Introduction to Economic and Nonviolent Crimes

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Introduction to Economic and Nonviolent Crimes

Economic and nonviolent crimes cover a broad range of illegal activities that do not involve perpetration of violence directly against another person. Often termed "white collar" crime, such activities can still be devastating.

Such crime sometimes victimizes through usually trusted channels as discussed in an entry on a computer hacking scandal—"Security Breach that may Have Exposed Forty Million Credit Cards,"—or by illegal transactions that put investor money at risk, as discussed in the entry "Former Merrill Execs Sentenced." As the internet has progressively broadened the purchasing arena for the global population, there have been increasing concerns expressed about the safety of personal financial information. The legitimacy of the public's fears concerning the safety of their debit and credit cards are detailed in "Debit Card Fraud More Widespread Than Banks Believe."

Historically, nonviolent crimes have always been the most prevalent forms of illegal activity. Gambling and confidence games have a long history. Sports betting, for example can be legitimate, so long as it is practiced honestly and without attempt to influence the outcome of a contest or sporting event. However, a history of corruption and illegality in sports betting is also ancient (often openly discussed in ancient Greek and Roman texts). In the United States such betting came under intense public scrutiny during the early 1920s, when there were accusations made concerning the "throwing" of the World Series of 1919 for the purposes of illegal gambling. "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and seven of his colleagues were tried for the alleged criminal activity, as detailed in the "Black Sox Trial Indictment" and "This is the Truth! Shoeless Joe Jackson Tells His Story."

There are worldwide concerns surrounding issues of illicit drug regulation and control, ranging from safety and health hazards inherent in the highly combustible "meth labs," to human trafficking concerns in international drug smuggling organizations. Women and children are often exploited by large, and sometimes brutal, organizations, as a means of moving drugs across borders in an effort to avoid arousing undue suspicion.

However, in the present day, few illegal activities are more contentious than those involving the growing, manufacture, transport, procurement, trafficking, or usage of illegal so called recreational drugs. There has been recent court action aimed at legalizing the use of marijuana in medical settings, and for personal medicinal consumption for those suffering from cancer or intractable and chronic pain. Public perceptions toward some of these issues are discussed in "Attitudes Towards the Legalization of the Use of Marijuana" and other aspects of drug related issues are detailed in "A former U.S. Police Chief Stirs the Pot on Drug Laws".

This chapter will explore aspects of economic and nonviolent crimes, ranging from the counterfeiters of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to "Prohibition Rum Runners" and further still to twenty-first century cybercriminals.

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Introduction to Economic and Nonviolent Crimes

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Introduction to Economic and Nonviolent Crimes