white collar crime
T. R. Young
The Red Feather Institute
CRIME AND SOCIAL JUSTICE:
Theory and Policy for the 21st Century
RED FEATHER INSTITUTE
To pretend to satisfy one's desires by possessions is like putting out a fire with straw.
In this Lecture, you will find discussion of the nature, types and costs of white collar crime. In the first section, there will be a general discussion of white collar crime; in the last half, you will find an overview of white collar crime in religion, among police, labor unions, in the computer industry and in other kinds of business.
Since social power is essential in all trust relationships, it is simple to use that power for one's own advantage...instead of using it to sustain the social relationship as required by the norm of reciprocity.
Definition White collar crime is the violation of a position of trust by someone in a formal role relationship with another person for private profit or other personal advantage.
Professionals Many people enter into social relationships with doctors, lawyers, accountants, bankers and other white collar professionals in order to benefit from the knowledge which they possess. The client must trust that the professional person is acting to benefit that client.
Sometimes lawyers, doctors, bankers, and accountants give the person bad advice in order to get more money. They violate trust for personal gain. They use social power to get economic power. They turn a social relationship into a market relationship in which the motto is; buyer, beware. You will look at cases and kinds of crime below.
Employees Another kind of white collar crime is committed by employees who violate their position of trust in a company for private gain. Again there is a social relationship and again an employee may use social power...the right to use equipment; the right to handle funds; the right to order supplies...for private gain.
Managers Sometimes those in positions defined as 'superior' can use their control over resources for private purpose. A manager can use his social power to hire and to fire to solicit sexual favors. A boss can use his/her power to give raises to demand a share of the salary increase. In that case, social power transforms into economic power and that economic power is used to gain personal wealth.
Under conditions of conflict; many of which you will find below, the illegitimate use of social and economic power increases.
OVERVIEW The study of white collar crime is in its infancy. Until the work of E. H. Sutherland in 1940, few texts and few studies were made in America about WCC. In Europe, with a strong legacy of socialist action, William Bonger, a Dutch marxist, had added 'crime in the suites' to "crime in the streets" in his 1916 work in criminology.
Bonger said that capitalism promotes crime in the suites by fostering avarice. Crime in the streets was a result of the miserable conditions in which workers lived in competition with one another. Bonger made it clear that poverty could not be a cause of crime if the crimes of the rich in its theoretical statements. It is not poverty alone which promotes crime among the poor but rather poverty coupled with individualism, materialism, false needs, racism, and the false masculinity of violence and domination among street thugs.
The study of white collar crime was crippled by two analytic errors Sutherland made.
1. Sutherland combined white collar crime with corporate crime. He emphasized the social status of the offender rather than the corporate goals of the corporation. Look at his definition:
White collar crime is a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.
The focus upon the individual rather than the corporation and its goals tended to reduce all corporate crime to the actions of employees. Of course employees do commit corporate crime in the course of their occupation but they would not commit it unless it made sense within the structure of their job. Engineers would not design a faulty car deliberately to lower costs and increase profits for stockholders. Clerks would not turn poor patients away from a hospital if they were not 'following policy.' Most truck drivers would not dump toxic wastes into roadside ditches unless their bosses told them to do it.
2. Sutherland used Differential Association Theory to explain white collar crime...and thus were unable to explain the social sources of WCC.
TRADITIONAL THEORIES OF WHITE COLLAR CRIME Neither differential association theory, deviant subculture theory, physiological variables such as blood sugar levels or psychological variables such as insanity can explain this crime. It is done to create and protect a life style and a social standing.
Differential association theory, DAT, (Sutherland, 1947), the grandparent of American criminology, cannot be a theory of crime since it is a theory of socialization generally...as you have seen above. It is a scientific sin to use a factor that appears in all behavior to explain a special form of behavior.
As Jay Albanese and others have noted, DAT is a restatement of learning theory...people learn how to act through interaction with others. Differential association theory explains equally well why doctors do doctoring, priests preach and criminals steal but it is not a theory of crime.
White collar criminals do not differentially associate with drug pushers, sexual psychopaths or corporation presidents. White collar criminals do not differentially associate with drug pushers, sexual psychopaths or corporation presidents. White collar criminals are bright enough to figure out how to cheat the company without being taught through association with others in the company who are also cheating.
White collar criminals are most frequently Northern European in origin and have the usual number of chromosomes.
Physiological factors such as blood sugar levels or premenstrual syndrome have not been shown to correlate to white collar crime.
Culture of poverty theories such as Lewis (1959) cannot be adequate to an understanding of crime since they do not explain white collar crime or the behavior of priests and nuns who take vows of poverty or with all the many societies such as the Hutterites and Hopi who live in virtually crime-free relations.
It is one's economic position in the political economy which is related to the amount and kind of crime white collar criminals commit--not one's skin color, body chemistry or fantasy life.
We can get some insight into the structural features which promote white collar crime from a look at bank fraud.
It is not differential association which explains white collar crime; rather it is privatized accumulation.
Sutherland did add a new dimension to American criminology. His students, Don Cressey and Marshall Clinard followed up and expanded the field of white collar crime with their fine field work.
Today the study of white collar crime in the USA is still fragmented and unconnected to good theory. Every text has a chapter on WCC with many cases in point but none have any theoretical depth. In his otherwise excellent criminology text, Eitzen (1985) notes that traditional theories are invalid and he makes a vague reference to '...the radical perspective' but offers no coherent theoretical connection. And Eitzen is the best among orthodox texts in criminology.
Selected Cases You will want to look at some cases of white collar crime in order to test the definition and theory above.
*Victor Posner, who owns most of RC Cola Company and Arby's found it necessary to rob the US taxpayers of more than 1.2 million dollars in his evasion of taxes. He was ordered to pay some 7 million in fines and back taxes. He was also sentenced to 1000 hours of community service for 5 years.
*Morris Gross who lives in a luxury high rise apartment in New York City was found guilty of 420 violations of the housing code: holes in ceilings, water running from leaking pipes, rodents, insects, defective heating systems and other failure to provide decent housing in 113 apartments he owned. He was ordered to live in one of the worse apartments for 15 days and to pay $157,000 in fines.
*Joseph Hambright, David Flatt, Fred Easterberg, Percy Fleming and Kyle Revelle were sued by the Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation. The four had loaned $500,000 to themselves without collateral and then defaulted on the loans. The FDIC had to make good a total of $1.6 million in bad business loans at the Grand Junction bank. Flatt said the loans went bad after the recession in the area caused by the failure of the oil shale boom. Taxpayers stand to pay $23 to $100 billions in federal insured savings at such banks...above the amount covered by insurance reserves.
*R. Foster Winans was a Wall Street Journal reporter who gave inside information to his friends who made thousands of dollars on stock purchases. They knew which companies were going to release good news or bad a day or two before the public. They could buy low and sell high without risk. He was sentenced to 10 months for cheating stockholders of several hundred thousand dollars.
*Ivan Boesky was able to use insider information to steal $50 million from stockholders in 1987. Stephan Wang was charged with helping steal $19 million in 1988. Wang had inside information he sold for over $200,000. His ambition was to be a millionaire before age 30.
*Glenn White, manager of the University of Colorado game room in the student center, was allowed to plea guilty to a theft of $300 and to resign. He had stolen some $29,000.
*Darlene Bruchey, 31, was a bank teller who took money as needed from her drawer. She was divorced and the mother of two. She was sentenced to 60 days in prison for stealing a few thousand dollars.
*Mary Reed took $29,000 from the company for which she worked. She spent the money on her daughter's wedding, cosmetic breast surgery for herself and trips to visit her mother.
*Carol Allen took $40,000 from her employer to pay off her son's gambling debts. Ruth Gilkerson took more than $94,000 from the real estate company for which she worked. Her husband, a former sheriff and she live in a $130,000 home.
*Medical quacks steal about $25 billion a year from people desperate for cure from cancer, balding, overweight and general ill health according to Victor Herbert, professor of medicine at Mt. Sinai says that
COSTS OF WHITE COLLAR CRIME White collar crime costs clients and customers an estimated $40 to 200 billion dollars per year according to Robert Spence, head of the F.B.I. in the Rocky Mountain region. His boss, Oliver Revell, F.B.I. Investigations chief, put the figure at from $100 to 200 billion.
Bruce Black, U.S. attorney in Denver says that white collar crime has increased dramatically in the past five years (1982-87). The office of the U.S. Attorney has twelve agents in Denver...they spend about 50% of their time on white collar crime.
Bank fraud and embezzlement has tripled from $342 million in 1984 to 1.1 billion in 1986. Between June, 1986 and June, 1988, 30 states filed charges against 79 financial planners who stole $397 million from 22,100 investors...or about $5 million per case (USAToday: 26 July, '88). Each investor lost an average of about $1800.00. The average street crime takes in less than $100.00.
Employees of contractors took some $1.1 billion dollars from their employer in the form of equipment, materials, vandalism and sabotage. The sabotage occurs when contractors replace union workers with cheaper nonunion workers.
The F.B.I. has recently increased the number of agents working on white collar crime to 1500 agents or about 1/5 of the force. That is an increase of some 500 new agents or a 30% per cent increase.
The F.B.I. lists three WCC priorities:
*crimes against the federal government, e.g.:
-bribes for government contracts
-defense contractor overcharges
-home mortgage skimmers
*bank fraud, e.g.:
-false loan information
-fraudulent bankruptcy by contractors
-embezzlement by insiders
-laundering drug money
*mail and telephone fraud
-credit card sales
-stock market fraud
COMPARISONS While the costs of White collar crime in terms of dollars stolen is often estimated, there is little effort to record the lives lost by white collar crime. There are some critics of the service-for-fee form of medical practice who would argue that there are thousands who die from unnecessary operations, from exclusion from medical care, from interaction of prescribed drugs for the same patient, and from other forms of malpractice. The infant mortality rates of minority children add thousands more to these data. In any decent system of accounting, these unnecessary deaths should be registered as crime somewhere.
COMPARATIVE ESTIMATES OF CRIME COSTS
Kind of Crime
White Collar Crime
30 to 75 Billions
tens of thousands
less than $2 billions
more than $200 billions
around $150 Billions
Trillions and trillions
*These estimates come from David Simon and E. Stanley Eitzen 1982 Elite Deviance. Boston: Allyn & Bacon; Ray Michalowski, 1985 Order, Law and Crime. New York: Random House; J. Reiman, 1984 The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison. New York: John Wiley and Company and Jon Frappier, 1985, Above the Law: Violations of International Law by the US Government from Truman to Reagan, in Crime and Social Justice, No. 21-22. Spring.
Social Costs Not all of the costs of white collar crime can be measured in dollars. There are other costs which may be much more damaging to the social process:
*cynicism. Cynicism increases when violations of social power abound. One feels that one can trust no one except one's close friends and family. One thinks that everyone else is dishonest. One acts as though one can't trust others...and without trust, the social process is dead in the water.
*social conflict. When people discover that they are the victims of white collar crime, they try to get even. Much of the increase in suits and suing arise from the betrayal of trust between doctors and patients, lawyers and clients or companies and customers.
*social change. When they are victims of white collar crime, people change from doctor to doctor; from bank to bank from job to job. Eventually, this crime accumulates forcing more government control or entirely new social formations. It can lead to fascism or to democratic socialism.
White collar crime can best be understood in terms of the dynamics of a competitive system of production and distribution oriented to privatized accumulation and consumption.
There are several factors which converge to push well socialized, conservative, religious hard working people into a variety of crimes in which the trust and honor to which they are accorded are betrayed.
*life style needs: real and false
*life crises: divorce, illness, accidents
*economic cycles and market fluctuations
*retirement needs (real or false)
*existential anger at company or company officers
*modeling for crime by corporate practices
*gambling and/or drug expenses
While street thugs use physical power to meet their real and false needs in pretheoretical ways, white collar workers use the social power of their status to accumulate wealth in pretheoretical ways.
The dynamics of life in advanced capitalist societies promote white collar crime by life style needs and threats to that life style of the middle class.
Life Style It costs a lot to maintain a middle class life style. A house costs between $100K and $400K to buy. In San Jose, California, an entry level house costs $200,000 in 1988. This is the cheapest house one could buy and still claim to have a middle class life style. In North Dallas, houses go for 1-4 millions or more.
Upper middle class professionals believe that they must live in housing costing 2, 3, 5 or more millions of dollars. Such a house must be furnished with additional millions in furniture, art, pools and other amenities.
Upkeep and operating it can cost $10,000 per year for utilities, phones, lawn care, taxes, insurance, cleaning services and repair. Each middle class family provides a car for each member...$25,000 is not an uncommon price for such vehicles.
Membership in country clubs cost from $2000 up. Dining out runs $4000 up. Vacations abroad run $5000 or so. Clothing costs several thousands. The new electronics run $1000 per device...with a radio in every area; several T.V.s, stereos, C.D.s, computers, microwaves, refrigerators, and phones (one for every child), the white collar class has a lot of expenses.
$50,000 family income per year is about the minimum needed to pretend to middle class status today. Couples, both working, in their late 30s can begin to put together such a life style. There are about 40 million such households. About 10 million can weather any economic storm. The rest are vulnerable to unexpected crises and economic slumps.
Life Crises Unexpected crises can threaten life style. Catastrophic illness of parents, spouse or children; cutbacks in federal funding; divorce are some of the crises which can impel an otherwise law abiding citizen to steal from the clients who trust them or from the firms which employ them.
Divorce is the most frequent crisis with economic consequences. About 30% of that class will be divorced one or more times. Each divorce costs both emotional distress and economic stress. It may costs thousands to divorce especially if there is dispute over children or property. Each party sees a sharp fall in income: men have about 1/3 and women about 1/2 of their former income level after divorce.
It takes about 3 years to recover emotionally from such trauma. When one is emotionally upset...and pressured to maintain a life style, one might do things that ordinarily would be unthinkable.
Many men simply stop paying child support and alimony in order to maintain their life style. Only 10% or so honor the divorce decree. When they meet another woman or remarry, they often fail to pay child support. They are white collar criminals betraying the people who love and trust them.
White collar workers embezzle funds; doctors perform unnecessary surgery; self employed persons claim illegal tax deductions; stock brokers 'roll over' the investment accounts of clients for the commission; landlords hire arsonists to burn dilapidated property; salestaff bribe government officials for contracts; or take bribes from salespersons.
Life crises can lead clerks to systematically pilfer from cash boxes, induce professors to use state property for privately paid consulting and tempt homeowners to make fraudulent insurance claims. Trustees raid the accounts of widows and orphans; small business owners keep the sales tax or the FICA tax. All this and much, much more to keep up appearances.
Economic Cycles Minicycles come every 3 to 5 years. Kutznets cycles have 15 year repeats and Kondratieff cycles come every 30-50 years or so.
These recessions threaten the life style of the Yuppies and the Dinks (double income; no kids). And then too, the USA and your generation is now on the downside of a vast Kondratieff cycle while your parents and grandparents lived during the upturn after WWII.
Those college graduates born in the 30's and 40's benefited greatly from the economic expansion of the 60's and 70's. Those in the baby boom in the late 40s are now into their late 30s and early 40s. Both groups found good job opportunities, regular promotions and income increases; now they will be hard pressed by the fall of the American empire. They will be laid off; lose jobs; lose fringe benefits; lose yearly wage increases and lose profit share. The present generation of college students will face more competition for jobs, adopt conservative politics, and have to expect a lower life style.
The market crash of October, 1987 wiped out 1/4 of the book value of the 25 or so million investors who own most of America. The stories of crime and fraud which came out of that were legion. It was small investors living at the margin of the market who suffered most. Many had borrowed from the broker to buy on margin. They could not come up with the funds after the crash. Many left the market permanently.
Many property owners lost rental income as workers are laid off. For those who hold four or five mortgages or income properties, loss of one would cut income by 25% or so. Bankruptcy of home and business is as high as in the crash of 1929. One gets desperate as one is about to lose one's business or home. Looking around for quick money sources, the middle class sees the clients they serve or the companies for which they work.
With deregulation of air travel, trucking, buses, and banks, competition increased and profits dropped. Airlines squeezed their pilots, mechanics, and stewardesses. A pilot who had made $90,000 a year, with a new wife, alimony, two kids in college and a $2000 monthly mortgage payment soon exhausted his savings when his wages dropped to $60,000.
Government Cutbacks When the aerospace programs were cut back; thousands of engineers and managers were laid off in Washington State, California, Texas, and Colorado.
*In Marietta, Georgia Lockheed Corporation plans to fire 8,000 people in 1988. Lockheed has finished a $6.9 billion dollar contract with the Pentagon to build 50 C-5B transport planes for the Air Force.
*The federal funds for Star Wars has been cut back disemploying thousands of engineers and managers in western Washington State in 1988.
*The Interstate Highway #25 from Cheyenne to Albuquerque contains hundreds of defense industries and military bases. These workers will lose their jobs in the 1990s as the federal deficits deepen.
In the current fiscal crisis of the capitalist state, police forces are reduced; social workers are laid off; professors are not rehired; school teachers are fired; while bridges, roads, dams, sewage systems or parks are not repaired.
The fiscal crisis of America today comes from loss of markets overseas to Germany, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Taiwan, South Africa, and Sweden. Without markets, the factories stop, the workers are laid off, the small businesses close and the white collar class shrinks.
Disemployment When America lost control of the computer industry to Korea, Taiwan and Japan, thousands lost jobs. When labor intensive companies such as General Electric, Zenith, Hewlett-Packard, and Levi-Strauss moved jobs to Mexico, the Philippines, or to Hong Kong, blue collar workers lost their jobs while owners of shops and stores which depend upon them declined.
Profits from domestic capital have been falling since 1945. Cutting labor costs is a major solution to falling profits for the capitalist class. At first, it was blue collar jobs which were automated. But now managers are trying to eliminate the higher paying white collar jobs.
Dividends depend on more than profits...in the 1990's, globalization of capital meant a lot more wealthy people had access to US stocks and drove up prices. Social Security problems mean that more and more people invest in mutual funds in the stock market. Dictators, corrupt politicians and organized crime figures in the 3rd world like nothing more than to invest money in
The computer industry promises to eliminate thousands of architects, doctors, professors, and engineers. Computer driven software can design, diagnose, teach, and test. A few computer programmers and a few professors can replace thousands of highly paid faculty.
Inflation White collar workers have lost real wages since about 1967. In the Carter years, inflation ran to 6, 8, and 10% per year. For many middle class people, inflation was a bonanza. The house for which they paid $15,000 became worth $95,000 in 20 years of inflation. For those who had borrowed 1967 dollars and repaid 1987 dollars, inflation paid off. But for millions of families, inflation hurts.
Inflation is the result of:
**price fixing by companies.
**government borrowing and deficit spending thus driving up interest rates for everybody.
**mercenary unions conspiring with companies to pass on wage increases to consumers;
**governments raising trade barriers to protect their own capitalists;
**millions of people entering the credit market with charge cards;
and a result of:
** 3rd world cartels increasing prices of natural resources such as oil, tin, copper, and bauxite.
**hundreds of thousands of elites in 3rd world countries move their wealth to America for 'safe keeping' and higher interest rates.
All these factors drive up the costs of goods, services and money. All tend to push good solid citizens to commit crime against those who place them in a position of trust.
Retirement Needs Doctors overcut, overbill and overpush drugs in order to create a portfolio which will see them through their senior years in their customary life style. In order to maintain a hundred thousand dollar per year lifestyle, one must have an investment portfolio of about 1.5 million dollars.
The top social security check runs to $14,000 per year . Social Security checks suffice for the poor but not for the middle income professionals.
Those in real estate, auto repair, stock brokerage, law, and small shopkeeping are in an especially precarious position. They must accumulate an estate or $700,000.00 or so if they are to maintain their lower middle class lifestyle. In the social position they occupy, they cheat customers, evade taxes, exploit workers, and bribe officials to survive and to build a portfolio.
Existential Anger Many white collar thieves justify their embezzlement, fraud, conversion, theft or other exploitation of their position of trust by pointing to the many betrayals, denials, and insults given them by management.
Passed over for promotion, denied pay raises in a time of inflation, forced to commit crimes on behalf of the company against customers and competitors, or simply ignored when doing good work, employees become very angry about work. Some take their anger home to vent it on their family; some become depressed; some lose immunity and become ill. Some take justice into their own hands and pay themselves what the company did not pay them.
Sexist drives some of the existential anger experienced by women. Long on the job, they find they are asked to train young men just out of college so the men can rise to middle management jobs...while the women continue as clerks and supervisors. Since 1980, embezzlement ceased to be a male preserve...female embezzlers now out-number male embezzles...no great accomplishment perhaps, but understandable.
In the politics of the university, professors scurry around for pay raises and resent it deeply when a colleague gets a big salary increase with less work. Women in American firms are passed over for promotion. Quiet and competent workers are taken for granted for years by management.
The Corporate Model A corporation which uses crime as a pathway to profit provides a model for the behavior of employees. Such modeling tends to shape the criminal behavior of those employees who have life style problems.
Corporate Crime tends to justify crime of those employees who have life crises.
Middle level employees who must instruct sales personnel in how to bait and switch the customer; those who write the false and misleading ads; those who control the valves which dump toxic wastes into rivers and streams; those employees who try to cool out customers defrauded by warranties and guaranties...all these employees have made an epistemological break with prosocial behavior on behalf of the corporation for which they work...it is a simple thing to break faith with the company itself and to thieve from the bigger thief.
From the Dictionary of the Disenchanted:
Doctor: noun; a physician who is gravely ill of greed and who cannot heal himself except with an overdose of greenbacks.
A structural theory of crime emphasizes the social conditions in which it makes sense to engage in predatory economic behavior. For most of human history, such conditions involved a small circle of people. In these times, the sources of crime...including white collar crime...come from the capitalist world system.
Changes in the 3rd World There are several developments in the 3rd world which affect the American economy and the likiehood that economic problems will increase. These economic problems affect white collar workers directly if they work in areas dependent upon 3rd world exports or imports. White collar people are affected indirectly if blue collar workers are disemployed and cannot afford the services of white collar professionals.
The changes now going on in the 3rd world include a monumental shift in the international division of labor as well as the disinvestment of capital in America and reinvestment in the 3rd world as well as producers cartels which are constantly forming and reforming. There is also the fairly rapid transformation of 3rd world economies to more socialist models since WWII.
When a 3rd world country converts its economy into a socialist economy, their governments restrict the rights of 1st world capitalists to take raw materials out of the country at low prices. They restrict the exploitation of workers by foreigner capital. They try to keep as much of the profits as possible in the country to provide free health care, free schooling, low cost housing and low cost transport.
The fiscal crisis in America comes from the producers in the 3rd world trying to reverse the flow of wealth from the poorest countries in the world to the richest. Cartels in oil, bauxite, copper, coffee, tin, gold, chromium, tea, sugar, and hundreds of other cartels drive up prices and lower profits of American companies.
The fiscal crisis of America comes when American capitalists desert American workers for cheap labor overseas. Without jobs, blue collar workers cannot support the white collar class. The white collar workers who see the future become desperate to defend against it.
Without overseas markets, profits, and cheap labor, American capitalism slides into a major depression. The golden years of American capitalism change into the frantic years of American militancy. The middle class falters...some turn to crime to keep up the good life.
The profit motive drives the capitalist class to the 3rd world workers as unions drive up wages and improve worker safety in the first world. If you were a capitalist, you would rather pay a woman in Mexico $2.00 an hour than a male in the USA $13.00 per hour. You would rather pay a farm worker $4.00 a day in Guatemala than $4.00 an hour in California. You would rather put a factory in India where few safety regulations are enforced rather than in Indiana where some are enforced. You would rather have a chemical factory in Haiti where there are no pollution controls than in Colorado where there are some. All this is part of the economic transformations of the world capitalist system.
Every time a factory moves from Michigan to Mexico, blue collar workers are disemployed and the middle class which sells to them, insures them, or controls them is disemployed too.
These are the sources of white collar crime. It is not child rearing practices, bad mothering, or lack of religion, inferior genes or white skin that produces white collar crime. Nor is it differential association with crooks that produces white collar crime.. Middle class criminals are bright enough to figure out how to steal without a lot of instruction.
WHITE COLLAR CRIMINALS In the rest of this Lecture, you will have a closer look at white collar crime in the church, among the police and in politics. In the next Lecture, we will look at white collar crime in sports, medicine, and in the university.
Bank Fraud In 1987, the bank failure rate reached epidemic proportions. Of the 300 or so bank closures, over 50% were the result of bank fraud. In the state of Colorado there are 194 banks, 89 industrial banks, 106 credit unions and five trust companies which handle the money of depositors. 13 of these closed in 1987. 9000 depositors have lost access to over 43 millions dollars.
Apart from bad management...a category that covers a variety of misdeeds, government officials report the following crimes as the cause of the record numbers of bank failures in the 1980's:
*awarding bank officers high bonuses in bad years
*making loans to officers and friends with low rates
*making loans to officers and friends with little collateral
*false charges to dormant accounts or downright looting of them
*lending more money than reserves permit under the federal or state law
*falsifying interest rates by misleading advertizing
*bribing government officials to deposit public funds with little or no interest
The personal factors mentioned earlier: false needs, aberrant individualism, life crises, life style, retirement security combine to produce the crimes above. During good times, profits from the exploitation of the money market can cover these crimes. The bank quietly makes good on those crimes detected.
In the short term cycles of capitalism, few banks fail from poor management and inside crime. However, in the Kondratieff cycles, the structural position of banks (as with all business) gets worst...and these crimes contribute to bank failure.
Internationalizing Bank Fraud We enter now on the downside of a vast Kondratieff cycle. American hegemony in the world capitalist system has been greatly diminished. Of the top ten banks in the world in 1965, seven were American and 1, Japanese. In 1988, 9 of the top ten banks are Japanese and 1, American.
The 3rd world nations, deeply in debt to Japanese, American, and European banks, are unable to pay the interest let alone the principle of that debt. Without the rich profits from the poorest countries in the world, American banks must rely on profits from American customers.
Competition at home tends to drive down such profits. Regulation by the state tends to drive down such profits. Crime by trusted officers tends to drive down profits. Banks tend to fail under these structural conditions. When a bank faces trouble, bank officers must do something or lose their jobs. Some steal from customers.
It is the structure of the capitalist system which explains this kind of white collar crime...not genes, body chemistry, childhood socialization in morality, or other personal causes.Most white collar crime is committed by the top executives of a firm. Clerks and janitors steal hundreds; presidents and managers steal thousands.
There are several private security agencies which specialize in the crimes of top executives against the corporations for which they work.
Jules Kroll Associates investigates offerings of public securities crime. He charges underwriting firms up to a million dollars for protecting the offerings from leaks. Such offerings usually exceed $100 million.
A leak can produce huge profits for the friends and families of insiders. Wall Street is full of 'self-made' millionaires who got that way from using the confidential information about financial plans and problems of the corporate clients of such firms.
William Callahan, a former Justice Department lawyer, founded Unitel, an private police agency in New York, to detect and control white collar crime by senior executives. He says that he has never been busier. His five investigators are handling 30 major cases. He charges $100 per hour.
Their work includes:
*recovery of embezzled funds and stolen goods
*protection of industrial secrets
*name brand counterfeiters
*debugging financial offices
*spying on unfriendly corporate raiders
The amount of patent stealing in the USA corporate world from each other is matched only by the stealing of trade secrets, patents, copyrights, and name brand counterfeiting by companies in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore.
The 1988 case of Pentagon fraud involved thousands of contracts, billions of dollars and hundreds of individuals. Those at the top of the procurement process took millions of dollars in bribes.
The Procurement Fraud Unit of the Justice department had 680 cases of fraud presented to it in 1985-87. They acted on 211 cases and shelved the others. Top officials in the Justice Department, appointed by the Reagan team, discouraged such investigation [USAToday: June 22:4a; The MacNeil-Lerher Report, PBS: 22 June, 1988].
In the small congregations of America, there is an occasional theft by church members and church employees; an occasional conversion of church property to private use by a pastor and, rarely, crimes against the person.
There have always been scoundrels who exploit the religious needs and human agonies of a society. Faith healers, revival hucksters, merchants of religious relics, false prophets and phony ministers have been known throughout the history of every major religion. However, the new electronics technology together with computer mailing provides the tools to do great harm.
Televangelic Crime The mass electronic church is the place here most white collar crime is found in these times. Jimmy and Tammy Bakker is a recent cases which was well publicized. They collect millions from their television audience; they have been charged with fraud and misuse of those funds.
On any given Sunday, you can listen to hucksters threatening believers with Hell fire and damnation if they do not send in every spare dollar they have. Jimmy Swaggart was very persuasive until he was found purchasing sexual services from a prostitute.
Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, Pat Robertson and a dozen other Christian ministers pioneered the use of television with which to bring the Word of God to the millions of lonely, isolated, searching souls in need of guidance and consolation. Their ministry was well intentioned.
The problems of religious crime begin with the resources needed for the use of the high technology of mass, electronics preaching. A television station can easily cost 50 millions to buy and several million a year to run.
There are the expenses of publishing and mailing the vast millions of appeals for donations from computer based electronic mailing lists. There are the costs of a large business with dozens, even hundreds of employees needing medical insurance, vacation benefits, social security as well as decent wages.
In a mass society, electronic ministers don't know the people they harm personally; they do not see the pain and poverty in which their listeners. Being distant from their listeners in terms of social and geographical space, it is easier to exploit them through mass mailings and televised appeals.
Finally there is the distortions of power that corrupt the evangelist. With so much moral power, social power, and economic power vested in the person of the preacher, it is easy for one to come to think of oneself as beyond the law...as one on a holy mission.
In order the raise the funds necessary to an electronic ministry, the televangelists try to provide a product which, in their view, will bring in 'freewill' offerings. To the eleven million or so fundamentalist Christians, to the additional 25 million devout Christians in the USA and Canada, these products seem worth the $18 contribution which the average communicant sends in.
Selected Cases Those who are interested in exploiting the religious consciousness of others know that the money spent on radio and television advertizing or the funds spent for mass mailing will bring in 3, 4, or 10 times that amount in donations. There are consulting corporations to design the appeal, broadcast it, collect the money and share it with the televangelist. With generous payments to themselves, about 97% of the monies collected are spent while about 3% go to the causes listed in the appeal.
*In Toronto, hundreds of people have received letters which tell them that they will suffer the agonies of Hell if they do not send money to one televangelist.
*In Ft. Worth, devout Christians are told that they can get a xerox copy of the handprints of one popular minister by making a freewill donation. The xerox copy of the ministers' hands can be placed on the afflicted part of the body and it will receive the healing grace of Jesus Christ.
*In Denver, those who listen to the Sunday services on the radio can send in for a free piece of cloth blessed by God; a genuine copy of the robe that Christ wore to the crucifixion.
*Those who listen to the Jimmy Swaggart hour on Religious T.V. can send money into save the life of children in Haiti who are starving and in need of prayer. Swaggart swears that every dime goes to the children. He asks for donations of $40 per child showing a picture of a Black child with a tear in his eye. PBS sent a reporter to Haiti and found that the ministry spent an average of 50 cents per child per month; 1/8th of what Swaggart told the viewing audience the children received.
PBS reported that of the $13 million collected for the children's fund by Swaggart, not more than a million found its way there.
*Pat Robertson used millions from his electronic ministry to fund his presidential campaign. His accountants told the PBS reporters that they were concerned that Robertson had crossed the line between what the law permitted and how the funds were used.
*Many T.V. preachers tell unknown others that they can double and triple the amount sent in to the teleministry. One evangelist demands that his listeners send in their biggest check and God will repay them tenfold.
*Jimmy Bakker uses testimonials to prove that God will enrich those who send in money. One couple said they sent in $100 and got an unexpected check for $25,000 dollars three days later. Bakker did not mention the hundreds who sent money and received nothing.
Another man testified that he had sent in $25 and soon after inherited several million dollars. He did not think to question why God would end the life of a rich uncle in order to reward him for his small gift to Bakker's ministry.
The stories of such goods and services available to help and to heal are heard everywhere by the millions who support the electronic ministries. As with the numbers game, the state lotteries and other forms of gambling, the small price is worth the chance. Without the chance, there is little hope of surcease from pain, forgiveness of sin, or help for those desperate for help.
Given their social position, the police have an extraordinary opportunity to engage in white collar crime. Entrusted with the enforcement of law, engaged in day to day contact with criminals, and faced with offers from desperate men and women, police officers have a great deal of temptation put in their way.
Other factors enter into the structural conditions of police crime. They include the same set of false needs manufactured by advertizing; the same need to build an estate for additional retirement benefits; the same life crises (divorce is very high among police families) and not least, a police culture in which police protect each other from the chain of command, from the public and from the Office of Internal Affairs which police the crime of police.
One can get some idea of the range of crimes committed by police officers from the history of the notorious 77th precinct in Brooklyn. Several dozen police officers engaged in the following crimes:
*robbing narcotics dealers
*offering protection to other dealers
*taking merchandise from burglarized stores
*selling confiscated drugs on the street
*seeking sexual favors from prostitutes
*theft of equipment from the police station
In New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, and Los Angeles, teams of criminal police officers have been detected engaged in many of the same crimes.
Detroit police crime increased 25% from 1986 to 1988 while complaints against specific police officers increased 43% (AP: 20 Feb., '89). Among the crimes officers were alleged to commit are rape, car theft, insurance fraud, cocaine and heroin possession, armed robbery and contracting for murder. The office of the Prosecuting Attorney said that these are new and different crimes from those that used to be charged against police: excessive force, theft from burglarized places, conversion of city property and driving violations.
In the South, police often use violence on minorities as part of the institutional coercion which reproduces racism. Abdul-Mu'min, a sociologist at Riverside, California found that 60% of the people killed by police were Black. Police killings of Blacks increased as lynchings declined in America. Abdul-Mu'min (1983: 3) regards police killings since 1952 as the new form of street justice used to control the Black population.
Solutions to Police Crime The radical solution to police crime is to locate the policing function in the community itself. There are several specific suggestions in the last Lecture from the work of Peter Iadicola at the University of Indiana in Fort Wayne.
Iadicola suggests that citizen patrols, lay judges, and citizen councils be used to control crime in the neighborhood. Such suggestions are part of the radical democracy of the church, the workplace, the school and the community which locates morality widely throughout a population rather than in the hands of an elite.
The story of American unions and white collar crime is not a pretty one. Some unions are controlled by organized crime figures. Some cooperate with organized crime. Some have leaders who are criminals. Some are criminal unions. The leaders get rich by selling 'sweetheart contracts' to trucking and automotive corporations, by demanding kickbacks on group insurance policies, by setting up companies to sell things to the union or by lending millions of dollars in union funds to themselves or to friends at low rates.
Selected Cases The teamsters' leaders are into every imaginable kind of crime from taking payoffs from owners to keep wages and fringe benefits down to taking bribes from insurance companies for the health care the union provides for its members.
*Jimmy Hoffa and his predecessors eliminated the socialist labor leaders who started the union for truck drivers. The socialist leaders were too radical and too honest...they would not cooperate with the owners nor would they enter into a conspiracy to make labor peace at the expense of the customers of the trucking industry.
Abraham Gordon and Murray Baratz, officers of Teamsters Local 805 forced Sony, Matsushite, Hitachi and Toshiba to make payoffs to them for guarantees of labor peace. The officers would not permit its members to strike or demand better wages, safer working conditions or better retirement programs.
*Teamsters Local 626 in California forced Pronto truck company to pay each of its officers $500 per month for labor peace. For the money, Local 626 put other trucking companies out of business leaving Pronto a monopoly in the meat trucking trade.
*Seatrain, the largest container company in the free world, paid Teamsters Local 560 of New Jersey and the Provenzano family who ran the Local over $1 million over six years for labor peace.
*The ILAO, International Longshoremen's Association used to be run by honest but aggressive socialist labor leaders. The US government cleaned them out. Now the ILA is run by the Mafia. From New York to Miami to Mobile, the officers of the ILA determine who gets access to the waterfront. The union offers labor peace, sweetheart contracts, freedom from theft, protection from damage, and reasonable productivity from the workers.
*The members of the United Food and commercial Workers union are paid $9.50 an hour plus fringe benefits. Country Wide Personnel, owned by a mafia figure, Eugene Boffa, offers meat cutters at $6.50 per hour and no benefits. It is a union in name only.
Boffa sold out the workers in other industries as well. He had contracts with Continental Can Co. and Crown Zellerbach.
*The meatcutters union was sold out by organized crime figures who controlled it to Holly Farms and to the Iowa Beef Processors. These meat companies cut up chicken and beef before it went to the stores...putting local meatcutters out of work. The union leaders agreed to let precut meat into eastern cities for a price.
*George Boylan of Local No. 5 of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers extorted more than $1 million over ten years from six construction companies in New York. You paid him or he shut you down with a strike.
Crooked union officers emerge out of a social context marked by individualism, false needs, materialism, accumulation and the culture of violence in which they daily live. Dishonest labor union leaders are cheaper to deal with than are honest but aggressive labor leaders. Dishonest leaders do not threaten the capitalist system as do socialist leaders.
Crooked unions emerge in a social context in which the union movement is interested only in economic gains for themselves at the expense of nonunion workers and the expense of consumers. They join with the corporation to exploit the marketplace.
Computer Crime. Captain Zap, a.k.a. Ian Murphy, was the leading computer criminal in the USA...until he was caught. Among other misuses of his computer, he rang up $212,000 in illegal phone charges, ordered over $200,000 worth of goods via computer, entered Temple University computer facility (one of the best in the world) to play space games, pried into a credit rating service to look at the records, got a list that showed targeted cities of Russian missiles, and charged long distance calls to the White House. He was sentenced to 1000 hours of community service and 2 1/2 years probation for his many crimes.
Murphy now makes between $800 to $1200 a day consulting firms about how to make their computer operations secure from hackers, industrial spies of competitors, employees and other unfriendlies.
With the vast increase in telenet marketing, opportunities for computer crime explode. While no one collects data as yet, I expect that computer marketing crime exceeds the take of street thugs by orders of magnitude.
In 1999, a single computer virus cost corporations over a hundred million dollars to 'cure'. Small minded vandals make large trouble on the internet....for everyone.
Selected Cases The ingenuity with which people use computers to steal from each other is testimony to the genius of human beings...and to the conflict relations which beset the computer industry.
*An inmate of Parchman prison used the computer class there to sell 100,000 pounds of cotton and tried to access prison records in order to get early release to enjoy the proceeds from the sale...he was serving 30 years.
*Herbert Zinn, 17, downloaded almost $1,000,000 dollars in software from AT&T before being caught.
*University professors in business, sociology, psychology and other departments routinely steal software from their departments for personal use; they violate the licensing agreement for word processing, spread sheets, income tax and game software for their children and for themselves.
*Stanley Rifkin transferred $10.2 million from a California bank to his New York account. The accounting firm of Ernst and Whinney in New York estimates computer crime at 3 billion dollars.
*Of the 5000 computer bulletin boards in the United States, William Tener, a hacker-tracker, thinks that 2,000 of them are hacker boards. Someone finds a way to make free long distance calls on Sprint or on the Bell system and enters the code breaker on a bulletin board in New York. The news is passed from bulletin board to bulletin board and in a matter of days is on a bulletin board in Eugene, Oregon. Within hours of breaking into a phone system, hundreds of hackers will try the number.
*Softsave, A Canadian company sold about 1000 disks a day without paying royalties to the holders of copyrights and patents: IBM, Microsoft, Ashton-Tate, Lotus and other software producers. These disks were sold for $10 instead of $50, $100 or more. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police seized hundreds of copies of such software programs in a 1987 raid.
*17 people in 13 states were arrested in April, 1988 for using a computer to locate access codes on U.S. Sprint, MCI, ITT, Allnet and TriTel corporations. They programmed a computer to dial numbers sequentially until an access number was hit. They sold the access codes for $80 per month to thousands of people. The total take was set at about $125 million.
*One of the most popular targets of computer crime is TRW Inc. TRW is a company in Los Angeles which keeps credit records on 130 million individuals and on 11 million companies.
Stock brokers would like to know the credit record of any of the thousands of companies listed on the three stock exchanges. Such inside news could be worth millions. Corporations would like to know the financial records of people they hire.
Insurance companies pay to get information about the medical problems of people who apply for a policy. They would rather get it free.
Companies would like to know the amount competitors bid on a billion dollar contract with the U.S. Post Office.
Thieves would like to find out the credit limit on a credit card they stole from some one else.
*Students break into the Admissions and Records computer and give themselves a lot of A's and B's to show their parents...and future employers.
*Corporations break into the computer files of competitors to steal secrets about new products and new designs.
Computer crime costs software companies hundreds of millions and the commercial users of computer-based data control, hundreds of millions more. The total costs are not known but some estimates of computer crime are available.
Structural Computer Crime Any discussion of computer crime must
focus upon the
economic and political structures which produce the harm done to workers in electronics; upon the harm done to communities as jobs are moved to the 3rd world and to the violence used in the 3rd world to keep wages down. Keep this section in mind when you read of crimes of employers against employees and when you read the Lecture on political crime in the 3rd world.
Working conditions harm the health of data entry people. There is a growing body of evidence that serious vision problems develop within three years for those who sit 8 hours a day feeding data into computer banks.
The miscarriage rate of women who work with computers is 3 times normal. There are many back problems as well as tension headaches for such workers.
Suffolk County in New York enacted the first VDT law to protect workers' health. It requires better lighting, better seating, better terminals as well as 15 minute break every 3 hours [instead of every four]. Corporations must pay 80% of eye care costs. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company which employees hundreds of such workers, says it will move to counties which permit it to control the work process as it wishes.
The flight of the computer industry from the USA to Mexico, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Singapore, Taiwan and other cheap labor countries is a structural crime at both ends of the move: it disemploys thousands in the USA and it exploits more thousands in the 3rd world.
This practice is not unique to the computer industry...it occurs in all labor intensive industries. Computer firms have lead the way in deserting workers and cities which built them, however. It is the impersonal drive for lower costs and higher profits which pushes structural crime in the computer industry.
Monumental political crimes are committed by local governments in the attempt to keep wages down for the MNC computer and other corporations. The death squads in El Salvador are used to eliminate union leaders there. The communist movement in the Philippine Islands arose to help farmers and workers there. The riots in Korea in 1988 are, in part, fueled by the wages and working conditions found there.
More Electronic Crime. There are thousands of law abiding folks who steal television signals from the dozen or so companies which offer cable television. The signals are pirated with dish antennas focussed on a satellite broadcasting movies, sports events, news, weather, medical information and money advice.
People also tape football games, old movies, and Masterpiece theatre from television. The property rights to these programs are owned by media corporations. One must pay for the right to tape them.
Professors also violate copyright laws by taping and showing televised documentaries in psychology, history and sociology classes. This is a violation of the copyright given to some company by the government of the USA.
Bars, restaurants, dance halls, and other public places routinely steal from composers, musicians and publishing companies when they play tunes without sending in the few cents per play required by law.
To some extent, this theft is social banditry...stealing from the rich. But still it is crime and still it cannot be explained by the usual theories of crime which focus on the behavior we don't like of people we don't like.
The structural problem is that it is very hard to police electronic crime. When the capitalist state gives title and legal protection to a set of electronic signals, those signals obey the laws of physics...not the laws of bourgeois property. The signals are in space and radiate in all directions. They do not go just to the homes and bars which pay for the signal.
More generally, it is difficult to establish and maintain a claim to ownership of any kind of knowledge. Knowledge does not have a physical base which can be locked in a warehouse or keep in a store.
The effort to restrict any knowledge set to just those people who can and do pay a fee for use is itself a violation of the radical democracy of knowledge. Knowledge and the electronic signals into which knowledge is encoded do not lend themselves to the rules of profit and the marketplace.
But the theft of such information with dish antennas or with video tape recorders is pretheoretical rebellion and resistance. A theoretically informed response to such marketplace limitations on ideas or programs would be to vest ownership rights in the public domain and to distribute that information on the basis of need rather than profit.
The Cost of Computer Crime The FBI says the average computer crime is $600,000. That is high compared to other kinds of fraud which average $23,000. In Florida, the average street crime nets under $50.
It costs about $15,000 to investigate a computer crime. The cost of the crime can run from $20,000 to $50,000 and more. One case involved the destruction of computer files which cost over $1 million to replace.
Sales of computer security products and services cost companies about $500,000,000 in 1988; by 1992 it is predicted to increase to $950,000,000.
THEORY OF COMPUTER CRIME In conflict ridden societies, there are many obstacles to the free use of information. Capitalists withhold knowledge until they get a profit. Patent law, copyright law, licensing law and contract law all give 'owners' of information a legal basis for withholding it.
Computer crime and most other electronic crime are pretheoretical efforts to obtain information.
Creation and dissemination of computer virus is not unlike the Luddite smashing of old...both are pre-theoretical efforts at stopping things that can't be stopped by individual effort.
There is some resemblance to the practice of the US Army in the late 1800's giving blankets and other materials infected with measles and small pox...viruses against which Original Americans had little immunity.
Nations which prey on other nations want as much information about their potential victims as possible and try to withhold as much information from the 'enemy' as possible. The best and most expensive information technology in the world is owned and operated by a supersecret agency of the U.S. government. It monitors electronic messages within and between most of the other nations in the world.
Conflict and Information Flow Modern systems theory teaches us that, in principle, all information flows freely WITHIN the boundaries of a social system. If there are barriers to the flow of information, those barriers define the boundaries of the system. People who are inside the boundaries are given free access to the information and may use it to their own advantage as long as personal advantage is compatible with collective goals and needs.
In conflict relationships, information must be protected from the enemy; class enemies, national enemies, racial minorities and others who might try to destroy or to change the system.
In a society with mass marketing, mass religion, mass education or mass politics, computers become the best place to store and retrieve information about customers, competitors, and employees. Vast amounts of information about individuals, groups and nations can be stored, manipulated, and retrieved. The amount of information a Cray computer can process staggers the imagination. The amount of information a simple compact disk can store is even more amazing...something on the order of 70,000 books on one disk.
Small wonder that computers have replace clay tablets, smoke signals, tying knots, whistling, and books and moveable type as the preferred information storage and retrieval technology. Small wonder that those who are in conflict with the goals of a corporation, a professional group, a class of people or a whole nation would like to break and enter such information storage banks.
The original hackers were the Robin Hoods of modern technology. They tried to redistribute knowledge and make it available to the entire community of computer users. The modern hacker is simply a white collar thief who wants to profit from the labor of another person without reciprocity.
The radical solution would be to eliminate the property rights of the private owner and invest the ownership rights to information in the entire community. Then information would be distributed on the basis of need to know and to use rather than upon profit.
Parental Crime. About 1 in 10 parents pay the full amount for which they are legally responsible. They usually pay a few months, get behind and then quit paying. When the parent remarries, the money goes to the second family rather than the first. This white collar crime cuts across all class lines but is mostly a middle class crime.
In this section, you can get some idea of how much parents, mostly fathers steal from their children in the pursuit of their own individualized life style needs.
The courts collected some $3.5 billions in delinquent child support payments from the parent, usually a father, who failed to obey a court order for child support. The states with the most white collar parental crime are:
--New Mexico 2.8% of the amount due was
--Wyoming 5.0 collected
Even in the best states, the custodian of divorced children received less than 60% of the amount ordered paid by courts.
--Connecticut 59.5% of the amount due paid
--North Dakota 53.4
--Rhode Island 46.6
Verbal and physical abuse is common in many families across class lines. Spanking, beating and battering women and children expands during downturns in the economy. Men are laid off; at first they help with household duties and child care but after a few days, tempers wear thin and physical violence explodes.
Spousal, Sib and Child sexual abuse is endemic in the alienated families from Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Northern and Western Europe. Less so among tribal communities since there is little family privacy for such assault. More so in single family dwelling far away from kith and kin.
CONCLUSION. It is not genes, faulty socialization by badly socialized mothers, racial inferiority, poverty or bad prisons which produce white collar crime, it is the relations of production and distribution in a competitive, acquisitive, individualistic society marked by false needs and endemic inequality in social power which stimulates the high rates of white collar crime in American life.
If we want to reduce white collar crime to a minimum then the false needs, the competitiveness, the stress on private accumulation as well as the inequalities in social power must change radically.
Since white collar crime involves a betrayal of trust by those who are in positions of authority...those who can use social power to their own advantage, the inequalities in social power are a special key to the reduction of white collar crime.
In an interactively rich religious community, the ability of ministers to exploit the religious impulse would be reduced.
In an informationally rich public sphere, many of the motives for computer crime would be removed.
In democratically owned and organized workplaces, employees have far less motive to steal from the company. The very existence of a union; honest or corrupt, is unnecessary. When workers own and operate their own means of production, there is no need for a union. When there is a separate management, there is a conflict relationship. Unions become a partially theoretical way to deal with which to give workers some social and economic power to defend their interests in safety, in decent wages, in good working conditions and in good retirement programs.
In community oriented police work, police officers have far less opportunity to violate the trust accorded them. Police do not see the members of an ethnic community as enemies. They cannot be used by an elite to break strikes, to harass political protesters, to look away from the crimes of the elite. When policing is oriented to human rights and to human obligations, much of the selfish, exploitative behavior of law officers is eliminated. In democratically organized policing, officers would not take bribes nor protect criminals.
In a society having a social policy for adequate retirement resources, those approaching retirement age have less compulsion to steal from clients and corporations for future needs.
Democratic socialism best answers the problematics which underwrite white collar crime...prison and punishment may bring petty satisfaction but it is pretheoretical revenge. Prisons will not stop white collar crime.
The average amount involved in street crime in Florida was $35, wile the average loss from a white collar crime was $621,000.