White-collar crime is not a crime that is easy to define. There are many different crimes that are all considered to be white-collar crimes. In other words, white-collar crime is a big bubble that has all kinds of other crimes inside of it. The crimes that are in the category of white-collar crime vary in severity and jail time, but all of them essentially have to do with personal or corporate financial gain. White-collar crime is not necessarily easy to define or even commit, but it has become a lot easier over the course of history for certain offenders to commit these crimes. Many individuals believe that white-collar crimes are victimless, but this is not the case; there are individuals, as well as businesses, that are affected by the actions of these offenders.
There are different definitions of white-collar crime, but many of them are all along the same lines. To define white-collar crime, the U.S. Department of Justice uses this definition: "White-collar offenses shall constitute those classes of non-violent illegal activities which principally involve traditional notions of deceit, deception, concealment, manipulation, breach of trust, subterfuge or illegal circumvention” (USDOJ (1989) 3). This is basically saying that a white-collar crime is anything that is an illegal activity that involves lying or deceiving people. The definitions mentioned next will go into more detail about what white-collar crime is.
Edwin Sutherland says that white-collar crime is "crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation" (Baker 2004). Sutherland’s definition of white-collar crime brings a totally different side of the crimes to light. When crime is normally thought about, it is assumed that lower class individuals are the people who are committing the crimes because of strain in their lives that drives them to make the choice to commit a crime. However, Sutherland...