Very often, white collar crimes are flagged not as simple violations of technical standards, but as premeditated behavior that affects different categories of victims.
Among the latter, in fact, is the State: consider the case of corruption committed, for example, by public officials. Many times, thanks to their considerable technical experience and by virtue of the positions they occupy within the same company, administrative workers can be accused of improperly enriching themselves and / or committing serious irregularities sanctioned by criminal law.
The worst thing is that, very often, there is great confusion in the population about the correct identification of white collar crimes.
For example, they are sometimes confused with the more common "professional robberies", with the difference that a professional thief is often considered a criminal, while the employer is considered a respectable citizen. This disparity is really not understood.
It is therefore urgent, first of all, to shed some light on such a complex and controversial issue.
In common parlance, white-collar workers refer to those workers who do not perform physical tasks, but rather to those who work using the knowledge acquired in their studies. Classic examples of clerical workers are clerks, professionals, or state officials.
These crimes, which generally pursue profit-making purposes, are usually characterized by the absence of violent behavior and by the category of victims. Logically, the subjective element inherent to these crimes is fraud, in the sense that the agent must be fully aware of the illicit conduct he or she carries out.
In general, white collar crimes are related to the world of finance, the market and commerce. Among them the main ones are:
- Corruption crimes
- Fraud in public funds
- International corruption
- Interruptions in the auction
- Forbearance from enchantments
- Fraud and delinquency in public supplies
- Aggravated fraud to obtain financing granted by the State or by the EC
- Fraudulent insolvency
- Fake accounting
In addition to this, there is also a whole series of crimes contemplated in the special laws regarding corporate crimes and those committed at the international level.
The crime of "white collar" is usually expressed in the business sphere in false financial information of companies, in stock market manipulation, in direct or indirect corruption of public officials, in fraud in the exercise of trade, in misappropriation and in the diversion of funds, in tax fraud, in other "irregularities" carried out in the context of bankruptcy and also in bankruptcy.
In the medical profession, for example, which at first glance expresses less crime than others, we find illegal sales of alcohol and drugs, abortions, complacent treatments, false testimonies in traffic accidents, false statements of insanity, etc ...
The one described above, however, is a criminal category that tends to be underestimated, even in the courts, and this for four fundamental reasons:
- Magistrates are led to consider this type of crime unlikely;
- White collar crimes are not considered dangerous to the public;
- Victims of criminal acts in high-level settings are not considered as seriously harmed as victims of other types of crime;
- The media tend to present the crimes of the wealthy classes with supporting arguments.
The prosecution of the "white collar" offender rarely involves more than one person. Political corruption, for example, almost always involves collusion between politicians and businessmen, but prosecutions are generally limited to a single person.
According to some, then, there is a well-defined relationship between white-collar crime and organized crime, capable of redesigning the concept of organized crime as "organized crime" rather than as "gangster-type crime." What emerges, in any case, is that both realities constitute organizations that need corruption to preserve themselves; in short, they are nothing more than different forms of organizational crime.