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Any given society needs the law because it serves as a standard and code of conduct for its members. There would be severe disputes between the many societal social groupings and communities if there were no law. A corporation is given equal legal standing to a person for business purposes since it is legally regarded as an artificial being (Seaquist, 2012). According to this definition, a criminal act by a person or an organization has a major impact on civil society because both hurt businesses. This is because a harm by either of the two would cause the innocent people in the society to pay a huge price for the committed crime.
In my opinion, both the corporation and a person that commits crime causes a significant threat to the society. However, when we consider the magnitude or number of people and things to be affected by crime from either of the two, a crime committed by a corporation presents the greatest threat to the society. This is because when a crime is committed by a corporation, the employees, shareholders, creditors as well as the general public would be adversely affected. This cannot be equated by a crime committed by an individual as it would only have an effect on them personally as well as to one two immediate persons close to that individual.
A good example is the case of the famous Enron Corporation fraud in 2001. The senior managers such as the accounting officer Skilling among others led by the Corporation Chairman and CEO Ken Lay propelled the occurrence of the greatest fraud crime of the time (Partington, 2011). Through the newly accounting method called mark to market introduced by Skilling, the company financial statements were inflated to read an exaggerated figure that attracted many investors. Many investors thought that the company was doing great and therefore, they expected their investment to grow and return huge returns. However, to their dismay their invested millions of US dollars had already being embezzled by the Enron Senior management. The company filed for bankruptcy that was granted and many employees lost their jobs.
In conclusion, from this example it is clear that a crime committed by a corporation causes the greatest threat or harm to civil society. This is because the harm caused by the action of a few officials of the Enron Corporation resulted to great loss of money inform of investment, loss of employment to the worker from the society as well as failure to offer reliable energy services to the communities or people in the society.
Partington, R. (2011). The Enron Cast: Where are they now?. Financial News Retrieved March 20, 2012 from http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/2011-12-01/enron-ten-years-on- where-they-are-now
Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers (Electronic version). Retrieved from https://content.ashfor.edu/
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