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Susan Gustafson Business Ethics Professor Mark Matthews PhD March 12 2004 Corporate Crime--Who Should Be Held Responsible Corporate vs Individual Responsibility Experience has shewn that even under the best of forms of government those with power have in time and by slow operations perverted it into tyranny --Thomas Jefferson Rampant corporate crime has forced us to question once again whom society should hold responsible for damaging corporate decisions When corporations break the law should we hold them responsible as entities themselves or should we hold a more inclusive view and hold individual agents responsible Dark business decisions are being brought to light by market watchdogs such as Russell Mokhiber He published a report on the top 100 Corporate Criminals of the Decade for the 1990s In his report Mokhiber stresses the high cost of corporate crime Multiple hundreds of billions of dollars a year are stolen from honest Americans at the hands of corporate criminals These crimes include pollution and occupational diseases as well as those crimes such as price-fixing and fraud While the Justice Department publishes an annual report titled Crime in the United States Mokhiber has found the list to be noninclusive of corporate crime Crimes such as price-fixing corporate fraud pollution and public corruption are not documented The list only reports street crimes committed in the United States annually This is troubling as the cost of all street crime annually amounts to a mere 38 billion dollars whereas corporate crime is estimated to come at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars annually Here is a quote from Mokhibers report The savings and loan fraud--which former Attorney General Dick Thornburg called the biggest white collar swindle in history--cost us anywhere from 300 billion to 500 billion alone1 This high cost of corporate malfeasance has engaged the US government to call for tougher criminal penalties for those convicted of corporate fraud infuse more tax dollars to support the SEC who
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