White collar crime is a term created by Edwin Sutherland in 1939 that refers to crimes committed by people of higher social status, companies, and the government according to the book “White-Collar Crime in a Nutshell” by Ellen Podgor and Jerold Israel. White collar crimes are usually non-violent crimes committed in order to have a financial-gain (Podgor and Israel 3). A very well known white collar crime that has even been taught in many history classes is the Watergate scandal. This is a white collar crime that was committed by government authorities. Watergate was a crime that shocked the nation.
According to the book “Watergate: Scandal in the White House” by By Dale Anderson it all began on June 16, 1972 in the Watergate Hotel located in Washington D.C. This was one of the locations for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). There were eight men that had planned to break into the offices of the DNC. These men were not the typical criminal like your everyday thief. They committed their crime wearing business suits. These men had once been upstanding citizens and some even worked for the United States government. One man was a former member of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and another man was retired from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). They had brought along the other five men to pick locks, take pictures of documents, bug telephones and stand watch at the doors. The former FBI agent and retired CIA agent remained in the hotel with two way radios while they had the eighth man stationed across the street in another hotel. He also had a two way radio and was to be a lookout. The men placed tape across the latches of the doors as they made their way to the DNC office....
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...the burglaries he spent four and a half years in prison (history.com). There were many people that were involved with this scandal and the majority spent less than two years in prison.
This scandal was one of the greatest government white collar crimes in history. It shocked the entire nation and the people of the United States lost a great deal of trust for the government. There was involvement on so many levels from many different people including the President of the United States of America. It is important for Americans to be able to trust their elected officials when they are the ones who are making the decisions for this nation. Any criminal acts can cause the people to lose their trust for elected officials just as the people of the time lost trust in Richard Nixon because of his involvement with the white collar crime that occurred at the Watergate hotel.
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