White Collar Crime: The Dangers Of White Collar Crimes

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The law is a cobweb; it’s made for flies and the smaller kinds of insects, so to speak, but lets the big bumblebees break through by using technicalities. Corporate wrongs or white collar crimes until recently was understood as the crime of persons of high respectability committed during the course of carrying out their legitimate duties. The above statements resonate the general perception and the enforcement of the law in respect of corporate wrongs by the majority of the society especially the middle and lower class. However, the events of the early 2000s heralded a change in perception and stirred public awareness to the harm caused by white collar crimes. The financial scandals in the United States between the year 2000 – 2002; the…show more content…
A presidential report on law enforcement and administration of justice submitted that "the public tends to be indifferent to business crime or even tend to sympathise with the offenders who have been caught." Further studies of the American society confirmed that the people are more concerned with traditional crimes and didn’t perceive white collar crime to be harmful. This perception began to change as the society and corporations evolved. Technological development in media and information has made the proliferation of news much easier hence the social awareness of the dangers of white collar crimes. The Watergate scandal was one of the first instances where there was wide coverage of the causes and effects of the scandal which stirred public debates on the criminality and punishments of white collar…show more content…
The potentially devastating effects these actions could have and the fact that the culprits could act with no restraint fuelled the desire to raise awareness and formulate laws to check these acts. Stressing this point, the former US Attorney General Griffin Bell in 1977 maintained that white-collar crime is a serious problem to the polity and he will make eradicating it his major priority. This attitude of intolerance for white collar crimes developed as the corporations got bigger and their actions and inactions affected the society. The unfortunate implosion of companies like Enron, Worldcom, Adelphia communications and Global crossing in the early 2000s further motivated the awareness of the socio-economic harm caused by white collar crime. A study carried out after the CEO of Worldcom was showed that over 75% of people interviewed felt that the 25 years’ jail term was not sufficient or proportional to the harm caused.
The American example illustrates how the perception of people has changed overtime due to an increase in awareness of the effect of white collar crime. The American society evolved from being described as condoning or ambivalent to white collar crime in 1977 into a society that believes that consequences of white collar crimes are quite serious and perceived to be more harmful than street crime. The new attitude

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