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White-Collar Crime: Accounts of Offending Behaviour

White-Collar Crime: Accounts of Offending Behaviour. By Janice Goldstraw-White. Palgrave Macmillan;; 218 pages; $90.

Author Janice Goldstraw-White provides a look into the “invisible” offenses of the fraudster, exploring the accounts of white-collar criminals in detail, and drawing conclusions from an overview of research supported by explanatory tables, figures, and case studies. Her book builds on previous studies in this area and provides interesting insights for readers seeking in-depth knowledge on this subject.

Unlike most other studies, this book also explores the gender differences in approaches to taking money dishonestly. To date, there has been comparatively little research on female white-collar offending, and what has been published has revealed a mixture of findings. The author concludes that this is due in part to few females being included in samples, or not being considered comparable alongside male offenders.

Her research identifies a number of issues concerning women’s accounts of white-collar crime. She found that, in moral terms, the women in her sample appeared more ready to admit to and accept legal guilt and to show remorse, with 78 percent pleading guilty compared to 59 percent of the men. The majority of women were classified as acceptors, suggesting that being labeled a criminal may be felt as less of a stigma by women than by men. Looking at the moral aspect of the accounts from the offender’s perspective, no woman accounted for her crime in terms of “unacceptable” motives, such as greed or addiction, though several of the men did. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking in-depth information on white-collar crime.

Reviewer: Mike van Drongelen, CPP, PSP, PCI, is the security manager and security advisor at Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He serves on the ASIS Law Enforcement Liaison Council.