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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 50659 Find in a Library
Title: PROSECUTING COMPUTER CRIMINALS
Journal: SECURITY WORLD  Volume:15  Issue:8  Dated:(AUGUST 1978)  Pages:62-66
Author(s): C F HEMPHILL; R D HEMPHILL
Corporate Author: Security World Publishing Co, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Security World Publishing Co, Inc
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: WHITE COLLAR CRIME THAT STEMS FROM THE ABUSE OF COMPUTERS IS EXPLORED IN TERMS OF THE INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF PERPETRATORS.
Abstract: WHITE COLLAR CRIME IS DEFINED AS CRIMINAL ACTIVITY COMMITTED WITHOUT THE USE OF PHYSICAL FORCE OR THREATS AND BY CONCEALMENT OR GUILE. THIS DEFINITION RELATES TO THE NATURE AND CHARACTER OF A WRONGFUL ACT RATHER THAN TO THE SOCIAL OR ECONOMIC BACKGROUND OF THE OFFENDER. COMPUTER CRIME IS A LOW-VISIBILITY PROPOSITION IN THAT PHYSICAL HARM ALMOST NEVER RESULTS TO THE VICTIM. IN COMPUTER-RELATED VIOLATIONS AS IN OTHER WHITE COLLAR CRIMES, THE LOSS FREQUENTLY FALLS ON A WELL-ESTABLISHED COMPANY OR FINANCIAL INSTITUTION, AN INSURANCE COMPANY, OR AN INVESTOR OF INDEPENDENT MEANS. OVER 500 COMPUTER-RELATED CRIMES WERE UNCOVERED AND DOCUMENTED AS OF 1977, AND SOME INDUSTRY EXPERTS STATE THAT ONLY 1 OUT OF EVERY 10 COMPUTER VIOLATIONS IS DETECTED. THERE IS REASON TO BELIEVE THAT KNOWN LOSSES PER INCIDENT ARE FAR HIGHER WITH COMPUTER-RELATED CRIME THAN WITH OTHER TYPES OF WHITE COLLAR CRIME. MANY CRIMINOLOGISTS ARE CONVINCED THAT CERTAINTY OF PROSECUTION MAY BE THE MOST EFFECTIVE DETERRENT TO CRIME. DIFFICULTIES OFTEN OCCUR, HOWEVER, WHEN TRYING TO PROSECUTE BUSINESS-RELATED CRIME. VICTIMS OFTEN CHOOSE NOT TO REPORT CRIMES BECAUSE THEY WANT TO AVOID BAD PUBLICITY OR ARE AFRAID OF HAVING TO TESTIFY IN COURT. IN MANY CASES, BUSINESS RECORDS ARE NOT ADMISSIBLE IN COURTS. WHILE SOME COURTS IN BOTH STATE AND FEDERAL JURISDICTIONS ALLOW THE INTRODUCTION OF COMPUTER PRINTOUTS AS EVIDENCE, PROSECUTORS STILL HAVE A NUMBER OF EVIDENTIARY PROBLEMS IN SATISFYING COURT REQUIREMENTS. IN ADDITION, PROSECUTION OFFICIALS MAY NOT BE FULLY AWARE OF LEGAL AND TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES IN THE HANDLING OF COMPUTER-TYPE EVIDENCE. TWO BASIC REQUIREMENTS ARE NEEDED FOR PROSECUTORS TO FIGHT WHITE COLLAR CRIME SUCCESSFULLY: AN ADEQUATE SET OF LAWS AND GOOD INVESTIGATORS TO CONSIDER FACTS AND OBTAIN USABLE EVIDENCE. MORE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE ARE NEEDED IN COMPUTER TECHNIQUES, INVESTIGATIVE TECHNIQUES, AND RULES OF EVIDENCE AS THEY APPLY TO COMPUTER-RELATED CRIMES. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Business crime costs; Computers; Offenders; Prosecution; White collar crime
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50659

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