An overview of white-collar crime

Does anyone rob a bank these days? Maybe someone does, but it doesn’t happen very often and not in the traditional way, with pointing guns and stockings in your head. The world has changed and so has crime. Today, criminals are more and more often found in offices and corporate headquarters. These people who usually work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and wear clean suits might appear the most boring workers of all, but since they have access and knowledge of many kind of information, it might happen that the opportunity makes a thief.

There are many kinds of financial crimes. Or the more accurate term is white-collar crimes, which comes from the clothing that office workers usually wear. White-collar crime is done by an individual, a corporation or another organized group. It’s good to note that there is also a term corporate crime, which overlaps partly with the white-collar crime. Financial crimes are put into practice alongside the business or benefiting from it. Primal aim is monetary gain. Victims vary from individuals to governments and whole economies.

About false accounting

It’s firms legal responsibility to do accounting and it’s very strictly regulated. It can of course happen that something gets forgotten or is booked wrongly. If a firm can clarify that kind of accidents or present a good explanation, a crime has not been committed. But all intended manipulation and covering of information are punishable deeds. The culprit does these things to cover his/hers tracks and to avoid consequences. Made-up content is also a way to confuse the people who read the information. Behind the false accounting may exist bribery, tax evasion and money laundering. (Koivu & Ranta-Aho & Vuoti 2010.)

Finnish criminal law imposes penalty for a minimum sentence for false accounting. Maximum is two years’ imprisonment, unless the crime is viewed as felony. Then the imprisonment is from four months to a maximum of four years. ( According to Statistics Finland 759 cases of false accounting took place in Finland in 2012.

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One Response to An overview of white-collar crime

  1. hocuspocus10 says:

    Interesting subject. 🙂

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