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white-collar crime

noun
1.
any of various crimes, as embezzlement, fraud, or stealing office equipment, committed by business or professional people while working at their occupations.
Origin
1945-1950
1945-50
Related forms
white-collar criminal, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for white collar crime
  • We need larger white collar crime departments in our local police departments.
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  • white collar crime is the only crime where harsh sentences actually create deterrence.
  • One problem with white collar crime is that it often does pay.
  • Bur he will end up in a federal white collar crime country club prison.
Encyclopedia Article for white collar crime

white-collar crime

crime committed by persons who, often by virtue of their occupations, exploit social, economic, or technological power for personal or corporate gain. The term, coined in 1949 by the American criminologist Edwin Sutherland, drew attention to the typical attire of the perpetrators, who were generally businesspeople, high-ranking professionals, and politicians. Since Sutherland's time, however, such crimes have ceased to be the exclusive domain of these groups. Moreover, developments in commerce and technology have broadened the scope of white-collar crime to include cybercrime (computer crime), health-care fraud, and intellectual property crimes, in addition to more-traditional crimes involving embezzlement, bribery, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, perjury, money laundering, antitrust violations, tax crimes, and regulatory violations.

Learn more about white-collar crime with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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