White Collar And Corporate Crime Essay

Organized crime aims to establish a monopoly and market control of a given industry or territory.Thus, rivalry and competition may emerge between different mobs fighting for territorial or industry control.Therefore, corporate crime may relate with organized crime in that sometimes the former benefits financially from the latter (such as using mafia money as business capital), while corporate activities are used as a front to legitimize illegal wealth through money laundering.

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Perhaps the common denominator in both corporate and organized crime is the influence of money as the ultimate goal.

As Jeffrey Sachs, Professor of Economics at Columbia University notes in The Global Economy’s Corporate Crime Wave, money talks, and it is the vice that corrupts politics and markets around the world.

Thus, the two forms of crime (white-collar and corporate) overlap each other because they all happen within similar environments, in which the incentives are high for an individual or group of individuals to engage in bribery, money laundering, insider trading, forgery, and embezzlement.

As in organized crime, the market is similar in both cases, since “the same market forces and factors that apply to legitimate (corporate) business markets are also mirrored in crime markets” (Dean, et al., 2010, p. This paper discusses the similarities and differences between corporate and organized crime.

Generally, organized crime involve “the illegal activities carried out by structured groups of three or more persons existing for a prolonged period of time and having the aim of committing serious crimes through concerted action by using intimidation, violence, corruption or other means in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit” (Council of Europe, 2002, p. The purpose of organized crime is to exploit illegal markets for monetary gains at the expense of society.

In this regard, organized crime is similar to corporate crime in that no specific individuals are singled out as victims.In some cases, politicians hold shares in companies that later get involved in scandals, and their power connections shield them from prosecution.Thus, the close connections that exist between wealth and power on the one hand, and the law on the other, make it impossible for state authorities to rein in corporate and organized crime.However, organized crime is so dynamic that it can involve almost any illegal undertaking from street drug peddling, to murders and kidnappings for ransom.Consequently, corporate crime requires may require exceptional planning and organizational skills as well as extensive networks of participants, and this is what enables organized crime mobs to be versatile and dynamic in their activities (Kirby & Penna, 2010, p.In the world’s big economies where mega-scandals thrive, such as in the U.S., “Every Wall Street firm has paid significant fines during the past decade for phony accounting, insider trading, securities fraud, Ponzi schemes, or outright embezzlement by CEOs” (Sachs, 2011, p. It is corporate crime involving insider trading and manipulation of financial records that is presently shaking Wall Street, beginning with ENRON’s concealing of a staggering billion debt in 2001.195) Additionally, informal hierarchies exist in organized crime, whereby members, usually family members, occupy ranks that determine their duties.Mafias, such as the Sicilian Nosa Costra in Italy are the perfect example of organized crime.Likewise, companies engage in fraud in situations when keeping to the book rules will minimize profits, or lead to losses and, eventually, bankruptcy.Without money, the incentive of taking the risk will be absent, thereby eliminating the need for undertaking a venture that, if caught, is punishable by the law.


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