Edwin Sutherland came up with the term white collar crime, some decades ago, while addressing the American Sociological Association. This took place during an address to the then American president. This type of crime is often compared to other crimes, such as theft and burglary. White collar crimes are committed by criminals and they involve stealing of other people’s property and money. Burglaries and white collar crimes are committed by people known as scroungers. They are people who seek to prey and benefit from other people’s resources. In the United States, as much as 15% of people are theft and white collar crime victims (Friedrich, 2004).
The powerful and the rich are known to commit white collar crimes. They crimes are committed by the people of high status and respectability, while carrying out their professions. This crime mostly benefits the organization the person works in, in that it earns a lot of money in profits. This can take the form of antitrust, embezzlement, fraud, among others (Friedrich, 2004). Most times those who commit this crime often escape punishment, due to their influence on the legal system.
Theft and burglary are also known as larceny as they involve taking other people’s property of a personal nature, through stealing. There are several categories, which theft, as well as burglaries is based upon. They include; Petty Larceny also known as misdemeanor whereby, small amounts of theft occur. The other is Grand Larceny whereby, large value items are stolen and the guilty person sent to prison for felony. In the different states, boundaries are set to determine the nature of the theft (Friedrich, 2004) .For example; South Carolina charges its boundaries above twenty dollars. Burglary occurs when a criminal enters and breaks into a house or premises and commits a felony. According to the law, burglary has to occur at night, where people reside, as well as forced entry being used. Research has found out that most burglars are young and from the male gender.
Unlike the crimes of burglary and theft tried in criminal courts, white collar crime is conducted in civil courts. The sentences served by the white collar crime offenders are usually short as compared to the other crimes. Also, they have the benefit of paying monetary fines. As compared to thieves and burglars, those who commit white collar crimes are sentenced in prisons, which are of extremely high standards (Friedrich, 2004). Prosecutors in white collar cases try and protect the image if the offender. They try and maintain the image of the offender by ensuring that they are not compared to common criminals.
In some recent news at Wetumpka, it was found out that a burglary took place and the stolen item was a flat screen television. There were three robbers but only two were caught. The criminals used a gun and this added onto their charges (Henninger, 2011). The two culprits are being charged with robbery of the first degree as the police seek to apprehend the other culprit. The law applied in this case concerns robbery through burglary and theft. An example of a white collar crime is concerning the fraud matter at Medicare (Taylor, 2011). The matter is still in court as it involves many prominent people. In conclusion, the different types of crime are punishable by law and no one should be exempted from their crimes.
Friedrich, David. (2004). Trusted Criminals. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson.
Henninger, Jeff. (2011). Why Congressman Anthony Weiner was not hacked and why he claims he was. White Collar Crime News. Retrieved from http://whitecollarcrimenews.com/
Taylor, Kevin. (2011). 2 arrested on burglary, theft charges. The Wetumpka Herald. Retrieved from http://www.thewetumpkaherald.com/news/article_23a471d0-c35f-11e0-a9b5-001cc4c03286.html
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