Sutherland Edwin - ‘White Collar Crime’

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White Collar Crime

White collar crime was first referenced in a book written by sociologist Sutherland Edwin in 1939. Since anyone can perpetrate this crime by using money, which is also used for many other purposes, it is typically challenging to define. White collar crime can be defined as an illegal deed carried out during routine, legal business transactions. For instance, this crime may arise in banking, insurance claims, or stock trading. (Payne, 2012). White collar crime can also include transportation of drugs, for example. Since all actions are forbidden, this kind of crime is also capable of being peaceful.

People Involved in White Collar Crime

People who engage in such behavior do so for selfish reasons. Groups may also be involved in this activity particularly when they abuse their positions in a company by stealing money. A good example of an individual committed a crime is when a car repair mechanic overcharges thing he has not done. Group crime, on the other hand, can involve people who deceive the investors through the stock exchange of the company and fattening their bank accounts. Therefore white collar crime in these situations carries one common name known fraud. A good definition of the offense is an intention of an individual, government or business who are purposed of stealing money or property or causing financial injuries (Laniar, 2012). In this essay, we will define describe types of white collar fraud that are involved in Healthcare and computer crime. White collar crimes are also estimated to cost a country billions of dollars. For instance, in 1995, the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimated that about $ 4 billion is lost in America every year due to white collar crime.

Health Fraud

A good definition of health care fraud can be when the company or an individual defrauds the government or insurer healthcare program. For instance, a person can decide to defraud Medicare in the health facilities (Fabrikant, 2017). Other violations may comprise of medical, health insurance and drug fraud. Common scams that have been discovered by researchers include using someone else's medical card, altering medical cards, filing up a duplicate for no services, and also providing false information. One good example of health care fraud is the medical identity theft where the person's name id wrongly used without their consent for the purpose of obtaining medical products or services.

Theft of Identity Cards

The identification card could also be used for to get payments of the individual's insurance funds. This type of fraud has resulted in enormous information being given out wrongly and sometimes even creating a fictitious medical record to the name of the victim. As a result, the victims may end up getting the wrong treatment, either find that they have exhausted their health insurance or end up not being insured for both health and life insurance coverage. The victim who may be identified as a thief may also his or her physical examination pertaining to getting a job because he has not passed through the diagnosis of physical examination or lacks the health record documents. The effects of this type of crime may plague the victim's financial and medical status for many years.

Effects of Identity Theft

Most of the time, the victims may also receive a sudden bill from the Internal Revenue services (IRS) at the end of the year without the knowledge of how the money was spent (Meidinger, 2015). This bill asks individuals to pay taxes from the money they spent after earning and most of the time they are unaware. This happened because of the stolen Identification since the criminals shop with their cards and the Medicare sends the record to the victim. A good example was seen in 2011 in America where about 91 people like the nurses, physicians, and other licensed medical professionals were involved in enormous sums of lost money of about $ 432 million dollars through false billing. Another amount of $100 million dollars was also involved in community health care fraud, and an estimated $530 million dollars was the fraud of transportation.

Computer Crime

Computer crime is any other crime that is committed through the aid of a computer; it is faceless and bloodless and has the potential of having huge financial gains. Most of the computer crimes involve the tampering of accounting and banking records which is mostly done through electronic funds transfers. The wire transfers or the electronic fund's transfers can be explained as cash management systems that give the customer electronic access to an account, internal banking procedures, automatic teller machines, automated check processing, and on-line teller terminals. The computer technologies such as e-mail, modems, computer bulletin boards, and printers are used in theft of secret documents, counterfeiting, vandalism, bank embezzlement, and other illegal activities.


Every individual who uses a computer is vulnerable to malware, and when one is susceptible to it, they are enabling a crime on a mass scale. Malware is viruses, worms, Trojans, and other software that get access to your computer without your knowledge. Back in the century when the software began, it was with the primary aim of thrills. Many of the people who wrote the software found it amusing how a program could exploit security flaws and how far it could spread. Today the reasons for making this software have become more sinister making it one of the top five computer crimes. A malware piece could at times be in the pretense of a legitimate piece of software and will prompt for money for it to be removed. But not all malware has the characteristics of extracting money from you directly; many just bury themselves in a computer and make use of it. When black-hat hackers want to launch an attack on an institution or government they most of the time use a network of machines that are compromised to go about it. A network like this is referred to as a botnet, and it is one of the primary tools of the trade for most of the internet crimes. A computer should be protected against this software as it drains its resources. Every individual that uses a Windows computer should ensure that they have proper anti-malware protection.


White collar crime, as seen in this article, can cost the government and health insurance companies much money. As seen, this activity can be individually conducted or with a large group. For instance, in health care, most crimes are carried out in groups because of the different protocols that are supposed to be followed. Huge sums of money are seen to disappear where the victims are never aware. In computer crime, we see the majority of these activities are individual based. They mostly involve the transfer of funds through a secure wireless transaction. The most common fraud used in computer crime is the use of Trojan, which comes in the form of viruses. Malware is also seen to come as online programs that request users to send money for the exchange of a particular service.


Casey, E. (2011). Digital Evidence and Computer Crime: Forensic Science, Computers and the Internet. Academic Press.

Fabrikant, R. (2017). Health Care Fraud: Enforcement and Compliance. Law Journal Press.

Lanier, M. (2012). What is Crime?: Controversies Over the Nature of Crime and what to Do about it. Rowman & Littlefield.

Meidinger, R. J. (2015). The Truth About The Healthcare Industry. BookBaby publishers.

Payne, B. K. (2012). White-Collar Crime: The Essentials: The Essentials. SAGE publishers.

July 07, 2023

Crime Law

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