Key elements of identifying white-collar crimes


Key elements of identifying white-collar crimes

White-collar crimes are motivated by finances and there is no involvement of violence. They are executed by organizations, businesses or government professionals (Smith, 2017). One of the key elements that can be used to identify white-collar crimes is constant reviews of the financial statements and other financial documents to note any suspicious transaction. The other key element is checks and balances such that the financial department can be questioned by other departments or sectors and therefore maintaining transparency. The third element is going public or rather explaining the financial documents breakdown to the stakeholders. This helps the stakeholders to understand how finances are spent therefore avoiding speculations.

Federal criminal statutes used by government agencies to convict white-collar criminals

One of the acts used to convict white-collar criminals is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 drafted by U.S. Congressmen Michael Oxley and Paul Sarbanes (Smith, 2017).  The acts main aim is an improvement of corporate governance and accountability. This has made it mandatory for all public companies to comply with the act. The main reason as to why the act is used is because it checks the financial sector and also the IT sector which is in charge of the electronic records of the organizations and therefore calling for clarity and transparency this maintains a good coverage and therefore reducing chances of white-collar crime occurrence.

Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 enhances the criminal enforcement of the fraud laws in the financial institutions. It also considers securities fraud and commodities fraud. The main reason as to why the act is used is because it acts as a check in financial institutions and government institutions and therefore controlling the White-collar crime effectively.

Difference between the crime of bribery and the crime of extortion

One of the differences is that if there is a transaction, it is considered to be bribery, but if the person who initiates the bribery is the one who received the amount it is considered to be extortion (Reid, 2015). In bribery, there is something received by the giver while in the extortion the giver or the one who does the transaction get nothing in return. There are also rare involvements of threats in bribery as compared to extortion. The other difference is that bribery involves government officials while extortion may not necessarily have to involve government officials. Extortion can occur at any level of the society.

The key difference between the crime of embezzlement and larceny

Embezzlement and larceny crimes are closely related crimes. The major difference can be tagged to the way property exchanges hands. In larceny, the property is carried away as it was never in the hands of the perpetrator. Larceny involves gaining unlawful access to someone’s property.  In embezzlement, however, the perpetrator lawfully processes a property and then converts it to their property (Reid, 2015). Embezzlement involves the misuse of property that one has legal access to.

It is important to distinguish between the crimes because they are closely related and any confusion could lead to a conviction or rather passing judgment to a case wrongly, and this could bring about unfairness and questioning of judges competence


Reid, S. T. (2015). Crime and criminology. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.

Smith, K. (2017). White‐Collar Crime. The WileyBlackwell Encyclopedia of Social Theory.






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