Paper Example. Newspaper Article Synopsis

Published: 2023-08-20
Paper Example. Newspaper Article Synopsis
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Criminal law Media Money
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1902 words
16 min read

The Enterprise reports about white-collar crime at Bill, Harry, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. The newspaper reports about an irregular expenditure in the company before it stops operation. The company had 486 employees, and in the 2014 financial year, it raked in $177,804,612. It committed $5,160,385, which is very low, considering it is a charity foundation. The company set aside $91,281,145 for expenditure, as salaries accounted for $34,838,106 and $850,803 for fundraising. The surprising expenditures were $12,000,000 for meetings, traveling cost the company $8,000,000. It is baffling how a company would use all that money for meetings alone in one year and traveling. The company gave away less than three percent of its total revenue to charity, yet that is the sole purpose of the company. It shows a real white-collar crime, yet the perpetrators walk free.

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Although courts now punish white-collar crime to the fullest extent of the law, many individuals and corporations continue to commit said crimes because of society's class barrier. In some instances, white-collar criminals are dealt with more harshly than those convicted of murder. It is recognized now that the actions of white-collar criminals should be treated in such a way as their actions are not victimless. Their effects are detrimental to the state, the consumer, and the taxpayer. White-collar crimes were widespread in the past as its punishment was minimal, and it was often due to an individual's respectable history or background. Although Robert Merton never focused on white-collar crime, his strain theory applies in this case reward (Rothe, Dawn and David 2016).

White-collar crime occurs despite the actions and implementations of the law due to a gap between culturally prescribed goals such as the American dream and the legitimate means in which an individual can achieve said goals. Society and dominant culture mold people into believing a universal goal without providing an equal opportunity for every individual to meet and obtain those goals; the access to achieving these goals is very stratified. According to Merton's Strain Theory, this "gap" leads to the committing of crimes reward (Rothe, Dawn and David 2016). It is because society puts pressure on individuals to achieve and show off material wealth. Factors like personal goals, relationships between influential individuals, and ease of cover-up contribute to white-collar crime.

Contextual Paragraph

White-collar crimes are financially driven offenses in the workplace. They refer to crimes committed in the workplace during working hours, by an employee of the same company at the time of action. Edwin Sutherland is the pioneer of the word "white-collar" and described it as a crime by a person holding a high position and of top social class amid his work. It is essential to understand the factors that contribute to white-collar crime to follow in coming up with policies and recommendations to curb the menace.

Personal Goals

A perpetrator is influenced by different factors to commit white-collar crime. Organizations indirectly support such behaviors. Many organizations do not have parameters to prevent white-collar crimes, motivating individuals to plan to participate in these crimes. When individuals start doing so, it is hard for them to stop. When corporations are looking to lay off or fire employees, it can serve as motivation for an employee to get away with what they can. They may be afraid to lose their social class or see themselves as failures (Sutherland and Edwin, 1940). It means they will be willing to do what it takes to save their economic status. The pressure of having a family to provide for also motivates them when they feel they are about to lose their jobs, which may be their primary source of income.

Risk is addictive and can result in a never-ending circle for some people. White-collar crime is of high risk, and one may be tempted to do it all over again. With more success, they tend to increase the risk by doing more white-collar crime. An individual becomes more creative, and they develop tolerance to risk. They do more crime to satisfy their rush for risk, becoming more like getting high. They get a sensation, and they want to feel it every time, forming a part of their personality (Sutherland and Edwin 1940). These types of individuals are always up to something, and they are the most creative ones in white-collar crime as they get addicted to risk.

Some people find it convenient to engage in white-collar crime. An individual can be tempted to mess around with figures and avoid working for years to come. They can alter data in minutes, and it can compare to working, for example, ten years. An individual may enjoy as they find it easy to participate and get away with white-collar crime. They do not mind what may happen to them if their plan goes wrong, and they get caught. In organizations, some decisions may not favor everyone, and one may feel that they did not get fair treatment. They may get angry and decide to revenge on their employer (Simpson and Piquero 2002). It is an irrational decision for one to make, but at that moment, they feel that they have nothing to lose. It is referred to as narcissistic thinking.

White-collar crime perpetrators are charismatic. It is a trait that helps most to work their way around security measures and convince people to collaborate with them. Such individuals are competent in working their way up to positions in a corporation where it is simpler to engage in these crimes. They are likable people, and they are hard to suspect, and fellow employees may not attest to how they could be involved in the crime. Narcissism is another trait of such individuals. It makes them feel that they can do anything they wish, and they are always ready to revenge wrongdoing with the slightest feeling of provocation (Simpson and Piquero 2002). They do not value their colleagues, and they think they are smarter. They are willing to take risks to get what they want by committing white-collar crimes.

Relationships Between High-Profile Individuals

White-collar crime is unique as it is done by professionals; it is devastating yet fascinating. These white-collar crime professionals usually are highly paid, and they do it together with some of their colleagues, and it is often a collaboration between many people. White-collar crime involves complicated financial schemes, and the people involved usually are in the wind. Corporations suffer because of these relationships between people as crime occurs on a spreadsheet making it hard to trace the perpetrators (Barak and Gregg 2002). White-collar crime affects employees in an organization, and it is hard to punish the guilty parties as they have relationships that span influential and powerful people.

Perpetrators of white-collar crime are clever in what they do as they involve experts like lawyers in their actions. Even with relationships with influential people, they partner with accountants and lawyers to make their crimes more legal than it seems. They try to fit their fraudulent activities between law lines, making it difficult to prosecute them even if they are found red-handed. White-collar crime can sometimes involve all the executives of an organization. The relationship between them makes it hard to establish the weak links, as they cover up their tracks quickly. The people who work for such a corporation get little than what they deserve, while the top officials with connections get the most benefits with their fraudulent activities (Barak and Gregg 2002). It makes it difficult to distinguish who works for the corporation and who is against it. When a corporation is fined because of white-collar crime, the perpetrators do not suffer, but the regular employees and the loyal customers or other direct beneficiaries of the company.

Because of the relationships between perpetrators of white-collar crime, they hardly think about the consequences of their actions as they feel untouchable and that they can cover it up quickly without being caught. After being involved in white-collar crime, they find it reasonable, and they are ready to repeat their actions as long as they get benefits as they feel secure because of the connections that they have. Decision-making has a huge role to play in white-collar crime. Most modern organizations isolate top executives from regular employees, clients, and shareholders. It leaves them with much freedom to do what they want, and some commit to white-collar crimes to get more financial incentives (Barak and Gregg 2002). They develop relationships with fellow executives, and they indulge in white-collar crime, despite being professionals who understand ethics.

White-collar crime is difficult to stop when it starts, especially when it is around a ring of individuals' positions (Rothe, Dawn and David 2016). White-collar crime is easy to commit, as it is easy to cover up with the right connections. It is therefore advisable for top professionals to have the right advisors around them, so they can guide them to be more responsible for their position (Rothe, Dawn and David 2016). Corporations should maintain more transparency and give their executives more incentives to protect the interests of everyone, from shareholders to clients, and employees.

Robert Merton developed the stain theory to show that white-collar crime is a result of a lack of enough straight opportunities for people to get the financial freedom they want in life. It places a strain on the means and goals to achieve this. Merton's theory shows that the United States is structured to support the American Dream, which allows any person from any background to pursue their goals freely (Rothe, Dawn, and David 2016). The primary means to achieve the American Dream are work and education, as a result of work ethic and money comes as a reward. However, Robert Merton shows that there is a considerable imbalance in the United States, meaning that not everyone can achieve success financially. Anomie is the concept by Merton describing the above inequality as the strain that causes individuals to feel like they do not meet their aspirations.

Robert Merton continues to describe the ways that people adopt when they are torn between their achievements and their aspirations. The first one is conforming to the structure around them and continue working as they are doing at the moment. They can also become innovative and come up with illegal means to acquire more finances. One can also decide to be ritualistic and then accept their achievements and continue working. They can retreat to and find other ways to satisfy their aspirations. They can rebel and discover different means to get financial freedom.

Merton's theory is from an analysis of statistics of white-collar crime and especially from people who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, and they find themselves in positions where they can exploit to get more financial incentives. He explains that the American Dream had become more of a dream than a reality and that the United States glorifies material wealth as a sign of success. It gives people pressure making them get involved in crime to get more finances and get recognition for their efforts (Rothe, Dawn and David 2016). They have the fear that their peers or community will describe them as failures. It shows how America has a broad division over social classes, and the working-class people are determined to achieve the success that society defines for them. They do it by involving themselves in white-collar crime. Stain theory, therefore, shows the expectations in society that push people to participate in white-collar crimes.

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