More than a third of businesses have been the victim of white-collar crime, with devastating consequences. Here’s how corporations in Texas and across the country are fighting back.
A singular white-collar crime can cost a large corporation billions of dollars. For those who have no personal experience with white-collar crime, the numbers can seem staggeringly large. However, unlike other crimes, those that fall under the “white-collar” umbrella are primarily nonviolent and financially motivated, meaning the financial impact can be devastating.
Corporations have an obvious interest in combating the surge of financially motivated criminal activity. This isn’t always easy, considering that it can be hard to initially detect crimes like fraud or embezzlement, and even more difficult to pinpoint the motivation behind them. These factors leave corporations in the position of defending themselves against something that typically starts out as a silent attack.
Corporations and White-Collar Crimes
Financially motivated crimes aren’t just committed against businesses – just speak to the 25% of households in the United States that have been on the victim of a white-collar crime. Financial crimes can be devastating for anyone they’re against, but they have the potential to completely destroy a business. The relationship between corporations and white-collar crimes is generally in a different realm than crimes committed against individuals. (1)
The corporate white-collar criminal often has different motivations than someone who commits acts against an individual. In the corporate setting, an opportunity may suddenly present itself and leave a person questioning their own ethics and weighing the perceived benefit against the potential risk. Corporate criminals are frequently individuals who don’t fit the typical criminal profile. The very nature of corporate crimes makes it difficult for corporations to fight back against them.
How Corporations are Fighting White Collar Criminals
Corporate crimes are difficult to detect and anticipate. For corporations, defending themselves against financial devastation means being proactive in fighting white-collar criminals. Here are a few of the ways that corporations are taking steps to fight the increasing rate of white-collar crimes.
- Thorough and Accurate Screening
Corporations are becoming more diligent about the screening process before bringing someone new on their teams. Some might say it’s odd that a minimum wage position requires a thorough background check, however upper management and corporate officers are often appointed based on interviews and recommendations alone. Sometimes, a thorough vetting doesn’t occur until long after a person has been appointed, at which point it may be too late.
- Pathways for Reporting
Colleagues are often among the first to recognize the signs of a white-collar crime. They may have noticed a shift in behaviors, suspicious emails, missing documents, or accounting that just isn’t adding up. It’s frequently the case that a colleague might think they’re overreacting or are concerned they’ll tarnish their reputation by reporting such “minor” concerns. More corporations have begun implementing anonymous tip lines and have made it easier for team members to report concerns without risk to their job or reputation.
- Shifts in Ethics Training
Ethics training is an important part of the onboarding process. Recently, more corporations have started making changes in their ethic training processes that are designed to further protect against white-collar activity. Strategies such as conducting ethics training in person, rather than as online training are thought to be more effective. There has also been a bit of a shift towards communicating the penalties of white-collar crimes to further dissuade temptation.
- Focus on Internal Audits
Corporations that want to protect their assets realize the value of internal audits and conduct them regularly, taking full advantage of the most sophisticated auditing software. Between a dedicated internal audit department and technology, corporations are catching more white-collar crimes before there’s the opportunity for them to spiral into something larger.
- Strict Penalties
A white-collar crime isn’t always committed by a single individual. In fact, the web of deception can reach far into the organizational structure of a corporation. When such an act is discovered, pursuing charges against every player can wipe out important members of their teams. Those in upper positions might feel they’re exempt and let the “lower guy” take the fall. Corporations are growing stricter in who they’re willing to pursue and are doing so to the fullest extent of their capabilities.
When You Need a Dallas White Collar Crime Attorney
If the corporation you work for is looking at you for your involvement in a white-collar crime, the very first thing you need to do is contact a Dallas white collar crime attorney who can listen to your side of the story and help you fight the allegations. It’s never a good idea to take the wait and see approach to preparing a criminal defense. Contact an experienced defense white-collar attorney at the Law Office of Broden & Mickelsen in Dallas to review your case today.
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Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case.