The criminal justice system has historically treated white-collar crimes differently than other crimes, even during the ongoing debate as to whether they deserve this distinction. Courts, as well as academics, have treated white-collar crimes less severely and even labeled such crimes victimless. This classification suggests that either no one feels the injury at all or that the injury is substantially more indirect than the causal connection in, for instance, robbery or assault. Opponents argue that while the injuries may be theoretically indirect, they are still real and substantial, and many result in the loss of jobs or retirement plans.
White-collar crime has recently received substantial media attention with the convictions of major corporate officials. There are a number of theories as to why public outrage is greater now more than ever. One reason is exposure of corporate officers’ lavish lifestyles and expenditures. Another possible reason is increased public outrage over the massive losses caused by the officers’ fraud. Media coverage has revealed the possessions and way of life of corporate officers, including “million dollar homes, private planes, golf courses[,] and art collections.” The public has even bashed some corporate officers for their selection of home décor. . . .