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What are some possible motivations for white-collar crimes?

White-collar crimes, which include practices such as money laundering, forgery and business fraud, are common in the corporate world. Forbes reports that the cost of these crimes eclipses $500 billion dollars annually, a staggering amount when compared to other crimes.

While white-collar crimes vary in their types, there are often common motivations for each and understanding these triggers may help you protect yourself and your company from these actions.

Unclear ethical standards

When a company’s mission statement fails to address clear ethical standards, this may lead employees to cut corners or motivate them to engage in unfair or illegal business practices. Such behavior may trickle down from upper management and greenlight unethical actions, such as:

  • Inside stock trading
  • Ducking licensing laws
  • Bribing clients and lawmakers

When you make ethical standards clear to your employees and foster a culture of honesty, you may have fewer problems with white-collar crimes at every level.

A thirst for success

Some individuals commit white-collar crimes because they are impatient with the level of success they have achieved and long for greater financial achievement. This may lead to minor infractions at first but then larger crimes later on, especially if these individuals are not caught on their minor infractions. Careful monitoring of your employees at each level, especially where business deals that lead to major financial windfalls, may prevent such crimes.

White-collar crimes are often seen as harmless; however, they can severely affect your company’s reputation, especially in the case of large-scale crimes. While the temptation may motivate some employees to commit these offenses, you can prevent this with consistent monitoring and a focus on positive corporate morals.

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