Corporate fraud is an all-too-common element in our society today. Unfortunately, many of those convicted of fraud end up with a seemingly light jail sentence. A possible explanation for this is that the judges could have many subconscious reasons to give lighter sentences in these cases than they do with other more violent cases. Since there are no strict guidelines for the sentencing of these “white-collar criminals,” the judge’s personal views can play a significant role. Many of the laws and guidelines for determining the sentence in fraud cases have stemmed from the corporate scandals of the early 2000’s, but they have not been able to make much of an impact. Fraud is often said to be a “victimless” crime, but it simply is not. It can wipe out people’s life savings, and easily ruin companies and lives. Therefore, it should be prosecuted just as vigorously as other serious crimes. Despite the many efforts to set standards for the sentencing of white-collar crimes, the guidelines given leave much to be desired. This study examines the possible reasons for the lighter sentences, some examples of the effects, and what can be done to help remedy this situation.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Dr. Mark Ross
Reeves, Catherine, "The Sentencing Structure of White-Collar Crime" (2013). Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 435.