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White-Collar and Organized Crime (From Criminology, Seventh Edition, P 384-422, 2000, Larry J. Siegel, -- See NCJ-185178)

NCJ Number
Larry J. Siegel Ph.D.
Date Published
39 pages
White-collar and organized criminals are similar because they both use ongoing illegal business enterprises to make personal profits.
There are various types of white-collar crime. Stings and swindles involve the use of deception to bilk people out of their money. Chiseling customers, businesses, or the government on a regular basis is a second common type of white-collar crime. Surprisingly, many professionals engage in chiseling offenses. Other white-collar criminals use their positions in business and the marketplace to commit economic crimes. These crimes include exploitation of position in a company or the government to secure illegal payments, embezzlement and employee pilferage and fraud, client fraud, and influence peddling and bribery. Further, corporate officers sometimes violate the law to improve the position and profitability of their businesses. Their crimes include price fixing, false advertising, and environmental offenses. To date, little has been done to combat white-collar crimes. Most offenders do not view themselves as criminals and therefore do not seem to be deterred by criminal statutes. The government has used various law enforcement strategies to combat white-collar crimes. Some involve deterrence and punishment to frighten potential abusers, while others involve economism or compliance strategies that create economic incentives to obey the law. The demand for illegal goods and services has produced a symbiotic relationship between the public and an organized criminal network. Organized crime supplies alcohol, gambling, drugs, prostitutes, and pornography to the public. There is debate over the control of organized crime. Some experts believe that a national crime cartel controls all activities. Others view organized crime as a group of disorganized, competing gangs dedicated to extortion or to providing illegal goods and services. The Federal Government has used anti-racketeering statutes to arrest syndicate leaders. As long as profits can be made, however, illegal enterprises will continue to flourish. 237 notes, 1 table, 2 figures, and 4 photographs


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