White Collar Crime Is A Serious Issue Essay

1124 WordsDec 6, 20165 Pages
White collar crime is a serious issue in the United States. White-collar crime is “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation” (cornell.edu). Examples of such offenses include bribery, credit card fraud, insurance fraud, bank fraud, blackmail, extortion, forgery, securities fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement, repair scams, Ponzi and pyramid schemes. These non-violent crimes are responsible for an estimated $250 billion to $1 trillion in economic damages each year (Martinez). Individuals who commit white collar crimes have an increased likelihood to experience injustice compared to those who commit a street crime as noted in multiple studies detailed in various scholarly articles. Also, street criminals have a greater chance of getting caught in their wrongdoings versus white-collar criminals. Those who commit white collar crime make their decisions based on the philosophy or idea that their actions have low risk and a high reward. We face a dilemma in the United States because white-collar criminals are treated with minimal, inequitable punishment due to their social status, whereas the street criminals are treated with the correct, impartial punishment. There are various examples of white collar crime illustrating this dilemma, such as the Lehman Brothers Scandal in 2008. On September 15, 2008, the Lehman Brothers, who owned a global financial services firm, were forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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