White Collar Crimes Essay

Part One

On white collar crimes, sociology borrows from Edwin Sutherland’s definition of this term and describes it as “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation”  (Schaefer, 2013). It categorizes White-Collar Crime as frauds committed by corporations and government personnel and goes further to state that the crimes are not  necessarily characterized by violence. These frauds are often characterized by deceit, trust violation and disguise and end in fiscal loss and or physical capital losses. The FBI categorizes white-collar crime into these three categories; Corporate Fraud, Money Laundering and Securities and Commodities Fraud  (Federal Bureau of Investigations, 2017). White collar crimes are a social deviance of the corporate world as it goes against the norms of honesty, trust, and fidelity that are expected in the sector.

Types of White Collar Crimes Part 2

Corporate Fraud

Corporate fraud is a white collar crime that takes numerous forms within organizations. The fraud may occur when financial information is falsified. This may occur where illegal business may be covered up to avoid the authorities. It also occurs when accounts are intentionally misreported or misrepresented. At times corporations might tamper with profit or loss reports translating to fraud. Corporate Fraud also at times takes up the forms of insider trading and or tax evading or violations. Corporate fraud also takes the nature of hedge funds that are used to commit markets trading crimes. To deter these forms of crimes, the FBI partners with regulatory agencies within the Securities Exchange (Federal Bureau of Investigations, 2017).

Money Laundering

This form of white collar crime involves the disguising of criminal income as legitimate income. Criminals are known to plunder and evade taxes and still use the same proceeds to fuel their rackets. The fraud may involve individuals who are known as launderers and or the conspiring financial institutions that are used as conduits of this illegal money. Most money-laundering networks get their proceeds from drug trafficking, terrorism, trafficking in people and international or localized graft. Counter-efforts by the authorities incorporate international partnerships to fight the crime as well as partnership with homeland agencies that detect and deter the fraud (Federal Bureau of Investigations, 2017).

Securities and Commodities Fraud

This white collar crime include Ponzi schemes, advance fee and promissory fraud, multilevel pyramid schemes, investment fraud and market manipulation. This form of fraud is usually in the global capital trading and creates investment schemes that are intent of ripping off the victims. The criminals take advantage of unsuspecting and susceptible victims who are lured to put money in amorphous schemes where their contributions are later defrauded from them. Interventions to check this form of white collar crimes include the partnership of security agencies with investment regulatory authorities. It also includes the government closure of criminal investment enterprises (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision, 2013).


It is estimated that the United States of America loses more than $300 billion dollars every year through white collar crimes. This is because often times, the frauds tend to be on a multi-national scope. The nature that these crimes are committed in breach of trust or advanced concealment mean more people are prone to become victims. Governments need to find lasting and practical determent avenues to reduce the end these crimes.


Federal Bureau of Investigations. (2017, January 31). White-Collar Crime. Retrieved from FBI: https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/white-collar-crime

Legal Information Institute. (2016, June 30). White-Collar Crime. Retrieved November 22, 2017, from Legal Information Institute: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/white-collar_crime

Schaefer, R. T. (2013). Sociology: A Brief Introduction. Iowa: McGraw-Hill.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision. (2013, October 9). Pyramid Schemes. Retrieved from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision: https://www.sec.gov/fast-answers/answerspyramidhtm.html