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Why is white-collar crime so common?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2021 | Criminal Defense

When you are an executive or in a high level of business, white-collar crime may start to look normal. Many executives and other businesspeople become blinded by ambition and climbing the ladder. They may bend the rules or break the law for the sake of money or reputation. 

According to the Atlantic, white-collar crimes include embezzlement, fraud, insider trading and bribery. When it comes to white-collar crime, it helps to understand the factors that lead people to commit crimes for the sake of their business. 

Pressure outweighs ethics

As an executive, you are always under a lot of pressure. You may look at fraud or embezzlement and weigh the costs and benefits. In some scenarios, the crime may seem worth it, given the benefit. To be under constant pressure makes it difficult to think clearly about your morals and ethics. You must think about the budget, you have to consider the numbers and you may focus solely on increasing the budget, rather than what might be right or wrong. 

The behavior is normal

Some executives do not recognize that they committed an offense when charged with a white-collar crime. When prosecuted, they find it unfair when most people in the industry do the same. For example, you may know many people who behaved similarly to you, but it feels like prosecutors targeted you specifically. If you embezzle money, it does not feel like stealing. The crime does not feel nearly as intimate or personally damaging. For many executives, there is a distance between themselves and the crime. Industry culture could encourage white-collar crime.