Custom Writing Service Criminal Justice Paper on Embezzlement Crimes

Embezzlement Crimes


The concept of white collar crime became effective in criminology in 1941 after American Sociological Review was published. Sociologist as well as criminologist Edwin Sutherland coined the concept of white collar crime in 1939, which he described as an offence perpetrated by an individual of preeminent social standards as well as lofty respect in their occupational area. Sutherland asserts that white collar crimes incorporate the crimes committed by legal entities and corporations. People operating in such extremely large and powerful organizations are the very same individuals who commit crimes. White collar crimes have various forms. This paper however majors on embezzlement as a form of white collar crime.

General structure of embezzlement

Embezzlement is the improper cash withdrawal from an individual to whom a form of duty is owed. Embezzlement crimes mostly entail theft of property or money, and mostly takes place in the corporate and employment settings. A popular scenario of embezzlement would be a company employee that embezzles funds from his worker, for instance by siphoning money from the employee’s account to his personal account. An accounting embezzlement is controlling the records of accounts to secrete stolen funds, whereby criminals convert business endowments to their personal interests (Griew, 2009).

Employers on the other hand can embezzle company property such as company vehicles or laptop computers that have been entrusted to them by the organization. Embezzlement crimes can takes various forms such as fabricating employees’ pay roll checks, fraudulent billing, ponzi financial schemes and records falsification among other forms (Griew, 2009). It could be inform of speculative confidants who inadequately deploy customer stash they are consigned to cushion or lawyers who inadequately employ customer’s capital.

Historical antecedents of embezzlement crime

Being the founder of the white collar crime concept, Sutherland states that apart from traditional crimes such as robbery, kidnapping, assault, murder, and rape among other violent crimes; certain anti-social activities are posited by individuals of strata in their economical business occupation. Precipitated to research on white collar crime, Sutherland was impacted by the perception that criminology inappropriately majored on the economic and societal agents of criminal activities, corresponding to financial level and family circumstances (Khare, 2011). Over the years, there have been crooks and unethical individuals in organizations, who are unscrupulous for no reason, other than to quench their thirst of gaining more and more for themselves. Such misfits care less for principled as well as noble human values.

All through history, white collar crime such as embezzlement was tolerated as corporate norm schemes required for sapient occupation. Any complaints made against embezzlement therefore went unpunished (Khare, 2011). For instance, in the 18th century, colonial companies under which the opposition between state and private interests was programmed were ready rocked by large embezzlement and corruption scandals that had a great impact to members of the public. This clearly denotes that economic embezzlement is as old as economic activities. Nonetheless, Sutherland was preceded by various sociologists who concentrated on the insecurities endured by the community from higher socio-economic ranks who harnessed the adopted economic setup to the impairment of the usual masses.

For instance, Albert Morris observed the perquisite of transformation regarding white offense in 1934. In his article, he stressed on the progressive occurrence of criminal offenses as planned business as well as the possible negative impacts to community. Moreover, he asserted in his article that anti-social activities of individuals with high status committed in the course of their profession must be subjected to crime and gets an appropriate severe punishment (Khare, 2011). Finally, through the pioneering work of Sutherland, crimes of the upper world that are committed by upper socio-economic individuals in the course of their duty were termed as white collar crimes to separate them from the traditional crimes, which he termed as the blue collar crime.

Historical development of white collar crime and its relation to embezzlement

As noted, white collar crime was coined by criminologist Sutherland. However, to fully comprehend its historical development, several theories have been explored to examine the relationship with several forms of crimes within the concept of white collar job. An example of such a theory is the strain theory which encourages people within various social backgrounds to pursue prosperity based on monetary objectives or middle class level (Cullen, 2010). However, people from lower economic levels are subjected to constant challenge of obtaining such objectives through legal means. This concept also posits some association of wanting more and being self-centered rather than the common satisfactory limit.

Most economists across the globe apply this concept to illustrate human behavior in decision making. Relating this historic concept to embezzlement, the frustration resulting from this goal blockage and the motive to have more result in such individuals to crime. Economic crimes such as embezzlement are committed by both the lower and higher class individuals, to obtain monetary goals among other malicious targets. It is presumed that over the years, criminals make rational decisions to embezzle funds or any other service by considering all possibilities and outcomes (Cullen, 2010).

Basic issues and problems confronting law enforcement

Savvy criminals constantly develop new techniques to target their own selfish interest, businesses and persons. There are basic issues and problems confronting contemporary law enforcement in combating embezzlement crimes. Some of these issues include:

Embezzle based criminals take advantage of geographical borders. Such criminals depend on personal capability as well as public respect to unlawfully cross borders, sabotage border safety policies and offer unauthorized services or products, thus earning a premium from black market customers (Finklea, 2013). Most crimes, especially those involving embezzlement and cybercrimes have become increasingly transnational. As much as these criminals frequently succeed to operate their illegal business across geographical borders and jurisdiction boundaries, the law enforcement team may not be effective enough to trace them with ease. For instance, fraudsters and smugglers ship counterfeit goods from overseas, flooding the U.S markets with sham goods, thus depriving genuine manufacturers of their due profits. To worsen such a situation, obstacles such as disparities between the legal regimens of nations and the differences in willingness to extradite suspected criminals can hamper prosecutions.

Additionally, technology and proliferation creativity have contributed to the increase of legal as well as criminal activities across borders as well as through cyberspace. Modern globalization boosts embezzlement criminals to dubiously rob victims as well as groups from their illegal networks (Finklea, 2013). In complex human resource sphere, these criminals depend on moderate inconspicuousness as well as seamless surroundings to carry out illegal transactions. For instance, some criminals use electronic banking systems to embezzle cash from one country to another. With swift metamorphosis of digital era, law enforcement might lack technological trends from companies to minimize the frequent reports of embezzlement criminals. 

Last but not least, certain criminal groups create their personal borders by defining and defending the territories they control. In most cases, law enforcement is restrained by their perception on territory; which is partly outlined by jurisdictions, level of prime concern coupled with rivalry agency. Certain criminal activities are organized beneath the jurisdiction of proprietary force; while some fail to abide by clear procedures. These investigations therefore overlap resulting to insufficient data and information which later hinders the anti-crime efforts by law enforcement (Finklea, 2013).

Actions taken by federal law enforcement agencies in combating embezzlement

The crime of embezzlement is not something new to the U.S law enforcement, and has rapidly increased over the years. Law enforcement, private security agencies and local states have to develop effective standardized practices to combat the increasing number of reported cases of embezzlement. Some functions adopted by these personnel include;

Firstly, the Justice Department acknowledges crimes through computers as any violation of convict activity that involves apprehension of electronics for its prosecution. Therefore, the law enforcement agency should train individuals’ computer technology so as to properly investigate the latest trends of embezzlements using computer technology (Edwards, 2008). A form of embezzlement that can incorporate the use of computers is computer fraud, whereby a criminal uses electronic resources such as e-banking to misrepresent information as a means of deception. With the advent of increased technologies, embezzlement if likely to take various forms, and therefore be more frequent. Therefore, law enforcement agencies have the duty of requisitely confronting the latest trends of embezzlement crimes as well as establishing their camouflaging nature.

Also, states must update and create legislation which prohibits embezzlement crimes and outline an appropriate punishment for such crimes within borders. Virtual and physical boundaries have vital roles in both police work and criminal activities. An acknowledged boarder delineates state, municipal boundaries as well as national authority. States should designate pointers to indicate peoples’ entrance and exit from the nation’s geographic border. These physical boundaries aid in delineating space within which set of rules applies and the applicable punishments for embezzled crimes within the given border (Edwards, 2008).  

Complex set of relationship in security sector in the fight against embezzlement

In law enforcement agencies, the cooperation of private security is very essential. Private security As well as law enforcement are comprehensive terms. In this context, law enforcement comprises of a wide range of state, local and federal agencies, inclusive of police departments among other investigative and enforcement bureaus (Ohlhausen & Cunningham, 1999). Government policies and private security pursue the same objective, but only differ in the procedures of impeding, inspecting as well as when prosecuting embezzlement crimes. However, opportunity for cooperation arises where those interests overlap.

For instance, to amend the possibility of effective prosecutions, law enforcement detectives should educate the private sector inspectors how to collect evidence as per the policies of police department. Likewise, the private security can teach the government about the latest trends of computer security among other complex topics that is likely to arise in the investigations of complicated embezzlement crimes (Ohlhausen & Cunningham, 1999). Interest in this relationship is not new; for instance, in 1978, potential areas of cooperation between the system of criminal justice and private security joined forces in detecting, investigating and prosecuting organizational embezzlement. Therefore, private security has similar goals of protective missions with government enforcement, but differs substantially in several ways.


To sum up this discussion, this paper has explored embezzlement as a form of white collar crime. Some of the aspects outlined in embezzlement are its general structure, historical antecedents and development, basic issues and problems confronting law enforcement, issues and problems confronting law enforcement the possible actions taken by federal law enforcement agencies to curb embezzlement crimes as well as complex set of relationship in security sector in fighting this crime.

It should be noted that embezzlement crimes mostly revolve around working environment whereby properties and funds are the primary targets. Embezzlement crimes are as old the emergence of the corporate world and even prevailed during biblical times, bringing with it various issues in the business arena. Unfortunately this crime is here to stay and it is therefore mandatory for government officials to take the necessary measures in curbing this crime.


Cullen, F. (2010). Theories and Historical Development of White Collar Crimes. Retrieved November 7, 2014.

Edwards, J. (2008). National Strategy to Combat Embezzlement Crimes. Retrieved November 7, 2014.

Finklea, C. (2013). Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement. Retrieved November 7, 2014.

Griew, E. (2009). White Collar Crime: Insights to Embezzlement. Retrieved November 7, 2014.

Khare, A. (2011). The Prevalence of White Collar Crime in History. Retrieved November 7,                     2014.

Ohlhausen, P., & Cunningham, W. (1999). Literature Review of Cooperation and Relationships Between Law Enforcement and Private Security Organizations. Retrieved November 7, 2014.