White Collar Crime
There are many crimes in our society but most of us don’t know about the crime which is done by rich and respectable people that is white-collar crime.
White-collar crime is financially motivated nonviolent crime committed for illegal monetary gain.
White-Collar Crime is difficult to define because it can be committed by anyone with money and apply to many different activities. White-Collar Crime is an illegal activity carried on within normally legal business transactions.
For example, White Collar Crime comes from within legal businesses such as banking, stock trading or insurance claims.
1941 E.H. Sutherland propounded the concept of white-collar crime.
Sutherland pointed out that besides the traditional crimes such as assault, robbery, dacoity, murder, rape; kidnapping and other acts involving violence, there are certain anti-social activities which the person of upper class carries on in course of their occupation or business.
White-Collar Crime in India:-
In India, White Collar crime means manipulation of funds, fraud in stock exchanges, misrepresentation in advertising or in financial statements of a corporation or violations of labour laws, copyright, patent laws etc. which occurs during the course of one’s occupation.
In India, white-collar crime can be seen in every field. It affects our economy and creates unemployment.
White Collar Crimes in various professions in India:–
(a) Legal Profession:– Preparing false and fabricated claims, fabricating evidence delaying litigation by colluding with the opposite party, adopting unscrupulous tactics, violation of ethical norms of the legal profession can be seen.
(b) Engineering:– The underhand dealing in getting tenders passed for contractors, suppliers showing oversight of the use of sub-standard materials for constructions and thereby building are collapsing prematurely.
(c) Educational Institutions:– Private educational institutes runs private engineering colleges and give admissions without merit. Institutes which runs on government aid make fake and bogus enrolment of students, give minimum salary to teachers while getting signature for full salary defrauding large sums of government grants. Large sums of Government grants, issues of fictitious bogus manipulative certificates, collection of unauthorized donation in the name of the building fund, issuance of fake degrees and diplomas by unrecognized institutes even professors are taking bogus Ph.Ds cost and getting enhanced salaries.
(d) Money Laundering Techniques:– Black money converted into White. Black money means not obtained from legal activities and obtained by corruption/ held in secrecy to avoid income tax liability.
TYPES OF WHITE COLLAR CRIME
1. Bank Fraud: To engage in an act or pattern of activity where the purpose is to defraud a bank of funds.
2. Blackmail: A demand for money or other consideration under threat to do bodily harm, harm to property, to accuse of a crime and to expose secrets.
3. Bribery: When money, goods, services, information or anything else of value is offered with the intent to influence the actions, opinions, or decisions of the taker. You may be charged with bribery whether you offer the bribe or accept it.
4. Cellular Phone Fraud: The unauthorized use, tampering, or manipulation of a cellular phone or service. This can be accomplished by either use of a stolen phone, or where an actor signs up for service under false identification or where the actor clones a valid electronic serial number (ESN) by using an ESN reader and reprograms another cellular phone with a valid ESN number.
5. Computer fraud: Where computer hackers steal information sources contained on computers such as bank information, credit cards, and proprietary information.
6. Counterfeiting: It occurs when someone copies or imitates an item without having been authorized to do so and passes the copy off for the genuine or original item. Counterfeiting is most often associated with money however can also be associated with designer clothing, handbags and watches.
7. Credit Card Fraud: The unauthorized use of a credit card to obtain goods of value is credit card fraud.
8. Currency Schemes: The practice of speculating on the future value of currencies.
9. Embezzlement: When a person who has been entrusted with money or property appropriates it for his or her own use and benefit.
10. Environmental Schemes: The overbilling and fraudulent practices exercised by corporations which purport to clean up the environment.
11. Extortion: Occurs when one person illegally obtains property from another by actual or threatened, force, fear, or violence, or under cover of official right.
12. Forgery: When a person passes a false or worthless instrument such as a cheque or counterfeit security with the intent to defraud or injure the recipient.
13. Health Care Fraud: Where an unlicensed health care provider provides services under the guise of being licensed and obtains a monetary benefit for the service.
14. Insider Trading: When a person uses inside, confidential, or advance information to trade in shares of publicly held corporations.
15. Insurance Fraud: To engage in an act or pattern of activity wherein one obtains proceeds from an insurance company through deception.
16. Investment Schemes: Where an unsuspecting victim is contacted by the actor who promises to provide a large return on a small investment.
17. Kickback: Occurs when a person who sells an item pays back a portion of the purchase price to the buyer.
18. Theft: When a person wrongfully takes another person’s money or property with the intent to appropriate, convert or steal it.
19. Money Laundering: The investment or transfer of money from racketeering, drug transactions or other embezzlement schemes so that it appears that its original source either cannot be traced or is legitimate.
20. Racketeering: The operation of an illegal business for personal profit is racket string.
21. Securities Fraud: The act of artificially inflating the price of stocks by brokers so that buyers can purchase a stock on the rise.
22. Tax Evasion: When a person commits fraud in filing or paying taxes.
23. Telemarketing Fraud: Actors operate out of boiler rooms and place telephone calls to residences and corporations where the actor requests a donation to an alleged charitable organization or where the actor requests money upfront or a credit card number upfront and does not use the donation for the stated purpose.
24. Welfare Fraud: To engage in an activity where the purpose is to obtain benefits from the State or Federal Government.
25. Weights and Measures: The act of placing an item for sale at one price yet charging a higher price at the time of sale or short weighing an item when the label reflects a higher weight.
HOW DOES WHITE COLLAR CRIME AFFECTS OUR ECONOMY
White-collar crimes are to be considered as a global phenomenon to which India is no exception. As discussed earlier, white-collar crimes emerged in India with the advent of the British colonisation during the period of industrial capitalism. Prior to that, instances of men working with the District treasury embezzling with the money kept under his safe custody or bribing practised among the officials were found. Therefore, white-collar crimes were confined to this limit.
White-collar crimes become a phenomenon to be reckoned with the industrial revolution. A modern industrial capitalist economy which evolved with time became complex in nature as it developed a growing commercial nexus among insurance, banking, stocks and related corporate matters. This gave rise to critical legal intricacies relating to property rights and other legal matters which paved the way for the birth of a new class of professionals of advocates who in the name of providing justice started abetting in the wrong and thereby pursued their own narrow interest. A large number of advocates evolved who forget the pious oath of serving the society and start looking for the legal loopholes and concentrate mainly in helping out the rich entrepreneurs to grow richer. They make an extensive study to try out ways for maximum tax evasion for these rich corporate personalities as well as for themselves. The white-collar crimes committed by these legal practitioners are not only confines in sorting out illegal methods of tax evasion. There are very frequent instances of unscrupulous and unethical practises like that of fabricating false evidence, engaging professional witnesses, thereby violating ethical standards of the legal profession and dilatory tactics in collusion with the ministerial staff of the courts. We have to stop white college crime to save our economy.
If everyone at a particular business or company would keep an eye out for anything suspicious, that alone would detour potential thieves. The real solution to this problem is coming from the people who are being affected by it. They are the most likely to stop it. They cannot let anyone take advantage of them anymore. Most do not give white-collar crimes much thought because they are only things that they read about in newspapers and hear on the news.
If these crimes continue to grow at the present rate, they will be out of control before we know it.