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Accountants and Auditors vs White Collar Crime

NCJ Number
Internal Auditor Volume: 22 Dated: (June 1976) Pages: 35-39
C M Kelley
Date Published
5 pages
Clarence J. Kelley, former director of the FBI, reviews the problem of white collar crime, describes the function of the FBI agent-accountant, and outlines an FBI program to control and prosecute such crimes.
White-collar crimes are illegal acts characterized by deceit, concealment, violation of trust, and are not dependent upon the application or threat of physical force. Such crimes are committed to obtain money, property or services, or to secure personal or business advantage. White collar crime includes such offenses as bank fraud, embezzlement, bribery, antitrust and FHA violations, fraud against the government, copyright infringements, interstate theft, and conflict of interest. These acts generally occur in commerce and result in annual losses of $40 billion. In addition to financial losses, white collar crime also results in the erosion of public confidence as well as in the potential danger inherent in violations of building codes, product safety standards, and food purity standards. Bank embezzlement is a white collar crime which requires large contingents of FBI agent-accountants to conduct detailed analyses of both conventional and automated recordkeeping systems, including computers, to unravel complex financial manipulations. The FBI's program against white collar crime includes (1) researching highly complex and sophisticated techniques used by the computer-age white-collar criminal; (2) targeting certain crimes such as fraud, embezzlement, and copyright infringements; (3) drawing public attention through media exposure; and (4) implementing a training and orientation program for FBI personnel and Federal prosecutors, and specialized seminars for attorneys general and business leaders.


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