Thursday, March 17, 2011

The "Camouflage" Crimes. (White-Collar Crime)

By: Quiessence Royster          

            Crimes are put into different categories depending on what was done, how it was done, where it was done, who did it and other similar things in the legal sense. Sociologist classify crimes in the terms of how they are committed and how society views the offenses. In the book Sociology Matters by Richard Schaefer sociologist examine five types of crime.
1. Victimless Crimes: Willing exchange among adults of widely desired, but illegal goods and services. Examples: Prostitution
2. Professional Crime(Career Criminal): Crimes committed by people who pursue crime as a day to day occupation while developing skilled techniques.
Examples: Burglary, Pickpocketing, Shoplifting, Carjacking
3.Organized Crime: The work of a groups that regulates relations between various criminal enterprises involved in illegal activities.
Example: Smuggling of drugs
4. White-Collar Crimes: Illegal acts committed in the course of business activities.
Examples: Tax Invasion, Consumer Fraud, Bribery, Embezzlement
5.Transtional Crime: Crime that occurs across multiple national boarders.
Examples: Terrorism, Money Laundering
           Now that we understand the types of crimes and the categories they fall under, lets think about the general meaning of crime. According to the same book listed above crime is a violation of criminal law for which some government authority applies formal penalties. With that being said why are the consequences for some crimes not as harsh as others? If someone steals of course they shouldn't be given the same punishment as someone that murdered, but if you commit a crime you should be treated as a criminal and have to deal with the consequences of having that label. Bringing me to my point, White-Collar crimes are crimes that are under much less scrutiny than any other crime.
          White-Collar crimes are often committed by affluent, popular,"respectable" people. For this reason alone they aren't frowned upon as much as a "regular" person that commits a crime(or even the same crime). The label white-collar doesn't carry the stigma as the label of felon which means that people who commit white-collar crimes have a pretty good chance of continuing to live their lives as a person who has never committed a crime. White-collar crimes are not even included in crime index. Under no circumstances should crime be able to be separated from the general meaning of crime. CRIME IS CRIME! Lastly, people that commit white-collar are more likely receive fines as apposed to prison sentences.
            No matter who you are, how much money you have, or whats your status if you commit a crime you should be held accountable and receive the punishment that's due for the crime you committed. As many things are unfair in the world this is another.

(Above) Milton Street. A former state senate indicted on tax invasion chargers. Sentenced to 30months in a low security prison. Released in 2010 and now running for mayor.


  1. I like the way you talked about all the diffrent types of crime. I agree with you, crime is crime no matter what circumstance is, white collar crimes should taken more seriously especially since white collar crimes can cause more damage than any other crime.

  2. I agree with you in a sense that crime is crime and that everyone should be held accountable for their actions. I also think that it is unfair that people who commit a white-collar crime generally don't have to live the rest of their lives with a negative label, unlike people who commit other crimes. There could be plenty of reasons why that is. Maybe because most people see money and status as power. We feel as though the crime committed is wrong, but we still see that person as respectable so we are quick to dismiss negative feelings. It could be that they buy their way out of trouble, or maybe "Tax Invasion, Consumer Fraud, Bribery, Embezzlement" don't seem so bad unless we are the ones being affected.
    Not everyone who commits a crime is a "bad" person. People make mistakes, or are wrongfully accused so I feel like sometimes we are already too quick to judge anyone with some type of criminal record. But for some reason, if it is a white-collar crime, this society is willing to let it slide and not give the same harsh stimga that any other criminal would get. In my eyes, you are definately correct, that is not fair at all.

    Jennifer Harding

  3. The definition's of the several types of Crime's you listed was well explained. I got a good understanding of all types of Crimes and the different punishment's you can receice. I can agree with you when you quoted Crime is still a Crime. No matter how any one else see it, it's still a crime in my point of view. I also agree with Willaim Davis that White-Collar Crime is pain and simple unfair and it should be further more looked into. If u commit a Crime then you should be punished like the rest. If white-Collar people can have a second chances why can't the rest of the society have the equal right's. CRIME IS STILL CRIME

  4. It seems almost impossible to eradicate or do away with crimes in the 21 century world that we now find ourselves, due to the fact that in every split second technology is advancing and we have to keep-up with the speed at which technology is moving. In doing so, many innocent people especially consumers will be victimized by white collar criminals. For example, the online presence of many businesses has increased the rate of white collar crimes wherein consumer’s credit cards and debits cards information are vulnerable. There have been some security measures to protect consumer’s information online but it is almost impossible because the criminal is always a step away from the security.