Corporate-financial crime scandals

A comparative analysis of the collapses of Insull and Enron

Authored by: Brandon A. Sullivan

The Routledge International Handbook of the Crimes of the Powerful

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415741262
eBook ISBN: 9781315815350
Adobe ISBN: 9781317807322


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This chapter examines two major historical corporate-financial crimes in the American energy industry. Corporate-financial crime scandals have frequently occurred throughout history (Markham, 2006), causing immeasurable harm to society while receiving inadequate attention from academics, practitioners, and policy makers compared to traditional street crimes (Geis, 2007; Lynch et al., 2004; Simpson, 2002). Incentives in the securities market and corporate cultures and structures encouraging organizational deviance create opportunities for corporate-financial crimes, only some of which become widely known through highly publicized scandals. Research into these crimes illuminates potential measures to prevent abuses undermining the legitimacy of the financial and justice systems.

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