The proposed research consisted of a study designed to examine for associations between socioeconomic status of white collar offenders, conviction rates, amount of monetary damage associated with the crime, and number of victims associated with the crime. Subjects in the proposed research will consist of 160
cases drawn from seven federal courts, each of which was arrested for the commission of one of eight white collar crimes.
Based on labelling theory, it was noted that one explanation for why high socioeconomic status white collar offenders receive harsher sentences than low socioeconomic status white collar offenders was because the only high socioeconomic status offenders convicted are those whose crimes are associated with large monetary damages and/or large numbers of victims. A review of the literature was provided to demonstrate that there is some empirical support for this claim. Based on the reviewed research, hypotheses were developed for testing.
Existing research has shown that white collar offenders of high socioeconomic status (SES), once convicted, receiver harsher sentences than do white collar offenders of lower socioeconomic status (Wheeler, Weisburd & Bode, 1982; Hagan & Palloni, 1986; Weisburd, Waring & Wheeler, 1990). The proposed research tests the notion that the explanation for this sentencing disparity may be related to conviction rates.
Specifically, the proposed study was designed to test the notion that: The reason white collar criminals of higher socioeconomic status receiver harsher sentences than lower socioeconomic status white collar offenders is that the only white collar offenders who are actually convicted are those who have victimized a large number of individuals or companies, or those who have caused a large amount of monetary damage.
In other words, convictions of high socioeconomic status white collar offenders whose crimes have small numbers of victims and little m...