Individual Studies in Sociology
Individual Studies in Sociology SOC 4307
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Popular in Sociology
This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Everardo Terry on Thursday October 22, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 4307 at Texas Tech University taught by Ignacio Ramirez in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 40 views. For similar materials see /class/226403/soc-4307-texas-tech-university in Sociology at Texas Tech University.
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Date Created: 10/22/15
Spencer Cocheu Tim Foster Kele Gibson White Collar Exam 1 Review 1 What is the history ofthe concept White Collar crime Who coined the term white collar crime and what role did sociology have a The term quotwhitecollar crimequot is a social science construct that has transcended its academic roots and entered the public lexicon its origin can be precisely located In 1939 Professor Edwin Sutherland of Indiana University delivered the presidential address to the American Sociological Society in which he argues for the need to expand criminological thinking to include behaviors and persons not generally thought of either by the public or by most scholars of the time as crime and criminals Sutherland defined whitecollar crime as quotcrimes committed by a person of respect ability and high social status in the course of his occupation With this definition Sutherland connected two distinct elements the Social Status of the offender and the Occupational Mechanism by the offense is committed Sutherland also pointed out that the white collar classes have both the special influence on the formation of criminal laws and various means of minimizing the chances of criminal convictions 2 Discuss the history of Ponzi Schemes What are other examples of Ponzi cases described in your book a An especially remarkable figure of his era was a dominative glibtongued immigrant named Charles Ponzi In 1919 Ponzi announced that his Financial Exchange Company of Boston would guarantee an incredible 50 return to investors within 45 days The plan ostensibly was to purchase international postage coupons in countries where the exchange rate was low and then resell them in countries with higher rates It was a primitive form of the technique now known as arbitrage which was refined so devioust by Ivan Boesky in the 1980 s Within six months Ponzi had persuaded 20000 investors to give him nearly 10 million The secret of Ponzi s smoke screen was that he paid off early investors with new investor s money thereby attracting more and more investors Other Examples Credit Development International Clyde quotthe glidequot Austin for fraud and money laundering attorney Nikolai Tehin stealing millions from clients 3 Summarize the section on the Great Depression Describe and discuss the different dates given in the section a Public skepticism about the morality of big business which had been fostered by writers like Brandeis and Ross intensified during The Great Depression of the 1930 s The Stock Market Crash of 1929 had laid bare the reckless speculation and rampant frauds that had fueled the economic boom of the 1920 s In the 1920 s the Justice Department under took some unusually vigorous prosecutions of whitecollar offenders including such corrupt politicians as Vice President Spiro Agnew several state governors and white house budget director Even the FBI which had never before demonstrated much passion in this area substantially increased its budget for whitecollar crime investigations Spencer Cocheu Tim Foster Kele Gibson White Collar Exam 1 Review 4 De ne and discuss the section on Tax fraud What are the examples given in the book a Tax evasion is a fairly routine offense Tax Evasion is efforts by individuals corporations trusts and other entities to evade taxes by illegal means Tax evasion usually entails taxpayers 39 quot39 39 39 r 39 C or quot U the true state of their affairs to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liability Perhaps emblematic of the 1990 s was the tax fraud imprisonment of Catalina Vazquez Villalpando the treasurer of the United States All the paper money printed in the US between 19901994 thus bore her signature 5 De ne and discuss notable embezzlement cases that are in the book 3 Dana L Bacon embezzled 12 million of school district funds by using direct deposits duplicate checks unauthorized invoices and phony tax payments to steal money from the Montrose school district Jason Herrington embezzled 453000 by depositing the bank funds into his own personal account John Hoeffner embezzled from New York City mayor contractor to pay for an expensive lifestyle 6 De ne and discuss issues related to measuring white collar crime I Since the 1930 s when the FBI first began collecting crime statistics in its Uniform Crime Reports the federal government has poured billions of dollars into the creation of databases that measure traditional or quotstreet crimesquot As a result American Criminologists now have access to an array of sophisticated data sets that allow them to study crime from a number of perspectives reported versus unreported crimes consequences to victims trends over time and geographical distributions across the national level or down to the individual city blocks By contrast government agencies federal state and local have devoted relatively few resources to gathering data specific to whitecollar crime There are virtually no systematic counts for instances of the number of whitecollar offenses that occur in a given year or the number of individuals arrested for these offenses Indeed it s disappointing that we have progressed so little since Sutherland first criticized the class biases in official crime statistics 7 Summarize the section on Cross Sectional Studies a In his pioneering 1949 study Sutherland examined the records of criminal and civil courts as well as administrative agencies looking for adverse decisions against the 70 year period up to 1945 Adverse decisions consisted of criminal convictions civil judgments and actions taken against a company by a regulatory agency or commission Such a methodology provides an overly conservative measure of corporate criminality since most whitecollar crimes are never reported or sanctioned and because many of the infractions that are detected are settled out of court Nonetheless these data can provide at least a sense of the extent of crime among the corporate elite Sutherland found that every one of the 70 corporations in this sample had incurred one or more Spencer Cocheu Tim Foster Kele Gibson White Collar Exam 1 Review adverse decisions with the 2 most prolific transgressors incurring a total of 50 violations each 8 Summarize the section on IndustrySpecific Studies a Industry specific studies have confirmed the findings of Sutherland and ClinardYeager that criminal and civil penalties tend to be concentrated in certain industries We will examine some evidence from several major industries with relatively high rates of criminality First consider defense contractors firms that are repeatedly awarded lucrative contracts by the federal government for defenserelate work 9 Summarize the section on victimization surveys a Another way to measure the extent of whitecollar crime is to ask members of the public about their exposure to it An example of this is a 1991 survey of the more than 1200 subjects randomly selected for the sample nearly onethird reported that they had been targets of an attempted or successful fraud in the previous year 10 Summarize the section on the cost ofwhitecollar crime a Given the scarcity of official data on whitecollar crime it is not surprising that precise estimates of the economic costs of those offenses are also difficult to determine Nevertheless a number of government agencies and private organizations have offered estimates that can help ascertain the magnitude of the problem The victimization survey cited in the previous section for example estimated that personal frauds alone such as repair scams and quotfree prize swindlescost American taxpayers about 40 billion dollars annually 11 Summarize the section on the Public perception of White Collar crime a One reason why the government pays little attention to White Collar crime is that members of the public do not express nearly the degree of outrage over it as they do over street crime which has become the overriding social issue of our time Surveys have found that Americans tend to view whitecollar crime as a problem but not a particularly severe one 12 Summarize the section on Dial F for Fraud a The burgeoning 900number telephone industry illustrates how easily old crimes like consumer fraud can dovetail with new technology From its beginning inception in 1980 when the first 900 number flashed on TV screens during the CarterReagan Presidential Debate and invited viewers to vote for the winner by placing a 50cent call paypercall telephone services have become a billion dollar key to American pocketbooks This is not to say that all 900 number services are fraudulent Many legitimate businesses provide useful information or technical support to customers on a payper call basis 13 Summarize the section on the Myth ofthe Free Market Spencer Cocheu Tim Foster Kele Gibson White Collar Exam 1 Review Indeed the modern capitalist state is fueled by the profits generated by the consumption of goods and services Proponents of a pure freemarket economy content that left to itself the economy affords consumers sufficient protection since unrestrained competition reduces prices and impels producers to improve the quality and safety of the goods and services These assertions however are based on an idealized laissezfaire model which as even the most libertarian economists would concede has never existed True competition has been more illusory than real in many markets A few hidebound theorists still adhere to the venerable rule of caveat emptor let the buyer beware The flaw in such reasoning is that modern markets are often too complex for buyers to understand adequately the costs and risks of purchasers It is imperative that somewhere between the stiffing governmental interference that has failed miserably in noncapitalist economics and the hands off policy implied by the caveat emptor rule a balance must be struck American consumers seeking nothing more than fair value in the market place deserve to be protected At the very least a superordinate doctrine of caveat vendito let the seller beware must be institutionalized 14 Summarize the section on Consumer Fraud a Telemarketing is perhaps the most cynical opportunism of all involves targeting the lonely Americas over 65 populations has a combined personal income of more than 800 billion and accounts for almost 75 of the net worth of the nation s household Between 1995 and 1998 an FBI operation dubbed Double Barrel produced criminal charges against nearly 1000 telemarketers Another popular way to fleece the poor is through disreputable vocational schools Telemarketers plunder the federal student loan programs which have been described as quota multibilliondollar swamp of fraudquot 15 Summarize the section on Telemarketing Fraud a Another form of consumer fraud becoming increasingly more invasive is the telemarketing swindle Con artist used telephones to cheat consumers out of 10 million and the numbers only increased over the years By 1992 it was 15 million and by 1995 it was over 40 million They targeted the elderly and the poor because they had high substantial savings lumpsum pensions or home equity As the cost of telemarketing continued to increase law enforcement began to pay more attention and resources to the issue 16 Summarize the section on and the Poor Get Poorer a People in financial difficulty are often easy prey because of their desperation Fraudulent loan companies purchase lists of persons experiencing hard times such as those involved in foreclosure proceedings and either telephone them or mail them loan applications guaranteeing approvalin exchange for upfront fees Unscrupulous players in the burgeoning home equity loan business constitute another example of how Spencer Cocheu Tim Foster Kele Gibson White Collar Exam 1 Review financially desperate people can be exploited by so called quotbird dogquot salesmen quotBird Dogquot salesmen are middle men when you want to buy something and they steer you to a particular business or corporation 17 Summarize the section on False Advertising a In theory at least the multibillion dollar American advertising industry serves as a conduit between business need to inform and the public s need to know Many critics contend however that in practice advertising provides very little useful information to consumers whose desire to evaluate products and services in a knowledge able way remains largely unfulfilled The reason for this is that advertising has become more a tool for manipulation than education Indeed of the three advertisement categories classified by the FTC informative ads are probably the least visible For more ubiquitous is a second category puffing ads featuring self serving ballyhoo or irrelevant celebrity endorsement The third and most insidious category deceptive ads is characterized by misleading or untrue claims sometimes supported by rigged tests and photographic trickery The FTC s authority over the advertising industry predates the advent of network television Thus every TV commercial ever run has been subject to FI39C regulation Many consumer advocates have given the FTC and other regulatory agencies low overall grades in this area through the years but the government has displayed occasional flashes of toughness 18 Summarize the section on Celebrity Endorsements a In 1990 actor Lloyd Bridges was sued by customers who had been cheated by an investment company for whom the veteran star had done print ads and television commercials After the company went bankrupt and its officers were thrown in jail victims went after Bridges When a Chicago court ruled that endorsers could be held liable under Illinois consumer fraud law even for innocent misrepresentations the case was quickly sued The established precedent has sobering implications for celebrity endorsers like Dick Clark and Ed McMehon who do not personally bother to substantiate the truthfulness of information they communicate to consumers FTC guidelines now require celebrity endorsers to base their endorsements on honest beliefs formed from personal finding or experience 19 Summarize the section on Bait and Switch a Some years back the New York Times reported a story about a woman who had responded to a bedding store s published advertisement offering a fullsize Sealy super firm mattress for 48 When a salesman showed her the item it was leaning against a storeroom wall soiled and looking in the customer s words quotlike one of those mattresses on the sidewalk waiting for a sanitation pickupquot What the woman had encountered was one of the oldest and most durable forms of false advertisement The FTC defines bait and switch as quotan alluring bot insincere offer to sell a product or service Spencer Cocheu Tim Foster Kele Gibson White Collar Exam 1 Review which the advertiser does not intend or want to sell The merchant s objective of course is to switch the buyer to another higherpriced more profitable item Bait amp Switch is the mainstay of some sleazy retail stores ln sales parlance their advertised merchandise is quotnailed to the floorquot 20 Summarize the section on Price Fixing a PriceFixing is criminalized under the Sherman AntiTrust Act of 1890 one of the most important pieces of legislation in American History The act came of age in 1911 with the dissolution of the immense Standard Oil and American Tobacco Empires Overtime additional federal regulations were enacted Most notably the Clayton Act the Federal Trade Commission Act and the KefauverCellar Act and states now have their own antitrust statues as well AntiTrust laws prohibit practices that unreasonably deprive of the 39 U of I the sinequa non of capitalism When competitors agree to fix prices rig bids or allocate customers consumers lose the benefits of competition the prices that results when competitors agree in these ways care artificially high such prices do not accurately reflect cost and therefore distort the allocation of society s resources The result is a loss not only to US consumers and taxpayers but also the US economy 21 Summarize the section on Price Gouging a Another practice falling under the generalfixing rubric is price gauging Price gauging refers to the practice of taking extraordinary advantage of consumers because of the bias of the law monopoly of the market or because of contrived or real shortages Price gauging reflects corporate opportunism at its most ruthless 22 Summarize the section on Knockoff Ripoffs m A special type of price gauging involves the covert substitution of low quality counterfeit versions of brand name consumer products known as knockoffs The most fragrant counterfeiting practice is probably the bootlegging of videotapes videogames and computer software Another example would be bootleg movies people sell before the movie even comes out in theatres
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