Shirley Lee was getting ready to retire when she found out, that her life’s savings was gone. Shirley and many from her community invested more than 90 million dollars into James Powell and Calwell Investment Company. The victims were told that their money would be 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. 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. People whom commit these types of white-collar crimes need be more rigorously perused and punished.
Ten years seem like a small punishment for all the damage Powel caused, and all the lives that were ruined. However, this is the normality, many schemers across the country, who are caught committing similar crimes get the same punishments. Shirley Lee can no longer retire, she lost all her life savings, and she will probably lose her home too. There are many more stories like Shirley Lee; many of them never see their perpetrator go to jail.
White-collar crimes like what happened to Shirley Lee are prevalent in today’s society. Many view white-collar crime as less threatening than typical blue-collar crime (i.e. robberies). Both crimes however, affect society in a negative way. White-collar crimes cause more direct financial harm than blue-collar crimes. Blue-collar criminals cause more physical harm and for that reason are often perused and punished more rigorously. Both crimes have significant emotional implications and should both be treated and prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law. The emotio...
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