violent crimes, that generally exhibit some type of brutal act, white collar crimes tend to involve things such as fraud, bribery, money laundering, insider trading, embezzlement, identity theft, and forgery (Dodge, 2019). This type of crime often results in mental duress upon its victims but lacks any type of physical harm from the act of the crime in itself.
One of the most recent and infamous examples of a white collar crime would be the Wells Fargo incident in 2016. Starting in 2011, Wells Fargo employees created millions of bank and credit cards accounts in their customers names without the customers approval or knowledge. Wells Fargo raked in millions of dollars in fees from these accounts and the Wells Fargo employee committing the acts boosted their sales numbers which qualified them for bonuses they never earned (Egan, 2016). This crime resulted in the firing of 5,300 Wells Fargo employees being fired for their participation in or ignorance of this activity. Wells Fargo was forced to pay $185 million ins finds as wells as refund $5 million to customers effected by their employee’s actions (King University, 2016).
This type of crime has been difficult to define due to the vast nature of crimes that fall under its scope. Additionally, analysis of white collar crimes to tend focus more on the victims and the circumstances of the crime rather than the person who actually committed the offenses. This along with the estimated large number of incidents that go underreported makes it difficult to determine the frequency with which this type of crime occurs.
Response 2 Anderson
Among the three categories of crime, that being violent crime, property crime, and white-collar crime, one of them sticks out like a sore thumb. This of course is white-collar crime. Depending on the perspective used to examine white-collar crime, it may seem as if it operates under its own separate judicial system. The penalties, fines, sentencing, and judicial authority used in cases of white-collar crime is vastly different than that of violent crimes or property crimes. This is a result of a few reasons.
First, white-collar crime is generally associated with the world of business. Corporate or white-collar crimes typically involve financial fraud of some kind, whether this be tax fraud, tax evasion, defrauding investors, failure to report assets, and so on. Although it can be challenging at times, the way in which a sentencing is given for a corporate of white-collar crime involves the intent of the perpetrator. In white-collar crime cases such as tax fraud, failure to report assets, and tax evasion are all based on principles with no real need to prove intent, as carrying out these crimes is all based on the principle that you pay taxes, you report assets, and you don’t evade taxes. Intent becomes important in corporate crimes when dealing with cases such as defrauding investors, where it is imperative that the prosecution proves that actions were carried out to intentionally defraud and lie to investors, resulting in damages and loss to the victim or party. Furthermore, intent has to be called into question when dealing with environmental crimes in the corporate world, as companies may be responsible for illegal deforestation, oil spilling, or causing the extinction of an endangered species. So long as human error, human action, or willing intent can be proven, the penalties will be substantial. In almost of all of these cases, the individuals (white-collar crimes) will be met with jail time and/or fines, whereas companies (corporate crimes) will face regulation, astronomical fines, and potentially jail time for sitting executives who played a direct role into the crime.
As the top of the wealthiest men and women in this country continue to grow their net worth and line their pockets, we are witnessing an increased public outrage each time a wealthy businessman or a corporation is caught in hot water over a corporate or white-collar crime. Despite this public outrage, these white-collar criminals are still more likely to face less jail time than any other offender (Michel, 2016). White-collar crimes that inflict the most harm on an individual are often going to viewed and deal with as a harsher crime, resulting in a more severe punishment (Michel, 2016). However, acknowledging the damaging effects of white-collar crime and maintaining track of the countless offenses made by this country’s wealthy population and major corporations is difficult to do. This is because the data is sparse, with no active record being collected. This might be seen as rather unusual, given that there are plenty of statistics and data collection on property and violent crimes.
Our discussion for this week involved us offering up our own solution to fix these issues, however I must be blunt and admit that I don’t believe there is any realistic solution to this problem. Corporate America functions much different than regular America, and along with that, they work differently when going through the judicial system. You can continue to hit companies with ludicrous amounts of fines for environmental crimes, but with the size of these corporations, it’s merely a dent. They will take the loss and they will gain it back tenfold in almost no time. You can hit a Wall Street billionaire with charges and indictments on a variety of financial fraud charges, but at the end of the day, that man or woman has the money, holds all the cards, has the connections, and is unlikely to remain in jail so long as they can do something about it. This is why I believe public outrage towards these corporations continues to increase because it seems as if they keep getting a slap on the wrist.
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