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Reflection on White Collar Crimes

Author: Ashish Singh

Designation - B.A.LLB. 4th year Student, Faculty of Law, Banaras Hindu University

Contact: 94********

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White-collar crime is a non-violent crime where the primary motive is typically financial in nature. White-collar criminals usually occupy a professional position of power and/or prestige, and one that commands well above average compensation.

The concept of white-collar crime found its place in criminology for the first time in 1939 when Edwin H. Sutherland first published his research paper on white-collar criminality in the American sociological review. Sutherland defined white-collar crime as a crime committed by persons of high social status in course of their occupation. e.g. - misrepresentation through fraudulent advertisement, infringement of patents, copyrights, and trade-marks, a publication of fabricated balance sheets and profit and loss account of business, etc.

"White-collar crime" can describe a wide variety of crimes, but they all typically involve crimes committed through deceit and motivated by financial gain. The most common white-collar crimes are various types of fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, and money laundering. Many types of scams and frauds fall into the bucket of white-collar crime, including Ponzi schemes and securities fraud such as insider trading. More common crimes, like insurance fraud and tax evasion, also constitute white-collar crimes.

Types of White Collar Crime:-

Securities Fraud


Tax Evasion

Money Laundering


Insider Trading

Ponzi Scheme

Identity theft and other cybercrimes



1. Fraud

Fraud is a broad term that encompasses several different schemes used to defraud people of their money. One of the most common and simplest is the offer to send someone a lot of money (say, $10,000) if they will simply send the fraudster a little money (say, $300 – the fraudster may represent the smaller sum as being a processing or finder’s fee). Of course, the fraudster gets the money that is sent to him but never sends out the money he promised to send.

2. Insider Trading

Insider trading is trading done with the benefit of the trader possessing material, non-public information that gives him or her an advantage in the financial markets. For example, an employee at an investment bank may know that Company A is preparing to acquire Company B. The employee can buy stock in Company B with the expectation that the company’s stock will rise significantly in price once the acquisition becomes public knowledge.

3. Ponzi Scheme

Named after Charles Ponzi, the original perpetrator of such a scheme, a Ponzi scheme is an investment scam that offers investors extremely high returns. It pays such returns to the initial investors with the newly deposited funds of new investors.

When the scammer is no longer able to attract a sufficient number of new clients to pay off the old ones, the scheme collapses like a house of cards, leaving many investors with huge losses.

4. Identity theft and other cybercrimes

Identity theft and computer system “hacking” are two of the most widespread computer crimes. It’s estimated that losses from identity theft in the United States alone totaled nearly $2 billion in 2019. California, with over 73,000 cases of identity theft reported, was the state whose citizens suffered the most from the crime – Florida was a very distant second with 37,000 reported cases.

5. Embezzlement

Embezzlement is a crime of theft or larceny that can range from an employee taking a few dollars out of a cash drawer to a complex scheme to transfer millions from a company’s accounts to the embezzler’s accounts.

6. Counterfeiting

Our money has become more colorful and expanded in detail because it had to in order to combat counterfeiting. With today’s computers and advanced laser printers, the old currency was just too easy to copy. However, it’s questionable how successful the government’s efforts in this area have been. Rumor has it that very high-quality copies of the new $100 bill were available within 24 hours of the new bill first being issued.

7. Money laundering

Money laundering is a service essential to the needs of criminals who deal with large amounts of cash. It involves funneling the cash through several accounts and eventually into legitimate businesses, where it becomes intermingled with the genuine revenues of the legitimate business and is no longer identifiable as having originally come from the commission of a crime.

8. Espionage

Espionage, or spying, is typically a white-collar crime. For example, an agent of a foreign government that wants to obtain part of Apple Inc.'s technology might approach an employee at Apple and offer to pay them $10,000 if they will provide a copy of the desired technology.


White Collar Crimes is a type of non-violent crime that is profit-motivated.

White-collar crimes may be perpetrated by individuals or at a corporate level. Due to the sophisticated technology now available, however, even white-collar crimes committed by an individual may result in tens of millions in losses for the victims.

The reasons for justifications are there for the methods used for the control of white-collar crimes, the ambivalence of the social response to this sort is so related to wider social factors which have both objective and subjective dimensions. As has been so mentioned a more subjective source of ambivalence in the social response to white-collar crimes is the assumption that there is less public concern about these behaviours so-termed as white-collar crimes, and therefore there is less support for severe sanctions than in the cases of crimes which are traditional street crimes. But even if there was greater public ambivalence towards white-collar crimes in comparison to the traditional crimes, writers such as Box have regarded this as a further challenge to sensitize people to not seeing processes in which they are victimised disasters or accidents.








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