The term, "white collar crime" was coined by sociologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939. It was meant to describe a crime committed by a person of respectability, high social status and in the course of one's occupation. In recent years, as major scandals have unfolded -- Enron, Worldcon, Tyco, subprime mortgage fraud -- white collar crime has become elevated in the public's conscious. Then, federal investigators uncovered one diabolical con to trump them all. The massive Ponzi scheme orchestrated by disgraced stockbroker Bernie Madoff outraged the US and forever changed how the world thinks about white collar aime. In terms of pressure, fraudsters would violate the trust of their employers when faced with personal problems that led them to misappropriate their company's assets as a solution. With criminals like Bernie Madoff being thrust into the public eye, a new view of fraud is emerging. It is one in which occupational offenders operate without any moral compass in life.
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