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Property Crime, White Collar Crime & Organized Crime.

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Presentation on theme: "Property Crime, White Collar Crime & Organized Crime."— Presentation transcript:

1 Property Crime, White Collar Crime & Organized Crime

2  Types of Property Crime  Patterns of property crime (geographic and demographic)

3  The vast majority of property offenders are amateurs or professionals?  Mike Maguire’s typology of burglars ?what role does U.S. culture play in property crime?

4  Describe the efforts to reduce property crime  Criminology seeks to understand a world in flux, those who are marginalized and excluded economically as well as those who are exalted via forms of mass communication

5  Burglary  Larceny-theft  Motor vehicle theft  Forgery and Counterfeiting  Buying, receiving and possessing stolen property  Embezzelment

6  “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation” E. Sutherland 1949

7  Behavior that doesn’t violate criminal law should not be considered a crime, no matter how harmful it may be  Sutherland’s definition rules out lawbreaking behavior by the wealthy, such as tax evasion, that is not committed in the course of their occupation

8  Sutherland’s definition excluded crimes by blue-collar workers and businesses that share features of crimes committed by persons of high social status  Sutherland’s book, White-Collar Crime focused almost entirely on crime by corporations…did this mean that white-collar crime is something that only corporations and businesses can do?

9  Occupational crime- committed by individuals in the course of their occupation for personal gain  Employee theft  Pilferage  Embezzeling  Collective embezzlement

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11 ?How would you define corporate crime? *financial *violent

12  Costs?  What explanations of street crime also apply to white collar crime?  What explanations don’t apply?

13 :Coordinated efforts to acquire illegal profits *when the public demands or desires goods or services, organized criminal efforts are often there to provide them (even if the products are legal)

14 *organized crime is believed to be involved in several legitimate businesses (trash-hauling, vending and amusement machines) as well as toxic-waste disposal

15  *primary sources of income for organized crime remain illegal activities and products: drugs, prostitution, pornography, gambling, loan sharking and extortion

16  Organized crime has existed for centuries. Earliest examples: Piracy >Phoenicians, Vikings, buccaneers in the 1600’s -by the end of the 1600s pirates openly traded their plunder with merchants in Boston, NY, Philadelphia and other port cities (golden age of piracy)

17  Piracy faded by late 1720s after “honest” officials exposed corruption and several pirate leaders were killed.

18  Understanding economic context >major reason piracy ended was that merchants began to realize they could get greater profits by trading with England; after that, “the markets for pirate goods dried up, and the public demand for their services and support for their existence disappeared.” (Dennis Kenney, James Finckenaeur 95)

19  Began anew in NY in early 1800s (1mil people-most poor & half immigrant and unemployed-lived crammed into 2 square miles)

20  >young women were forced into prostitution, young men formed gangs that allowed them to commit crime more effectively and evade police; these early gangs were the forerunner of today’s organized crime groups (like previous org. criminal enterprises, relied on public officials)

21  By the end of the 1800s gangs had developed in NY and other eastern cities into extensive operations  Ethnic makeup of the groups reflected the great waves of immigration into the U.S. during the 19 th century; as immigrants settled into cities many inevitably turned to organized crime to make ends meet

22  The Irish were the first to take up organized crime and became dominant in many cities  Later in the century Italians and Jews immigrated and got their share of the vice trade

23  In the 20 th century African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos have become more involved in organized crime  Organized is the one area where diverse groups have pursued economic opportunity and the American Dream

24  While urban gangs were the forerunners of organized crime, 19 th century white collar criminals (robber barons) were the role models

25  Examples: Leland Stanford (railroads) bribed congressmen to gain land grants and federal loans for Central Pacific Railroad; JD Rockefeller (Standard Oil) forced competitors our of business with price wars and bombings; Du Pont family (gunpowder) cornered the market after the Civil War with bribery

26  Both Organized Crime and White Collar crime involve careful planning and coordinated effort to acquire illegal profits; both rely on active or passive collusion of public officials and on public willingness to buy the goods and services they provide

27  Rise of Organized Crime during Prohibition  After Prohibition: gambling >starting in 1960’s moved into drug trade (50-150billion), reducing interests in gambling

28  Suggests that organized crime today is controlled by a highly organized, hierarchical group of some 24 Italian families (Alien Conspiracy Model or Mafia mystique)  Popularized in congressional hearings in the 1950s (see the Godfather II)

29  Sociologist Donald Cressey’s book Theft of the Nation (69) articulated this model and argued that organized crime was largely unknown before Italians immigrated to the U.S. Assumed that organized crime exists because immigrants corrupt good U.S. citizens and prey on their weaknesses


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