Environmental cues that can result in white-collar crime

August 4, 2022
Environmental cues that can result in white-collar crime

Whitecollar crime is on the rise in Missouri and across the country. These non-violent offenses include but are not limited to Ponzi schemes, bribery, fraud, insider trading, money laundering. In some cases, perpetrators commit premeditated and purposeful transgressions. However, that is not always the case. At The Law Offices of Dee Wampler & Joseph Passanise we offer our expertise in handling whitecollar crimes to clients unexpectedly facing charges.  

According to Forbes, most white-collar crimes occur as a result of ambiguous cues and signals in the work environment. When faced with ethical choices, these cues can nudge people towards the slippery slope of moral transgressions. Individuals often give in to temptation and take the easiest path. This often leads to compromising their values. Here are some workplace scenarios that lead to unintentional misbehavior. 

Poorly Designed Job Incentives 

Performance-based compensation is common. Unfortunately, improperly designed incentives can lead to employees circumventing laws, knowingly or unknowingly. Incentives designed to ‘maximize shareholder wealth’ can motivate representatives to inappropriate behavior.  

Unethical Acts Perceived as Harmless 

Many people who commit infractions view them as victimless crimes. Salespeople who bribe clients feel they are just doing their jobs. Stock traders who get inside information see it as valuable networking. Embezzlers believe they can put the money back before anyone misses it. 

Goals Without Boundaries 

The idea of achieving aggressive goals by doing whatever it takes opens the door for unethical or questionable tactics. Bold goals without lines delineating what is acceptable and what is not can result in going outside regulations.  

The Belief that Everyone Misbehaves 

Management at companies that pay huge fines may see excessive risk-taking as acceptable behavior, with no downside. Those that disagree openly with specific statutes, such as federal bribing laws, securities regulations and doping rules in sports, often create a groupthink mentality. Not only does this downplay misbehavior, but it also minimizes the severe consequences.  

If you face criminal charges, having an experienced attorney can help you prepare a solid defense. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic. 


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