The White Collar Crime: The Ponzi Scheme in Sioux City, Iowa Essay

The White Collar Crime: The Ponzi Scheme in Sioux City, Iowa Essay

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Shirley lee, was getting ready for retirement when finding out, she had lost all her savings. Her and many from her community invested more than 90 million dollars into James Powell and Calwell Investment Company. Calwell and Powell were friends of many of the investors, the even attended the same church as most of the community, and this however did not stop both men from running the largest Ponzi scheme in Sioux City, Iowa. Victims were told their money was being invested in real estate however; their money was transferred to Calwell and Powell’s personal account, where they used the money on their families, vacations and home re-modeling. Shirley was quoted saying, "I was disappointed, I was disillusioned, and I was in disbelief, these are good people." Shirley like many of her neighbors trusted the two men, thinking they would never do such selfish act. The Ponzi scheme soon collapsed, Calwell passed away before ever going to trial while Powell pleaded guilty to mail fraud and was sentenced to only ten years in federal prison. Ten years seems to like a small punishment for all the damage Powel caused, and all the life’s he ruined. However, this is the normality, many schemers across the country, who are caught ruining people life’s get similar punishments. Shirley lee can no longer retire, she lost all her life savings, and she will probably lose her home as well. These white-collar criminals need be more rigorously perused and punished for the injustice they have caused.
White-collar crimes like what happened to Shirley Lee are prevalent in today’s society. Many view white-collar crime as less threatening then typical blue-collar crime (i.e. robberies). Both crimes however, affect society in a negative way. ...

... middle of paper ...

... white collar crimes need to be sever enough where the criminal will find the incentive not worth the potential outcome. A strong punishment will send a message that these laws being broken is no expectable and will no longer be tolerated. The criminals would have to comply or else they would face severe punishment. The punishment at the moment are too light, therefore the criminals are risky getting caught knowing they won’t be too severely punished. The government has recently restructure the federal sentencing guidelines, which provided longer prison terms, however judges may impose on white-collar criminals that can still be too low. Therefore too many people would take the chance to commit white-collar crimes because many will walk away hundreds of millions of dollars after serving ten years like Powell. The economic gain outweighs the punishment.

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