Corporate Crime: A Reference Handbook

Corporate Crime: A Reference Handbook

Corporate Crime: A Reference Handbook

Corporate Crime: A Reference Handbook

Excerpt

Corporate and white-collar crime have gained increased attention in recent years from both government and law enforcement officials as well as the general public. Corporate malfeasance and scandal broke in the early part of the 21st century with several corporations collapsing in accounting and fraud scandals, forcing thousands of people to lose their jobs and thousands more to watch their investments and retirement funds dwindle to nothing. Prior to these events, most of the public probably did not think of corporations and businesses—and their presidents, CEOs, and management—as criminals. After these events, however, there has been an increased awareness of the type and extent of white-collar and corporate crime that occurs in the business world. Although corporate offending still does not receive the attention from the media and law enforcement that conventional street crime does, it is nonetheless as pervasive and harmful.

Numerous laws and regulations have been enacted and implemented in attempts to curb incidents of corporate offending, but with increased globalization and decreased government funding to combat corporate crime, little progress is being made. Business experts and scholars alike have suggested that prevention must originate within the corporations themselves and with the business culture and behaviors that for-profit big business breeds. Although some corporations caught violating laws are charged, prosecuted, convicted, and punished, others seem to have internalized into their business ethos that paying fines for violations is simply part of the cost of doing business. Moreover, critics argue that legislation enacted against corporate offending is merely symbolic, and that because those with political power . . .

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