There are a number of reasons why people commit white collar crimes. Some perpetrators believe they deserve more than they receive from their employers. But while many people may think of white collar criminals as aggrieved individuals who feel powerless playing by the rules of society, a recent crop of white collar criminals actually have positions of great power and influence.
This can be a puzzling development since these individuals seem to have financially and personally fulfilling lives, yet it shows that people in different walks of life may commit fraud or similar crimes. Forbes provides some details on this new trend of white collar crimes.
The people committing white collar crimes
Recent white collar criminal cases involve influential and powerful positions. A case out of Massachusetts involved state police officers receiving pay even though they were not working. A trial involving the heads of a pharmaceutical company resulted in a guilty verdict for the executives charged with crimes.
Perhaps the most infamous case of fraud in the past couple of years was the Operation Varsity Blues scandal where executives and Hollywood celebrities paid to have their children admitted to universities using fraud and bribery. This case involved allegations of multiple oversights or abuses of power from famous people, the coaches of the universities, and the university admissions authorities.
The circumstances surrounding recent cases
The popular image of white collar criminals is of people who stand to gain a lot from an act of fraud. However, these recent cases defy that logic. Many of the people involved have a lot of wealth and power already, and their instances of fraud seem to risk so much to gain little apparent benefit.
Many of the people involved in these cases hold positions of trust in society. The temptation to abuse that trust may help explain why they went along with these schemes. Unfortunately, these recent instances of fraud can heighten suspicion toward honest citizens who hold similar positions of authority or influence, which may result in criminal charges that an innocent person has to spend time and money fighting off.