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While street crime takes place in public places, white collar crime is mostly undetected (“Street Crime”). The latter may include fraud, bribery, “bankruptcy fraud,” insider trading, computer crime, embezzlement, medical crime, identity theft, public corruption, environmental crime, consumer fraud, securities fraud, forgery and financial fraud (Burns). The recent cases of Enron and Worldcom describe white collar crime that the chiefs of these companies were engaged in. In the year 2002, it was revealed that Enron had defrauded its Californian consumers of $30 billion at least. But, that was not all. Enron is known to have duped its workers, consumers, as well as shareholders worldwide (Rao). The losses met by all people were worth tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars. Moreover, the cases of Enron and Worldcom alone were enough to damage consumer confidence in the U.S. financial markets (Beams).
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Thus, white collar crime poses a greater danger to the economy than street crime, including pickpocketing, illegal drugs trade, “creation of graffiti,” and assaults (“Street Crime”). At the most, street crime may cost approximately a thousand dollars to the economy each time it is committed. White collar crime, on the other hand, is capable of starting a recession because it could cost tens or hundreds of billions of dollars to the economy each time that it takes place. This is because white collar crime is typically “committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation (Burns).” As is expected, a white collar criminal would not engage in crimes that would provide him with little in terms of financial resources. With their high status, white collar criminals are also expected to be smarter than the street criminals. Hence, white collar crime happens to be the responsibility of evil geniuses that could hurt the economy to a great extent.
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