White collar crime


Crime is any act or negligence that is harmful to the common interest of the public and that is prohibited by law. White collar crimes are those non violent acts of crime that aim at unjustified financial benefits. White collar crimes are committed by use of tools such as position, influence, cheating and technology. Examples of white collar crimes are forgery, computer crime, bribery, money laundering and public corruption. White collar crime is on the increase due to the increased use of technology. White collar crimes usually involve huge sums of money and have high implication to the economy. The burden of this economic impact is mostly felt by the middle and lower class.

Impact of white collar crime on lower and middle classes

Many of the people today are victims of white collar crimes few report or are aware of that. White collar crimes include such crimes as unjustified business competition that force people to rely on a few products or service provider, bribery and corruption that lead to importation of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, money laundering and computer crimes (Hayden, 2009). White collar crimes are rarely reported. White collar crimes have entrenched economic effect. The effects includes increased cost of business, unjust competition, provision of poor products and services, fall of public institution, slow economic growth and economic crash (Anderson,1998).

Bribery and corruption lead to uneven and unjustified growth of wealth. This leads to Economic classes. The lower and middle class are impoverished. Forgery and counterfeiting has led to weakening and even fall of public institution such as banks and social security. The lower and middle class lose their saving and are put in the state of anxiety. Uncompetitive business and manipulative advertisement deny the public their right of variety of products and competitive prices. Cheating in Weights and Measures deny the lower and middle class, who are the majority, the right of the value of their money.

White Collar Crimes

Crime in the health sector has serious effects on the lower and the middle class, who cannot afford expensive health care. Importation of counterfeit drugs and health care fraud, where an unlicensed health care provider provides services under the guise of being licensed, compromise their health (World Development Report, 2004). This may lead to huge financial losses in medical bills.

Money laundering, telemarketing and welfare fraud usually targets the lower and middle class. Due to lack of information, the middle and lower class lose huge amounts of money. In addition it leads to weakening of financial institution. (;-Bartlett, 2002).

White collar crimes, in form of tax evasion, deny the government the funds that would be consequently used for public interest. Embezzlement of funds by government officers cripples service provision. This has direct and indirect economic effect on the middle and lower class.

Advancement in technology and growth in internet connectivity has led to increased computer crime (Biever, 2005). Computer hacking include stealing bank and credit card information. At the same time it has increase theft of intellectual property. These crimes increase cost of doing business and thus slow down economic growth.


With advancement in the fight on other crime such as organized crime, white crime is taking over as the lead crime. The advancement in information technology and globalization of commerce and communication has significantly impacted on the type of economic crimes that

White Collar Crimes

are committed. It has as well sophisticated the fight of these crimes. To fight these crimes, institutions that fight crime should be empowered. In addition the public should be informed about these crimes.


Anderson, D. A. (1999) pp. 611–642 "The Aggregate Burden of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics;-

Bartlett B.L (2002) pp 9;-:-The Negative Effect of Money Laundering on Economic Development;- Economic Research Report;-

Biever. Celeste (2005);-The true cost of computer crime;-New Scientist 22_Jan_2005;-


Hayden. S (2009) Suite101.com;-Types of White collar Crimes http://crime.suite101.com/article


Reid S.T (2003);-Crime Criminology, (10th Ed), McGraw;-New York, NY;