White-Collar Criminal: The Offender in Business and the Professions

By Gilbert Geis | Go to book overview
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7
THE HEAVY ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT
ANTITRUST CASES OF 1961

Gilbert Geis

An inadvertent bit of humor by a defense attorney provided one of the major criminological motifs for "the most serious violations of the antitrust laws since the time of their passage at the turn of the century." 1 The defendants, including several vice presidents of the General Electric Corporation and the Westinghouse Electric Corporation--the two largest companies in the heavy electrical equipment industry--stood somberly in a federal courtroom in Philadelphia on February 6, 1961. They were aptly described by a newspaper reporter as "middle-class men in Ivy League suits--typical businessmen in appearance, men who would never be taken for lawbreakers." Several were deacons or vestrymen of their churches. One was president of his local chamber of commerce; another, a hospital board member; another, chief fund raiser for the Community Chest; another, a bank director; another, director of the taxpayer's association; another, organizer of the local Little League.

The attorney for a General Electric executive attacked the government's demand for a jail sentence for his client, calling it "cold-blooded."

____________________
Reprinted from Marshall B. Clinard and Richard Quinney (eds.), Criminal Behavior Systems ( New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967), pp. 139-150. Copyright © 1967 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.

-103-

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White-Collar Criminal: The Offender in Business and the Professions
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