Chapter 21, Section 9

Federal Crimes:

White Collar/Economic Fraud/

Bank Robbery

Abstract: Federal criminal justice officials have begun to recognize that victims of white collar crime, fraud, and bank robbery have many of the same needs as victims of violent crime. In response, these victims are beginning to see an increase in services and resources available to them. It is important to develop a basic understanding of the impact of these crimes and how the federal criminal justice system addresses victims' rights and needs. Victims of white collar crime, fraud and bank robbery may suffer severe psychological and financial harm, and sometimes, physical effects. They require assistance and intervention that takes into account their particular needs and the unusually complex nature of these cases.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this chapter, students will understand the following concepts:

  1. Understand important legal, programmatic and definitional issues in white collar crime, fraud, and bank robbery.
  2. Have a better understanding of victim needs.
  3. Learn about innovative services at the federal level to address each type of crime.
  4. Begin to formulate appropriate methods for handling these cases.


Victims of white collar crime, fraud and bank robbery represent a tremendously underserved and poorly understood segment of the victim population. This is due to several factors:

Definition Issues: White Collar and Fraud

There is a lack of a clear definition of white collar crime and fraud. In fact, there is no unified or standardized definition of white collar/fraud crime victimization. This is an issue that must first be addressed in order to better define the universe of white collar crime victims so that appropriate responses to victims can be planned and implemented.

Significant issues regarding the appropriate definitions of white collar crime include matters such as: the type of victims in question, even as basic a determination as individuals versus organizations; and the nature of crimes involved. McGowen (1993) discusses both individual and business victims. Wellford and Ingraham (1994) list several competing definitions of white collar crime:

Examples of White Collar/Fraud

Victims of white collar and fraud crimes can include individuals, as well as small and large institutions. Examples of these types of crimes include:

Research from the National Institute of Justice on Fraud

The lack of sufficient data on the extent of fraud victimization was highlighted in a recent report entitled Victimization of Persons by Fraud, based on research supported by the National Institute of Justice. The NIJ Report stated:

"The FBI's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Justice Department's National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVA) provide annual tabulations on property and violent crimes, based on crimes reported to the police and surveys of households. However, they do not provide information with regard to the victimization of persons by fraud."

Crimes of fraud are targeted against individuals and employ deception for the purpose of obtaining illegal financial gain. They involve the misrepresentation of facts and the deliberate intent to deceive with the promise of goods, services, or other financial benefits that in fact do not exist or that were never intended to be provided. This includes:

Wellford and Ingraham (1994) suggest three working definitions of different classes of white collar/fraud crimes:

  1. Business and professional crimes.
  2. Occupational crimes.
  3. Individual frauds.

Needs of White Collar and Fraud Victims

White collar crime victims share many of the same devastating outcomes as their serious violent crime victim counterparts (Kusick, n.d.). Indeed, certain white collar crime victims may suffer more emotional distress. In his 1989 article "White Collar Crime: What About the Victims?," Wells notes that some of the effects suffered by victims include:

These emotional repercussions are often misunderstood by law enforcement, criminal justice and victim service providers, as well as the community at large, and the victim is often doubly victimized by this dynamic. As Walsh and Schram (1980) described:

"People who have lost money to nonviolent white collar criminals (like swindlers and con artists) often encounter skepticism, suspicion, and contempt when they seek help. This negative treatment leaves them feeling guilty and ashamed. The double standard used in handling white-collar offenders and their victims - as opposed to handling street criminals and their victims (except rape victims) - has been attributed to the higher status of the accused perpetrators, the difficulty of establishing criminal intent in such cases, and a belief that imprisonment is not the cure for this kind of stealing.

Another factor is the largely ambivalent attitude toward and negative image of these victims held by the public and by criminal justice officials. A number of aphorisms blame these victims: fraud only befalls those of questionable character, an honest man can't be cheated and people must have larceny in their mind to fall for a con game. The stereotype of cheated parties is that they disregard the basic rules of sensible conduct regarding financial matters. They don't read contracts before signing and don't demand that guarantees be put in writing before making purchases. Their stupidity, carelessness, or complicity undermines their credibility and makes others reluctant to activate the machinery of the criminal justice system on their behalf, to formally condemn and punish those who harmed them, and to validate their claims to be treated as authentic victims worthy of support rather than as mere dupes, losers, or suckers who were outsmarted" (Quoted in Karmen, 1990, p. 14).

Reactions to White Collar Crime and Fraud Are Severe

Victims of white collar crime often describe a tremendous violation of their personal integrity, often using phrases such as "It was like being raped." and "I have lost all of my sense of trust." Because these psychological "wounds" are not perceived in the same way as wounds to the body, nor as generally understood as the emotional scars of a sexual assault, the effects on white collar crime victims are often, and inappropriately, minimized. Wells noted that white collar crime victims, unlike their violent, physical crime victim counterparts, have "wounds" that "are not always easy to see and are most often internal rather than external." However, he goes on to support the notion that white collar crime victims have a similar sense of violation and often require "psychological first aid."

Victim Self Blame is High

One particular characteristic of white collar crime victims that seems to occur in even higher degrees than in cases of violence is victim self blame. White collar crime victims' self-blame is often extremely high and sometimes debilitating. This may be exacerbated by the insensitive professional and societal responses described above. Since the perpetrator of white collar crime typically uses methods that involve first gaining the confidence and trust of the potential victim, and then using manipulation and trickery to achieve their goals of robbing the victim of his or her various assets, the victim's ability to trust is shattered.

Victims Feel Violated

White collar crime victims justifiably feel a sense of tremendous violation. The net result is often a life in financial and emotional ruin, seemingly out of control with no recovery in sight. Because these crimes may appear obvious in retrospect, the victims, who may already feel like they should never have fallen for such an obvious scheme, are frequently not viewed by professionals and society as "legitimate" victims, even though there is often nothing the victim could have done in advance that would have prevented the fraud.

This is compounded by the fact that many white collar crime schemes involve investments and other financial arrangements, which may lead some to feel that it was the victim's own greed that caused him or her to be blinded to the realities of the situation. Therefore, attitudes of professionals and others frequently will not exhibit a sense of outrage at the plight of the crime victim that normally accompanies their response to victims of violent crime.

Lack of Closure

Moreover, victims of white collar crime, similar to victims of violent crime, may never see the perpetrator of their crime again. If they do, they observe that the perpetrator often escapes all sanctioning or punishment. If the perpetrator is ever located, often the scheme has been adequately layered with buffers which keep the individual perpetrator from prosecution, i.e. if arrested, alleged perpetrators often liquidate their assets and, if prosecuted and convicted, typically employ methods such as bankruptcy to avoid paying victims adequate restitution. Even when the prosecution of these cases is successful, victims may have to endure many years of emotional and financial struggle and turmoil, only to receive an insignificant outcome.

Many fraud victims in both state and federal cases may not even be told an arrest or prosecution has occurred, as a prosecutor may decide there are too many victims to notify, or that only a few of the victims will be included as counts for indictment and/or restitution purposes. This can greatly impact the victims ability to be heard, especially at sentencing, if the victim is not provided the opportunity to submit victim impact information, to seek restitution, or to seek prison release information. Due to lack of communication with the victim, many victims may not even know that restitution was awarded in a case.

Repetitive Victimization is Often Typical

It is not uncommon for victims to be swindled on several occasions, sometimes repeatedly by the same individual, or by other swindlers who have acquired their name as potential "dupes" from previous perpetrators. White collar crime perpetrators share lists of potential victims, including individuals who have previously fallen prey to their crimes, enhancing their successful completion of repeat victimization. In addition, it is often difficult for the criminal justice or victim service professional, or family and friends, to understand how someone could continue to give their money away to other scam artists.

Impact on Family and Friends

Many victims, unaware of the fraudulent investment or scheme, encourage family and friends to participate. When the fraud is uncovered, they may be resentful and often blame the victim. This may lead to mistrust of the victim by a family member or spouse in handling financial affairs. Too often, separation and divorce may follow. Victims may also experience separation and isolation from family members and friends who may expect the victim to repay. Some victims try to hid the fraud from family members out of shame and the fear of repercussions when they find out about the fraud.

Such Cases Are Very Demanding

Those who work with victims of white collar crime understand that these cases can be extremely time consuming and demanding, and typically involve a unique population. Because of these needs, specialized attention must be paid by victim service providers and others in the criminal justice system to the particular issues involved. White collar and crimes of fraud cases are often very complex, with many victims (sometimes numbering in the hundreds) residing over a wide geographical area. Automated systems could help relieve some of the burden on victim assistance personnel in maintaining the necessary contacts with these multiple-victim groups. In light of these resource shortages, it is therefore important to develop inter-agency, cross-district collaborations to reach these victims. Victims needs for information are often immediate.

Importance of Victim Impact Statements and Restitution

Determining which victims are entitled to restitution can be a source of frustration for the victim, the probation officer, the prosecutor and the advocate. In some federal districts, unless specifically provided in the plea agreement, only the victims listed in the indictment may be considered victims for purposes of restitution.

In the past, judges could consider the ability of the defendant to pay when considering whether or not to order restitution. This often led to victims not having restitution ordered in their case. On the federal level, the court may still do this where the number of victims is so large as to make restitution impractical, or if determining complex issues of fact related to the cause or amount of the victims loss is too large of a burden.

Others issues that may prevent victims from receiving restitution include:

Although restitution is usually difficult to obtain, it is essential that court orders be pursued vigorously, as it is very important to a victim's financial and psychological recovery. One of the issues involved in obtaining an adequate restitution award is the preparation of a comprehensive and hard-hitting victim impact statement. Detailed accounts of funds lost in these crimes and documentation of emotional distress are imperative to achieving adequate awards. This is often made difficult because of the large volume of victims involved in white collar crime schemes, and the fact that some victims experience difficulty with trust in divulging personal information, even to officials of the criminal justice system.

Law Enforcement Response

In an article entitled "Your Best Evidence," Wells notes that utilization of a "victim first aid" technique will assist investigators and other who work with victims (see the section on the important role of law enforcement at the end of this chapter):

Elderly Victim Services

In addition to restitution and victim impact statement issues, white collar and fraud perpetrators often target elderly victims. The needs of this special population requires special understanding and specific skills. The elderly can be particularly vulnerable if they are in frail health, suffering from loneliness and/or isolation, or economically distressed. Con artists, aware of these dynamics, can easily manipulate these victims. Once the crime is revealed, elderly victims may be reluctant to come forward or provide information. Many may fear the loss of their autonomy if family members perceive they can no longer make 'sound' financial decisions, or are simply too embarrassed to admit they have been victimized. For additional information on elderly victims, see the chapter on elderly crime victims.

Physical and Mental Health Issues

The white collar crime victim population tends to not seek appropriate mental health or psychological support. When they do, it is usually through a counselor covered by private insurance or a religious advisor. Victim service providers must assist white collar crime victims in either developing their own support groups, or help them to seek appropriate emotional support from trained professionals. Other issues that are not often considered in working with white collar crime victims include:

Recent Updates on a Specific Aspect of Fraud:

Telemarketing Fraud

In the 1995 Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance, telemarketing is defined as the following:

A plan, program, promotion, or campaign that is conducted to induce purchases of goods or services, or participation in a contest or sweepstakes, by use of one or more interstate telephone calls initiated either by a person who is conducting the plan, program, promotion or campaign or by a prospective purchaser or contest or sweepstakes participant -- 18 U.S.C. Section 2325 (1)(A)(B).

The Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 contains specific provisions for victims of telemarketing fraud targeted against senior citizens. The Act increased penalties for telemarketing fraud and requires mandatory restitution for victims in the following manner:

This section enhances penalties up to five years in addition to any term of imprisonment, and for those who practice telemarketing fraud and victimize ten or more persons over the age of 55, or target persons over the age of 55, enhances penalties up to ten years.

This section states: ". . . in addition to any other civil or criminal penalty authorized by law, the court shall order restitution" for any offense under this chapter. "The issuance of a restitution under this section is mandatory. The court shall direct that the defendant pay to the victim (through the appropriate court mechanism) the full amount of the victim's losses as determined by the court" and that "the United States Attorney enforce the restitution order by all available and reasonable means."

Special Circumstances

When there is more than one offender, the Senior Citizens Against Marketing Scams Act provides that the court may make each offender liable for payment of the full amount of restitution, or may apportion liability based upon the level of contribution and economic circumstances of each offender.

When there is more than one victim, the court shall order full restitution for each victim, but may provide for different payment schedules based upon the economic circumstances of each victim.

Conditions of Probation for Defendants

The Act requires that compliance with restitution orders be made a condition of any probation or supervised release of the defendant.

Rewards for Conviction

The Act allows the U.S. Attorney General to offer rewards up to $10,000 for information leading to the prosecution and conviction of telemarketing fraud against older Americans.

(The information in the preceding section is taken from the Office for Victims of Crime, Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Select Crime Victim Provisions Contained Within the 1994 Crime Act, prepared by Laura Federline, November, 1995.)

Statistical Overview

Bank Robbery Victims

The type of individuals injured, killed or taken hostage during violations of the Federal Bank Robbery and Incidental Crime Statute , 18 USC 2113 (1994) are as follows:

Type of Victim Injuries Deaths Hostages Taken

Total 167 23 *61

Customer 23 0 45

Employee 88 2 84

Employee family 0 0 3

Perpetrator 25 16 n/a

Law officer 16 2 0

Guard 12 3 9

Other 3 0 11

*These hostages were taken in 36 separate incidents.

Financial institutions experienced the following types of violations:

Institution Robberies Burglaries Larcenies

Commercial Banks 5964 218 66

Mutual Savings Banks 310 14 2

Savings and Loan Associations 429 14 2

Credit Unions 325 25 2

Armored Carrier Companies 1 0 12

Totals: 7029 271 84

The types of Modus Operandi used in 1994 includes the following:

Demand note 3,767

Firearm used 2,248

Other weapon used 87

Weapon threatened 3,371

Explosive devise used

or threatened 279

Oral demand/no weapon 954

Vault or safe theft 73

Depository trap devise 55

Till theft 111

(The preceding statistics and charts are from the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bank Crime Statistics, Federally Insured Financial Institutions, January 1, 1994-December 31, 1994, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 1995.)

Uniqueness of Bank Robbery Victims

As shown above, victims of bank robbery can include bank customers, bank employees (tellers, managers and security guards), law enforcement officers, as well as other members of the community. A common reaction by the largest group affected by bank robberies -- the tellers -- is a tremendous amount of self-blame. Bank tellers, in the aftermath of a bank robbery, feel that they should have been able to do something to stop the crime. While generally bank robbery is not considered a personal crime, but a crime against the bank, most tellers take it very personally. In some instances, tellers are injured, taken hostage, or even killed.

In addition, tellers must return to the scene of the crime -- their place of employment -- in order to keep their job. They often fear the return of the perpetrator, until told by a law enforcement officer that a suspect has been apprehended. Often their family and friends will encourage them to quit their job and find a safer job, but many like their work and do not want to seek other employment.

Because bank robberies occur in all jurisdictions -- large, urban communities and small, rural towns -- victimized bank tellers are left with the fear that there is no "safe place" to move to reestablish their sense of security. Many leave their jobs, due in large part to this fear and the resulting stress.

In addition, law enforcement officials and the employer may look at the teller suspiciously, or even fire the employee, if he or she did not give the perpetrator bait money or the dye packs that some banks employ to intercept bank robbers. Law enforcement may not understand crisis reactions to trauma where the victim may not remember or follow bank procedures in this area, rather, the victim responded in what he or she felt safe in doing at the time of the robbery. Thus, the teller may, in some cases, be viewed by law enforcement officials as a possible suspect "of an inside job."

While many banks are supportive of their employees in the aftermath of a robbery, some banks cause a secondary victimization, isolating the employee from other workers while the investigation is being conducted.

The Advocate's Role

In addition to the more immediate crisis services that victims may require on-scene, victim advocates need to ensure that when a suspect has been charged, the bank teller is notified, as well as other victims who were present during the robbery. They need to inform victims how the case will be processed throughout the system (whether federal or state), assist victims in filling out victim impact statements, and inform victims of their right to allocution during sentencing. Victims may also qualify for restitution payments for time lost from work, and health and mental health related expenses that resulted from the bank robbery.

Victim advocates should also provide bank robbery victims with information about victim compensation, including the application process, and assist them as needed in completing necessary forms.

Support Groups and Community Referral Counseling

U.S. Attorneys' offices have developed a variety of useful approaches to deal with victims of federal bank robbery. For example, the Victim-Witness Coordinator in the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin has developed an innovative outreach program for victims of bank robberies, specifically addressing bank employees.

The office, with input from bank tellers who have been victims of bank robberies, has developed a brochure entitled: When Bank Employees Become Victims of a Robbery. It not only provides information about the specific trauma reactions of bank employees, but offers advice about how to cope and where to go for assistance.

The program has many unique features that can serve as a possible model for establishing outreach and response to bank teller's needs in the aftermath of victimization. The program's response to bank employees includes:

Immediately following the robbery, a trained crisis response professional goes to the scene of the robbery and provides follow-up visits to bank employees.

The workshop is available for all bank employees. The U.S. Attorney's office and the local District Attorney's office cooperatively established the program. They have received wide support from the banking community for the program -- including five local banks underwriting the cost of conducting the workshops and printing accompanying brochures and other written information.

In addition, the Victim-Witness Coordinator for Eastern Wisconsin created a Task Force in the early 1990s composed of bank security professionals, law enforcement personnel, and federal and local victim-witness providers, crisis response professionals and victim bank tellers. The Task Force organizes the workshop, which is conducted four times a year. Any individual that attends can join a support group that is generally held for six weeks. Following the termination of the support group, employees who need additional counseling are referred to specially trained local mental health professionals.

Impact on Financial Institutions and Impact on Victims

When a financial institution is robbed, there is an obvious monetary loss to the institution; however, there are additional costs to financial institutions that go unnoticed. There is a direct link between trauma suffered by victims of bank robbery and the amount of indirect loss to financial institutions caused by the robbery itself (Powers, 1989).

The violent crime of bank robbery or any other traumatic event causes a severe disruption in the lives of these employee-victims, which can continue as long as twelve months or more. This in turn can result in a decrease in work performance. Some consistent yet normal reactions among employee-victims of bank robbery victims include:

One can only speculate as to the indirect cost to financial institutions in the areas of customer service, workers compensation claims, employee productivity, turnover and training. In addition, advocacy and counseling can result in employee-victims being stronger witnesses at trial and thus increase the possibility of conviction.

The Primary Victim

The "primary" victims are survivors of the violent crime of bank robbery, and the surviving family members of those killed in bank robberies. It is not unusual for victims of "property" crimes such as burglary, theft, and robbery to suffer from many of the same symptoms as those victimized by physical or sexual assault.

The crime of bank robbery, like many other crimes, usually has a rippling effect upon family members, coworkers and crisis responders, among others. There are primary victims -- the tellers -- or others who have been directly threatened with harm by either being on the fringe, such as customers or other personnel; to those arriving on the crime scene, like police, paramedics, and journalists. Even entire communities can be victimized. Family and friends of the primary victims can suffer victimization comparable to primary victims even if they were not present at the crime because of the emotional ties.

Common Reactions by Victim/Tellers

There are some re-occurring reactions expressed by victims of bank robberies, including:

Costs of Bank Robbery to the Banking Industry

(Source: M. Gibson, Managed Health Network, January 1990.)

The Important Role of Law Enforcement in Responding to

Victims of White Collar, Fraud and Bank Robbery

As initial responders, law enforcement officials play a significant role in not only gathering evidence and beginning the pursuit of the perpetrator, but also making sure the victims/witnesses are safe and secure. Victims who are treated well at the crisis state of the crime are more likely to be better witnesses, and more helpful to the investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators who are arrested.

In an article entitled "Your Best Evidence," Wells describes psychological first-aid techniques for officers responding to crime scenes:

"Law enforcement officers and investigators get information because people talk to us. We need the complete cooperation of our victims and witnesses to get accurate information and prove our case in court. To do this, emphasis needs to be placed on providing "psychological first aid" to victims and witnesses. Successfully administered, psychological first aid returns some sense of emotional control and order to a victim in crisis. The way you do that is by focusing first on the victims or witnesses and by attending first to their needs. Just as it is important to apply appropriate first aid techniques to an open wound following a shooting, for many victims it is equally important to apply psychological first aid to the emotional wounds they have just received. By using psychological first aid, we can remove emotional roadblocks that separate us from the information that we need. The result is that the best available information obtained in a timely manner. By properly applying these techniques, your victim or witness becomes stronger evidence.

When victims call law enforcement, they are upset; they often don't know what to expect from the police or other professionals in the criminal justice system. The crime they have experienced has often resulted in a crisis reaction. It is necessary to provide emotional stabilization in order to meet one of your most important goals: obtaining accurate information.

There are some simple and quick methods for providing psychological first aid to victims and witnesses. These methods are not only considerate of the victims and their needs, and secondly, considerate of your own needs -- meaning that they fit into standard police operations. One such approach is the 'You/We/I' approach developed initially by Jim Ahrens, a law enforcement trainer in Fairfax, Virginia. With this simple approach, you can quickly determine what emotional reactions, if any, can stand in the way of getting the quality information you are after.

If you are responding to the scene of a violent crime, there are two principal emotions you are likely to encounter from your victim or witness: anger and fear. Emotions are barriers to communication and we need a method for eliminating them. That method is 'You/We/I.'

The 'You' Stage

Your focus should first be on your victim or witness. Always begin by asking the obvious: 'Are you OK?' Really listen to the answer. See what emotions or feelings, if any, surface. Check to see that victims non-verbals match what they are saying. As a crisis responder, you have to deal with what's there. By listening to the victim and witness, you will learn their perspective of the event.

Let them vent their feelings. If you don't, they can create barriers between you and the information and cooperation you need. Validate these feelings or emotions with statements like 'You have every right to feel like that; I would be angry too; or I understand that you are afraid, and I want you to know that you are safe now.'

The 'We' Stage

For most victims and witnesses, the simple act of showing concern, reassuring them of their safety, letting them vent their feelings, and validating the feelings they vent, is enough to move them to the second stage, 'We'.

Move quickly to 'We' with a statement like 'I want you to understand what we are doing.' Starting again with 'you' further emphasizes the importance you place on the victim or witness. The message of the 'We' stage is simple: The victim or witness and the officer or investigator are in this together. You should spend a short period of time helping the victim prepare for what is coming next. Now move to 'I'. . . what you as a representative of law enforcement need. Consider asking . . . 'Is there anything that you would like to ask me?'

The 'I' Stage

Start again with 'you,' with a statement like, 'Now, if you feel up to it, I need a description.' You may want to follow with a question like, 'I am going to be taking a report so I'll be writing down what you say, OK?' Engaging the victim in a process that requires that they answer simple questions helps them regain a sense of control they may have lost as a result of their victimization.

If victims still want to talk rather than give you a description, be honest. Tell them your time frames. Don't be afraid to suggest that they move on. Be sure, however, to let them know that you will be happy to discuss their concerns after you get the description you need. If the victims pause in their words -- give them a chance; don't rush them. Use positive reinforcement. You don't want to destroy the original intake of information. You are after the best available evidence and when you rush a victim or witness in crisis, you may destroy evidence.

Start again with a statement like, 'Now if it's OK - I need you to talk about what happened.' Don't interrupt their response. Permit victims to pause. Don't interject just because they stop talking. Wait. Give them a chance to continue. Pay careful attention to the feelings and emotions being expressed.

Follow-up should be specific and open ended: 'Tell me more about . . . the person . . . the car . . . etc.' Don't rush the response or appear to be in a hurry.

When Concluding the Interview

After a description is provided by the victim/witness, explain that you need to get the description out to other officers. Ask permission to leave temporarily in order to do so. Again, you are giving the victim a choice and helping to return control to him. In some cases the victim or witness will need further assistance to start regaining control. You can help him to define the principle problem. Ask, 'What is the one thing you need, right now?'

You will probably get a quick response such as: 'What about my kids? Are they alright? My jeans are ripped. I want to change clothes.'

If at this stage you take care of a little problem, you help your victim or witness regain control, and you build rapport. You will also increase your chances of getting accurate information.

Return to the victim after putting out the description. Focus again on their immediate needs. Give them an idea of what to expect from the investigation. Consider referral to a victim assistance program in your community. Remember, as a first responder, you have only a short time with the victim; and often you are turning the victim loose on his own to go right back into crisis if you don't refer him to victim assistance services. Think of it this way: You have started to build a strong case since you stabilized the victim. You want your victim even stronger emotionally when it comes time to testify" (Wells, 1991, p. 47).

These excellent guidelines for psychological first aid for law enforcement are particularly effective when dealing with bank employees or other victims/witnesses of bank robberies.

Self Examination Chapter 21, Section 9

Federal Crimes:

White Collar/Economic Fraud/

Bank Robbery

1) What would you propose as the definition of white collar and fraud crime victims from the perspective of a victim advocate?

2) Describe the needs of white collar and fraud crime victims. How are they the same and different from their violent crime counterparts?

3) Briefly describe the components of your proposed, ideal white collar/fraud crime victim assistance system.

4) List two significant changes that have recently occurred in the federal justice system's response to fraud victims.

5) An often overlooked victim of bank robbery is the employee. Describe the impact on the victim and unique interventions that have been created to assist victims in the aftermath of this crime.

6) How would you know if crisis intervention and follow-up support services exist in your community to specifically assist victims of bank robbery?


Gibson, M. (1990, January). Managed Health Network.

Karmen, A. (1990). Crime victims: An introduction to victimology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Kusick, J. (n.d.). White collar crime 101. (Training Materials).

McGowen, D. (1993). Recovery of Damages for Crimes and Intentional Wrongs. Westport, CT: Law Press.

Office of the Attorney General. (1980). National practices for the investigation and prosecution of white collar crime, Report to the Attorney General. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.

Powers, P. (1989, December). The indirect affect of the crime of bank robbery on productivity in the financial community. Washington, DC: U.S. Attorney's Office.

Sutherland, E. H. (1983). White collar crime: The uncut version. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Walsh, M., & Schram, D. (1980). The victim of white collar crime: Accuser or accused. In G. Geis & E. Stotland (Eds.), White Collar Crime. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Wellford, C. F., & Ingraham, B.L. (1994). White collar crime: Prevalence, trends, and costs. In A. R. Roberts (Ed.), Critical Issues in Crime and Justice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Wells, R. C. (1989). White collar crime: What about the victim? The Investigator Journal, 5, 26-27.

Wells, R. C. (1991). Your best evidence. POLICE Magazine, 47.

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