Encyclopedia of Security and Emergency Management

Living Edition
| Editors: Lauren R. Shapiro, Marie-Helen Maras

Criminals: White-Collar Crimes

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69891-5_117-1


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI 2019; see chapter “Law: Criminal” in this encyclopedia) defines white-collar criminals as business and government professionals who commit crimes that are “characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and are not dependent on the application or threat of physical force or violence” and have a financial motivation rooted in the desire “to obtain or avoid losing money, property, or services or to secure a personal or business advantage.”


The terms white-collar criminal and white-collar crimehave been discussed conceptually and theoretically since Edwin H. Sutherland coined the terms 80 years ago. The widely accepted literature in criminology held that crimes were committed by people from low socioeconomic communities or by people with psychological or biological problems, making any other possibility a radical concept at least then. Over the years, the definition of what constitutes white-collar crime has...


Crime Criminal White-collar crime White-collar criminal 
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Further Readings

  1. Brickey, K. F., & Taub, J. (2017). Corporate and white collar crime: Cases and materials. New York: Wolters Kluwer.Google Scholar
  2. Cengiz, M., & Roth, M. P. (2019). The illicit economy in Turkey: How criminals, terrorists, and the Syrian conflict fuel underground markets. Lanham: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Criminal Justice DepartmentState University of New York (SUNY)PlattsburghUSA