Nowadays, White Collar Crimes are becoming more threatening, as their scale and negative consequences are getting more substantial. Malfeasance is an illegal activity for the purpose of enrichment, committed with the help of opportunities depending on the person’s or group of individuals’ positions. Such crimes are distinguished by the fact that they are often coved from detection due to well-thought cover-up tactics. Moreover, in most cases, a chain of persons is involved, which contributes to the difficulty in the investigation. Malfeasance is defined as acts that cause significant damage to the economy and people, both federally and internationally.
This definition is valid since, under White Collar Crime, a person often uses the capabilities and powers of one who occupies high positions in business and politics. It means that in some cases, the crime may affect other countries, which brings them to the international level. The legal powers of a person turn into a tool that contributes to the crime and the concealment of its consequences after the deed. A high position can be used as a lever of pressure on the course of an investigation or a trial. In any case, malfeasance is harmful to society as it usually affects a large number of people. It may include the company’s customers, hospital patients, contractors, lenders or borrowers, landlords or tenants, and employees or employers.
White Collar Crimes can be committed in all areas of business and industry, from healthcare to the production of any goods. A vivid example of a fraudulent scheme in healthcare is the case of John Kapoor, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur, and general manager of Insys Therapeutics. The federal jury found Kapoor establishing a large-scale scheme to bribe doctors to promote the company’s new pharmaceutical products (Frontline, 2020). After being bribed, ordinary doctors posed as speakers and gave speeches to advertise and promote a new painkiller drug. Moreover, in order to recoup their investment in products and earn money, high doses of the substance were often prescribed, which in some cases harmed patients.
Such a scheme has caused a strong reaction as the United States is experiencing an opioid crisis, namely an increase in deaths due to overdose of opioids. The company’s new drug is 100 times stronger than morphine and should only be used for severe cancer pain (Frontline, 2020). However, Kapoor and his accomplices used their powers of office and devised a scheme to bribe doctors to promote the product and prescribe it to people who didn’t need it. Besides, high proportions of the drug content had to be prescribed to increase profits, which in some cases is deadly for patients. On a federal scale, it increases the existing opioid crisis indicators, which worsens the country’s position at the international level.
Another common healthcare malfeasance is gaining profit due to ordering unnecessary services. Healthcare providers prescribe excess procedures, medications, tests, or other medical services to earn extra money (Payne, 2013). The essence of the scheme is that ignorant patient cannot know which procedures are necessary and which are not. Additionally, doctors take advantage of the fear and confusion of patients, as people usually worry about their health the most. Healthcare providers utilize it and prescribe those redundant procedures, which are then argued by a full examination. Some of them work on a rollback principle, thus, the doctor attributed some paid procedure to another institution and received a percentage of the profit for this.
Among other fraudulent schemes in the healthcare field, one can single out the sale of empty shell medications and charlatan medicine. Fake pills manufacturers use cheap materials such as vitamins or completely neutral substances and sell them as expensive rare medicines. Quack medicine involves promoting various items that supposedly have healing properties and their subsequent sale. Usually, its price is significantly higher than its production, and respectively, one makes a considerable profit. Invented reviews, advertising, and bribery of famous personalities to speak about the usefulness of the product are used to advance the production.
In terms of the industry field, malfeasance also has serious consequences and can bring a high income. For example, company employees steal materials for the manufacturing of products for their subsequent sale in retail settings (Payne, 2022). Generally, retail trade brings in a significant profit since the goods are sold as separate items. However, it leads to substantial damage to the company, as the production process does not meet the standards of raw materials due to theft of materials. It can result in significant losses due to production delays in companies operating internationally. Usually, it is accompanied by fines and undermining the trust of international customers and suppliers. In turn, there can be a fall in stock prices, an outflow of investments, and other negative consequences.
To conclude, the definition of White Collar Crime as a federal and international event with long-term negative consequences is valid. It is articulated by real situations, such as the incident with John Kapoor’s pharmaceutical company, which bribed doctors to promote its products. Besides, doctors prescribed an increased dose of the substance, which worsened the existing indicators of the opioid crisis. It affected the health of the nation, which in turn provoked a deterioration in the country’s position at the international level.
Frontline. (2020). Opioids, Inc. Web.
Payne, K. R. (2013). White-Collar Crime: The essentials. (3rd ed.). Sage.
Payne, K. R. (2022). White-Collar Crime: The essentials. (3rd ed.). Sage.