87765-piy-ch10-01.pdf_119843 - CHAP TER Criminal Law L E A...

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FIGURE 10.1 Businessperson in Trouble © Thinkstock CHAPTER 10 Criminal Law LEARNING OBJECTIVES After reading this chapter, you should understand the nature of criminal law, why it is important to business, and the potential consequences of committing criminal acts. You will become familiar with white-collar crimes, blue-collar crimes, and crimes committed by businesses. You will also learn about the constitutional protections afforded to those accused of committing a crime, and the purpose of punishments for committing crimes. This chapter will explore corporate liability as well as individual liability for corporate actions. It also will examine strategies to minimize corporate criminal liability exposure or losses attributed to criminal activities. At the conclusion of this chapter, you should be able to answer the following questions: 1. Why is crime relevant to business? 2. How does criminal law differ from civil law? 3. What constitutional protections are afforded to those accused of committing a crime? 4. What are some relevant defenses to crime? 5. What are the consequences of committing a crime? 6. What are the goals of punishment for committing a crime? 7. Which crimes must businesses be concerned about? 8. What strategies exist for businesses to minimize exposure to criminal liability or to loss asso- ciated with criminal activities? Consider the photo in Figure 10.1. It is probably not the usual image conjured by most business students who dream of success in the business world. Yet it becomes a sad reality for too many managers and executives who commit crimes in the context of their professional lives. How can the path from business success lead to a criminal conviction? Click on any credible news source today, and you will find among the headlines a story in which this photo would fit. Of course, there are many reasons why something like this happens. People sometimes fall into the “wrong crowd” at work, and they do not know how to walk away. Sometimes corporate culture and leadership can contaminate a work environment, causing people to disregard ethical behavior or to flagrantly ignore the laws. If “everyone is doing it,” then someone might believe that it’s OK for him or her to do it, too. Being part of an organization has a way of making someone feel insulated and “safe” when committing wrongdoings. For example, some members of the Enron workforce seemed to be swept up in a culture of corporate greed, and they did not know how to walk away. Other people are opportunists, and their moral compass or ethics do not lead them away from temptation. Bernie Madoff may be a prime example of such an opportunist in today’s news. Sometimes, criminal behavior results from the emphasis of profit over ethical behavior. For example, we might think of corporate environmental crimes, in which corporations decide not to follow regulatory requirements regarding hazardous waste disposal or storage. In the end, of course, the reasons for the criminal behavior do not matter. When a crime is committed, others will be injured, and the wrongdoer will be subject to criminal
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87765-piy-ch10-01.pdf_119843 - CHAP TER Criminal Law L E A...

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