Cheronis & Parente LLC

Criminal Defense Blog


Driving factors for white-collar crime

It may seem like odd behavior for a successful business professional to engage in criminal conduct in Illinois. Even though white-collar crime lacks the violence of other forms of criminal activity, its far-reaching consequences can impact a lot of people.

Understanding the risk factors that may increase opportunities for unethical behavior may help people to have a better understanding of why white-collar crime happens in the first place.

Inadvertent opportunity

Some companies may not realize that conditions of their workplace encourage or create opportunities for unethical behavior. For example, organizations that lack transparency or improperly guard confidential content are at a much higher risk of incidents of misconduct among their employees.

Individuals who hold a high degree of power and have narcissistic tendencies are also more inclined to commit white-collar crimes. They may capitalize on their perceived charm and think that no one will recognize their unprofessional behavior. Or they may believe that even if caught, their consequences will stay relatively minimal. Employees who feel they do not have much to lose or feel wronged by their employer may also have more incentive to engage in misconduct. According to the FBI, white-collar crimes affect families, corporations and investors and can even impact the economy.

Types of misconduct

White-collar crimes may be the work of one person or a group of people. According to the Corporate Financial Institute, some examples of white-collar crimes include the following:

  • Insider trading
  • Cybercrimes
  • Espionage
  • Embezzlement
  • Fraud
  • Ponzi scheme

Depending on the scope of the crime, participants may face a number of consequences including legal fines and loss of credibility in their profession.

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