IS "WHITE-COLLAR CRIME" CRIME?
Edwin H. Sutherland
The argument has been made that business and professional men commit crimes which should be brought within the scope of the theories of criminal behavior. 1 In order to secure evidence as to the prevalence of such white- collar crimes, an analysis was made of the decisions by courts and commissions against the seventy largest industrial and mercantile corporations in the United States under four types of laws: namely, antitrust, false advertising, National Labor Relations, and infringement of patents, copyrights, and trademarks. This resulted in the finding that 547 such adverse decisions had been made, with an average of 7.8 decisions per corporation and with each corporation's having at least one. 2 Although all of these were decisions that the behavior was unlawful, only forty-nine, or 9 per cent, of the total were made by criminal courts and were ipso facto decisions that the behavior was criminal. Since not all unlawful behavior is criminal behavior, these decisions can be used as a measure of criminal behavior only if the other 498 decisions can be shown to be decisions that the behavior of the corporations was criminal.____________________
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Publication information: Book title: White-Collar Criminal:The Offender in Business and the Professions. Contributors: Gilbert Geis - Editor. Publisher: Atherton Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1968. Page number: 353.