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White collar crimes rising in US

A white collar crime, by definition, is a non-violent act involving deception, typically committed by a business person or public official.

Prof. David O. Friedrichs, a criminologist at the University of Scranton, blames economic recession and complex financial system as major reasons for the rising white collar crimes in the U.S.

Back in May, the New York Times reported that the number of violent crimes in the United States had dropped significantly last year, to what appeared to be the lowest rate in nearly 40 years. NY Times

“I was irate about it (New York Times’ article). The article totally ignored white collar crime, broadly defined. And it is far from clear that white collar crime is declining. There are some reasons to believe it may well be increasing,” said Prof. David O. Friedrichs. Counterpunch

“The basis for my letter to the New York Times was that when they discussed the decline of major crime was limited to conventional crime and not the huge range of white collar crimes that includes corporate crime and whole range of other activities,” said Prof. David O. Friedrichs from the University of Scranton.

“It is indeed very difficult to measure white collar crime and corporate crime for a whole range of reasons, much of these crime, people haven’t been aware that they have been victims.”

Friedrichs, the author of Trusted Criminals: White Collar Crime in Contemporary Society, made the comments in an exclusive interview with Press TV’s U.S. Desk on Monday.

Professor Friedrichs also believes demographic factor is playing a key role in the increase of white collar crime.

“White-collar crime, corporate crime is carried out by middle aged and older people. So as the population increasingly is graying and getting older, this simple demographic factor could also contribute to the rise in white collar and corporate crime.”

“The apparent decline in crime refers only to conventional forms of crime, like murder, rape, robbery and burglary. The relevant crime statistics tell us nothing about trends related to white-collar crime, broadly defined. Although it is far more challenging to measure such crime, there are reasons to believe that it is not in decline, and may well be rising.” Counterpunch

“This type of crime – ranging from corporate price fixing to polluting the environment to insider trading to bank-related fraud – has devastating consequences. Those who have long been concerned about the disproportionate amount of attention to conventional crime in relation to white-collar crime can only hope that a decline in conventional crime will inspire more attention to white-collar crime.” Counterpunch

“In huge numbers of cases, people are not aware that they have been victims of white collar crime, for example, subjected to illegally spewed out pollution, or that they have purchased products that are unsafe, or that they have been subjected to corporate price fixing, or to the consequences of commodity speculation, which is believed to be one significant factor in driving up the cost of gasoline at the pump.” Counterpunch

“We simply do not have a centralized source of reliable information on the incidence of white collar crime. And the government historically hasn’t taken much initiative in this regard.” Counterpunch

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