whitecolarWhite-collar crime is financially motivated nonviolent crime committed for illegal monetary gain. Within criminology, it was first defined by sociologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939 as “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation”. Sutherland was a proponent of symbolic interactionism and believed that criminal behavior was learned from interpersonal interactions. White-collar crime is similar to corporate crime as white-collar employees are more likely to commit fraud, bribery, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery.

His theory was the result of his attempt to study two fields, crime and high society, which had previously lacked empirical correlation. His goal was to demonstrate a correlation between money and social status and the likelihood of going to jail for a white-collar crime. Although the percentage has risen, numbers[which?] still show a large majority of those in jail are poor, blue-collar criminals.
 
 

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