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Organization as Weapon in White-Collar Crime

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1982
24 pages
This study of the advantages of using organization or occupation to commit economic crimes examines the nature of the offense, the economic and social consequences of the offenses, the nature of the defendants, and sanctions and legal processing.
Data were obtained from a study that assessed differentials in the sentencing of white-collar offenders, using presentence investigation reports for persons convicted of eight presumptively white-collar crimes in Federal courts during fiscal years 1976-78. The offenses were antitrust violations, securities fraud, postal and wire fraud, false claims and statements, credit and lending institution fraud, bank embezzlement, tax evasion, and bribery. Three principal categories of offenders were identified: those who committed offenses alone or with affiliated others using neither occupational nor organizational role (individual offenders), those who committed offenses alone or with affiliated others using an occupational role (occupational offenders), and those who committed offenses in which both organization and occupation were ingredients (organizational offenders). Organizational offenders were found to commit crimes yielding greater 'takes' over a longer period and with greater frequency. Most victims of white-collar crimes are organizations, including the Federal Government. Organizational offenders tended to have higher educational attainment, were significantly older, and had impressive occupational and community status. Differences in the rate of incarceration among the offender categories were not significant, even though organizational offenders committed more severe crimes. Implications of the findings for crime prevention policy are discussed. Tabular data and 49 footnotes are provided.

Date Published: January 1, 1982