Federal White Collar Crimes That Are Prosecuted Under The RICO And Other Laws
Today, white collar crimes affect consistently financial markets and the general situation in the economy. At the same time, often collar crimes remain unnoticed by the criminal justice system, while sentences to offenders committing white collar crimes are very moderate. In this regard, RICO laws could have been applied to white collar crimes. However, they are not always applied to white collar crimes that lead to the failure of the criminal justice system to prevent the violation of laws and white collar crimes.
In this respect, it is possible to refer to the article “Hit Them Where It Hurts”: RICO Criminal Forfeitures and White Collar Crime” by K.R. Spaulding, where the author explores the development and implementation of RICO forfeiture laws in relation to the white collar crimes. In fact, the author reveals the fact that RICO laws were not implemented effectively until the 1980s because there was no clarification of RICO laws. In such a way, the criminal justice system could not apply RICO laws to white collar crimes. The clarification of laws contributed to the expansion of the scope of the application of RICO laws. In such a way, law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system, at large, laid the foundation to the prosecution of offenders committing white collar crimes.
At the same time, white collar crimes are often very difficult to investigate, while the guilt of offenders is even more difficult to prove. This is why the prosecution of white collar offenders is challenging. In this regard, Spaulding (1989) argues that law enforcement agencies underestimated the significance of white collar crimes in the past, while using RICO laws. In fact, historically, RICO laws were applied to fight against Mafia and to prevent the spread of the organized crime. White collar crimes were not expanded to the scope of RICO laws initially. However, in the 1970s – 1980s the clarification of RICO laws allowed to expand RICO laws on the field of white collar crimes.
Furthermore, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that white collar crimes were relatively few in the past, while the rise of white collar crimes had started since the 1970s mainly and became particularly popular in the 1980s. In this regard, Spaulding (1989) argues that white collar crimes became more widely-spread because the existing legislation was under-developed. In such a situation, the clarification of RICO laws on white collar crimes opened wider opportunities for the prosecution of white collar crimes.
In fact, the development of RICO laws and their application to white collar crimes contributed to the prosecution of offenders by law enforcement agencies. However, the application of RICO laws to white collar crimes is still ineffective because law enforcement agencies often fail to prosecute offenders committing white collar crimes. The investigation of such crimes is difficult and prevents the proper application of RICO laws and prevention of white collar crimes effectively.
Thus, taking into consideration all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that white collar crimes are frequent but RICO laws fails to prevent the spread of white collar crimes.
Spaulding, K.R. (Spring, 1989). “Hit Them Where It Hurts”: RICO Criminal Forfeitures and White Collar Crime,” The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 80(1), pp. 197-292.