White Collar Crimes Sociology YouTube Lecture Handouts

Dr. Manishika Jain- Join online Paper 1 intensive course. Includes tests and expected questions.


  • “White-collar crime is a crime committed by a person of respect-ability and high social status in the course of his occupation.” - Sutherland
  • Edwin Sutherland used this term for the first time in 1939 “Deceptive practices for financial gains.”


  • Public welfare offences
  • Socio-economic crimes
  • Violation of rules and law
  • High losses

Broad Classification

  • Occupational crime – crimes committed by professionals in the course of their occupation
  • Corporate crime – crimes committed by companies or businesses, e. g. pollution, fraud, corporate manslaughter
  • Crimes of the powerful
  • Crimes of the state – Muncie and McLaughlin – war crimes, genocide, pollution, human rights violations

Types of White Collar Crimes – Sutherland

  • Selling adulterated goods
  • Manipulation in stock exchange
  • Commercial bribery
  • Bribery of public officials
  • Tax frauds
  • Illegal sale of alcohol and narcotics
  • Illegal abortions
  • Unfair labor practices
  • Illegal services to criminals
  • Trademarks and copyrights infringement
  • Exploitation of employees
  • Mislabeling of goods
  • Violation of measures statutes


  • Crime by people who hold status
    • Not traditional criminals
    • Methods adopted by them are:
    • Fraud, misrepresentation, adulteration, irregularity etc.
    • Deliberate and planned conspiracies
    • Such crimes are more tolerant by people of a status because they relate with them
    • Victims are usually the entire community or society for example Nirav Modi case, Ponzi Scheme
  • Hard to detect
  • Expert knowledge to identify this crime
  • Considered less serious
    • Impacts social life and not very easy to curb
    • In 1964, Government introduced the Santharam Committee on the Prevention of Corruption

Santharam Committee

White collar crimes include:

  • Smuggling
  • Profiteering
  • Violation of standards, measures, weights
  • Professional misconduct
  • Under or over invoicing
  • Violation of foreign exchange rules
  • Election malpractices
  • Misuse of position
  • Theft and frauds
  • Tax evasion, etc.

Way Ahead

According to the committee there is a need to:

  • Include administrative, legal, socio-economic and educative measures
  • Study the scope and motive of corruption
  • Check existing practices
  • Avoid delays
  • Strict enforcement of rules and laws
  • Educate citizens in regards to their rights
  • Codes of conduct to be followed religiously
  • Detailed accounts of expenditure of the company
  • Modification of taxation laws
  • Reduction of bureaucratic corruption
  • Corruption trials
  • Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947


Q. 1. What type of crime is committed by a Chartered Accountant who manipulates accounts of a business corporation?

(A) Smuggling

(B) Cyber Crime

(C) White Collar Crime

(D) Money Laundering

Answer: (C)

Q. 2. The concepts associated with E. H. Sutherland are:

I. Crime is learned.

II. Born Criminal

III. White Collar Crime

IV. All of the above

Choose the correct combination using the codes given below:

(A) I and III are correct.

(B) II and III are correct.

(C) I and II are correct.

(D) IV is correct.

Answer: (A)

Q. 3. Assertion (A) : It is impossible to know the extent of White Collar Crime.

Reason (R) : The extent of White Collar Crime remains unknown because White Collar Crime rarely occurs in educated population groups.


(A) (A) is correct, but (R) is wrong.

(B) Both (A) and (R) are correct.

(C) (A) is wrong, but (R) is correct.

(D) Both (A) and (R) are wrong.

Answer: (A)

#Issues Pertaining to Deviance

#White collar crime and corruption


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