Don’t let the fancy name fool you, this is one of the most nasty and expensive yet well orchestrated crimes committed in the corporate world.
The term White-collar crime was created in the year 1939 to describe all crimes committed by both private and public organization professionals, using their office as leverage to perpetrate crime and commit corporate law violations. The crimes are well executed taking into consideration all factors and tying up all loose ends but as the saying goes, there s no perfect crime. A little slip up is all that is needed to discover the shady deals going on under the table. The common attribute is that it is often carried out with deceit, violation of laws and betrayal due to greed of one or more people. The innovation in technology has made these crimes somewhat near untraceable as they clean up their digital footprints, can frame someone else to take the fall or in some cases even do both.
There are two types of White-collar crimes.
Occupational crime: This is a crime committed using the office held by the person. It might be a doctor committing malpractice, or an accountant falsifying numbers or a nurse stealing from aged workers. The crimes committed in this manner are classified as occupational crimes and they are classified as federal crimes which is liable for persecution by federal law enforcement agencies.
Corporate crimes: This are crimes committed by companies, CEOs using the company position as leverage to engage in shady deals under the table that is against the law.
FORMS OF WHITE-COLLAR CRIME
White-collar crimes come in different forms as humans keep devising ways of committing these crimes in the bid to enrich themselves.
• Healthcare Fraud: as the name implies, this fraud is mostly done by health workers who exploit their patients and try to get as much money from them as much as possible using different tactics. Another format being used is opening of free clinics and calling for donations for funds that end up being mismanaged by the management or used for personal needs.
• Identity theft: the government have been trying their best to stop this crime from taking place but it just seems too hard to curtail as perpetrators keep devising new methods to steal people’s identity for various nefarious activities. It ranges from illegal withdrawal and credit card fraud to different other illegal activities that leave the victim high and dry.
• Financial Institution: This type of crime often involves mismanagement, embezzlement and in some cases, doing deals against the guidelines set by the governing board overseeing banking activities. Such crimes have been known to cripple banks and financial institutions and a good example of that is FCMB bank that was mismanaged by its director who is currently under investigation.
• Money laundering: this is the act of concealing illegally gotten money by using legitimate business as a front to cover up. In layman terms, It is known as a method of cleaning dirty money but adding it to the proceeds or investing it into a legitimate business so as to conceal its true source. It is a crime usually committed by drug dealers, robbers etc. who are looking to keep the law from catching up with them.
• Piracy: This is the illegal reproduction of copyrighted material. It is an unauthorized sale of someone else intellectual property and the law frowns upon such as jail term can be between 15-25 years in a federal prison.
• Ponzi schemes: Just like the MMM money doubling scheme brought by late Russian scammer, Mavrodi, these schemes aim to target greedy individuals who wish to double their money without any effort. The crooks promise a double of whatever amount you bring within a very short time and it is amazing how quite a number of people still fall for that old defrauding trick.
• Market Manipulation: simply put, it is the artificial inflation of penny stock prices to make investors think its worth investing in, after reeling them in on the bait, they dump it all on them and take a hike leaving the company and the investors to iron out the mess.
• Extortion: Commonly practiced by gangs and criminals, this crime involves collecting money from vulnerable individuals using force or crooked means. Often times, such money is tagged ‘protection fees’ and failure to pay it means disruption to your business or bodily damage and in some cases, both.
• Embezzlement: Nigeria political office holders are a perfect example of this title as they are well known to steal from the people who elected them into power. Embezzlement is the act of diverting public funds for self use thereby committing criminal acts against the state while leaving the poor masses to suffer lack of basic infrastructure. Not only does it happen in government, it also happens in the corporate world where people in possession of company funds divert such funds into offshore accounts for personal use.
• Wage theft: this crime is often committed in Africa with employees choosing to delay payment of workers while using such funds for personal business. In some cases, people in charge of such funds embezzle it and vanish into thin air and the workers are left unpaid for hours of work due to the freed of others.
• Forgery: This single act alone costs companies in the United states billions of dollars yearly. It involves falsification of documents and using false data or information to obtain money from companies or establishments. A criminal once sold the Eiffel tower to unsuspecting business men while posing as a government agent with forged documents to back up the sale.
The government keeps making moves to sensitize people so as not to fall into the traps set by these criminals but it seems they are not winning the war against crime anytime soon.