Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
White-collar crime encompasses overt and hidden misconduct and transgressions by corporations, professionals, and political officials who engage in a wide variety of regulatory, civil, and criminal wrongdoing. The broad categorization of white-collar crime may involve anti-trust conspiracies, insider trading, defective products, insurance fraud, dangerous medical devices, unwanted surgeries, or political bribery. In the late 1970s, for example, the Ford Motor Company released the Pinto, a car that the company knew might explode upon impact because of a defective part. Ultimately, company officials were charged with reckless homicide. The savings and loans scandal that erupted in the 1980s, a time period referred to the “decade of greed,” resulted in widespread fraud and embezzlement after the U.S. Congress deregulated the industry to promote a more competitive marketplace. Religious leader Jim Bakker created a Ponzi scheme under the auspices of Christianity and bilked followers of millions of dollars in bogus real estate deals. ...