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Why do people commit white-collar crimes?

On Behalf of | Sep 17, 2018 | White Collar Crimes

Each person finds personal motivations to follow-through on daily activities. They might be motivated to get healthier and decided to go for a run. Or someone might cook dinner because their hunger motivates them.

But what motivates someone to commit white-collar crimes?

According to Forbes, there are common reasons why someone may push themselves to commit embezzlement, fraud or Ponzi schemes. Many of these reasons do not involve a financial gain, even though it is often appealing.

Four reasons why someone may commit fraud

Some reasons for white-collar crime include:

  1. Morally vague – many professionals rely on a strong ethical foundation in their business practices. However, if management or specific companies encourages morally-vague behavior, it may reaffirm a belief that unethical behavior is harmless.
  2. Poor work environment – whether it’s aggressive goals or unethical behavior by other employees, a poor work environment may shape staff to react to their treatment. They may even steal a company’s funds as a “punishment” or feel entitled to additional compensation.
  3. Invincibility – Some employers or high-ranking employees may feel invincible or immune to traditional laws. They push their actions to the limits where they may commit fraud or embezzlement because they believe they will not be punished.
  4. Inflated belief that everyone misbehaves – in specific industries, many employees perceive risky decisions leads to higher rewards, especially in offices that rely on incentive programs. Some risky choices use improper practices to achieve success. If people start to believe that everyone misbehaves to get results, they might also practice wrong decisions.

All these motivations tie closely to one another because employees often show multiple reasons why they may commit fraud or embezzlement. They may have morally-grey ethics and feel entitled to more money in their position. Or they are reacting to a poor incentive program and believe everyone practices unethical behavior.

Despite the motivation, they all share the decision of committing white-collar crimes. However, it’s vital for anyone who charged with white-collar crimes to explain their actions to a lawyer. It may help their case.


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