15. Crimes of the Powerful

15.2 Occupational Crime

Michael Brandt, MA

Although businesses are targeted for thefts by outsiders (e.g., shoplifters and robbers), most thefts against businesses involve employees, executives, or owners, in what is referred to as occupational crime (Friedrichs, 2007). Though the cashier at Walmart or the bank teller at the Royal Bank that uses their position to steal from their employer for personal benefit are also committing an occupational crime, people in the highest positions in an organisation—managers and CEOS — have opportunities to steal significantly more money and cause the most harm (Benson & Simpson, 2009). For example, one of the biggest Canadian banking frauds of all time was perpetrated by Bank of Montreal manager Nick Lysyk. He pled guilty to defrauding his bank of more than $16 million by opening up dozens of fake loan accounts (Mahoney, 2004). A survey of Canadian businesses found that 55 percent had experienced losses as a result of theft, fraud and cybercrimes and that occupational crimes are increasing (Ruddell, 2017, p. 37).



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Introduction to Criminology Copyright © 2023 by Michael Brandt, MA is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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