5 Types of occupational crimes
Herbert Edelhertz (1970: 73-75) has suggested the following four types of occupational crimes on the basis of motivation of the perpetrators:
1. Crimes committed by persons on an individual basis, e.g., income-tax evasion, bankruptcy frauds, credit purchases or taking loans with no intention to pay, and insurance fraud.
2. Crimes committed in the course of occupations by those operating in business, government, or other establishments, in violation of their duty of loyalty to the employer or client; e.g., bribery, kickbacks, embezzlement, and pilfering.
3. Crimes incidental to and in furtherance of business operations but not central to business purposes; e.g., food and drug violations, misrepresentation in advertising, and prescription fraud.
4. Crime as a business or as the central activity of a business; e.g., medical fraud schemes, lottery fraud schemes, mutual fund fraud schemes, land and real estate frauds, charity and religious frauds and music pirating.
Block and Geis (Man, Crime and Society, 1970: 307) have classified occupational offenders into five groups on the basis of the nature of victim involved:
(i) Persons acting as individuals against other individuals (e.g., fraudulent lawyers, doctors),
(ii) Those committing crimes against business concerns that employ them (embezzlers),
(iii) Those in policy-making positions who commit crimes for their organisations (anti-trust violators),
(iv) Agents of an organisation who victimise the general public (advertising fraud), and
(v) Merchants victimising their customers (short-weighing). This method (of classifying occupational offenders on the basis of the nature of the victim involved) is simple. The victim could be employer, employee, public concern, government organisation, and so forth.
Some occupational crimes require less sophisticated complex technologies or social arrangements than others. "Commercial fraud" is one type of occupational crime which is found to be widespread in our country. It requires either a simple system of economic exchange like the manipulation of weights and measures or a simple division of labour.
No wonder, consumer forums are becoming popular everywhere seeking justice from traders, shop-keepers, businessmen, and even government organisations like telephone departments (charging huge bills for phones which remain out of order for a long period), state electricity boards, and water-works departments and so on. The consumer forums impose penalties and assess victim compensations.
Hugh Barlow (op. tit.: 227-30) has classified occupational crimes in six categories on the basis of special interests: embezzlement, financial fraud, adulteration, employee pilferage, consumer fraud, and shady land business. We will analyse each of them separately.