'White Collar Crime': Still Hazy After All These Years

51 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2015 Last revised: 11 Dec 2015

See all articles by Ellen S. Podgor

Ellen S. Podgor

Stetson University College of Law

Lucian E. Dervan

Belmont University - College of Law

Date Written: July 9, 2015


With a seventy-five year history of sociological and later legal roots, the term “white collar crime” remains an ambiguous concept that academics, policy makers, law enforcement personnel and defense counsel are unable to adequately define. Yet the use of the term “white collar crime” skews statistical reporting and sentencing for this conduct. This Article provides a historical overview of its linear progression and then a methodology for a new architecture in examining this conduct. It separates statutes into clear-cut white collar offenses and hybrid statutory offenses, and then applies this approach with an empirical study that dissects cases prosecuted under hybrid white collar statutes of perjury, false statements, obstruction of justice, and RICO. The empirical analysis suggests the need for an individualized multivariate approach to categorizing white collar crime to guard against broad federal statutes providing either under-inclusive or over-inclusive examination of this form of criminality.

Keywords: criminal law, white collar crime, definition, historical, methodology, empirical, perjury, false statements, obstruction, RICO

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K20, K40, K42

Suggested Citation

Podgor, Ellen S. and Dervan, Lucian E., 'White Collar Crime': Still Hazy After All These Years (July 9, 2015). Georgia Law Review, Vol. 50, No. 3, 2016 Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2628751

Ellen S. Podgor

Stetson University College of Law ( email )

1401 61st Street South
Gulfport, FL 33707
United States
727 562 7348 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.stetson.edu/tmpl/faculty/memberProfile.aspx?id=88

Lucian E. Dervan (Contact Author)

Belmont University - College of Law ( email )

1900 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37212
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.belmont.edu/law/

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics