White collar crime, while criminal in nature is hard to define primarily due to the public attitude toward this type of action. Around the mid 20th century when trying to establish credibility for the research into this type of crime, Edwin Sutherland had to convince criminologists that the lawbreaking actions of the rich were actually crimes. During that period and before, crime and criminal behavior was considered something only the lower class committed. From the way the rich were arrested to how they were prosecuted, everything differed from the typical criminal (Reurnik, 2016).
Beginning with a number of scandals in the 1970s and then funding and grants in the 1990s, a number of criminologists and law enforcement began to recognize the danger and reality of white collar crime and criminals. In most cases, the general public looks at a career thief as a criminal and the thief is proud of their status. A white collar criminal rarely sees themselves as a thief and the public usually sees them as an otherwise upstanding person who makes mistakes Reurnik, 2016).
Because of this lackadaisical attitude by the public and the mis conception of white collar crime, it does not garner the attention from law enforcement and statisticians.
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