What are White collar crimes?
White collar crimes are crimes committed by generally people of high respectability and high social status in the course of their occupation. But now a days it can be seen that many white collar criminals are not of high social status and many are not respected people. It can also be defined as “an illegal act or series of illegal acts committed by non physical means and by concealment or guile, to obtain money or property or to obtain business or personal advantage”. The characteristics of white collar crime are:
- These crimes are committed by people of high status in society such as doctors, advocates, chartered accountants, govt. officials and not by hardcore criminals for example thieves, robbers, dacoits, murderers, rapists etc.
- Means of crimes differ from the traditional crimes as fraud, misappropriation, misrepresentation, adulteration, malpractices, irregularities etc.
- These crimes are committed by means of deliberate and planned conspiracy, without any feeling or sentiments.
- When socio economic crimes are committed people tend to tolerate them because they themselves indulge in them and they themselves often identify with those who do so.
- Originally white collar crimes meant to describe middle and upper class business persons who committed crimes in normal course of their work. But now it refers to a wide variety of occupationally oriented violations committed by persons in any class.
- The victims of socio economic offences are normally the entire community, society or even the entire nation besides the individual like Satyam company scam and Enron company of USA.
- These crimes do not involve or carry with them any stigma while the traditional crimes carry a stigma with them involving disgrace and immorality.
- These crimes constitute a separate category because the control of such crime involves the protection and preservation of the general health and economic system of the entire society against the exploitation and waste.