On the Prospects of Deterring Corporate Crime

Journal of Business & Technology Law, Vol. 2, 2007

U of Houston Law Center No. 2007-A-37

27 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2007


This essay considers the deterrent force of the substantive white collar criminal statutes, their penalty schemes, and their enforcement. The article surveys the dynamics of an institutional setting and shows how the workplace environment interferes with deterrence. Relying on the criminal law to prevent corporate crimes is more complicated and less effective than legislators, regulators, and enforcers believe. The likelihood of effectively deterring corporate crime is greatest when the substantive law, penalties, and enforcement policies take into account the institutional setting in which corporate crime occurs. This can be accomplished if legislators amend the substantive laws so they provide clear notice of prohibited conduct, avoid the reflexive impulse to increase penalties, and support fair, even-handed enforcement policies.

Keywords: crime, criminal law, white collar crime, deterrence, corporate crime, fraud, criminal enforcement, punishment, penalties, sentencing, plea-bargaining, cooperation agreement

Suggested Citation

Moohr, Geraldine Szott, On the Prospects of Deterring Corporate Crime. Journal of Business & Technology Law, Vol. 2, 2007; U of Houston Law Center No. 2007-A-37. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1001707

Geraldine Szott Moohr (Contact Author)

University of Houston Law Center ( email )

4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204-6060
United States

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