White-Collar Crime and Its Consequences


White-collar crime is an essential modern issue that may lead to irreparable consequences. It includes illegal enrichment or the pursuit of other personal goals by a person using one’s power, authority, or fame. Thus, the individual puts pressure on others or uses financial opportunities to achieve one’s own aims. Besides, the individual may also use one’s powers in a particular area, for example, legislative, in order to create favorable conditions for business. In any case, white-collar crime causes damage both locally and internationally and formulate negative factors for the economy of the country. Thereby, it is essential to determine the role white collar crime plays in the world of corporate, cyber, and environmental crime and what is common in these aspects.

White Collar Crime

Nowadays, there are many areas in which white-collar crimes can bring profit to those who commit them. On the other hand, it also leads to significant damage to the one to whom this crime was performed. In the cyber area, white-collar crimes include hacking cards or the banking system, economic espionage, cyber robbery, money laundering, and hacker attacks (Payne, 2021). White-collar crime in the corporate system is usually characterized by breach of trust, espionage, and the use of secret information and occurs without the application of force (Payne, 2021). A similar principle can be noticed in the white-collar crimes in the aspect of the environment, thus, the actions that have led to the pollution of the soil, air, or water. Usually, in such cases, breach of trust, bribery, and the spread of private data is also used, and similarly to previous aspects, force is not applied.

A striking example of environmental white-collar crimes can be the accident at the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig, which happened in 2010. The crash site was the Gulf of Mexico, where the BP company, which leased the unit, began developing the Macondo field at a depth of 1,500 meters. After the explosions, a number of anonymous officials testified in court that several basic safety recommendations had not been followed (Frontline, 2010). Besides, a number of employees and analysts characterize BP as a company that puts earnings above security priorities (Frontline, 2010). BP often took risks to improve profitability, and several safety considerations were ignored prior to the development of the Gulf of Mexico field, saving the company several million dollars.

The actions of the company may be considered a white-collar crime since there are high demands in terms of security in the development of deep-sea oil fields. It is formulated by the fact that negligence and the desire to save money led to large-scale consequences, turning them into criminal actions. Before the accident in the Gulf of Mexico, the company experienced safety difficulties, as fires or minor accidents occurred almost every week. (Frontline, 2010). In addition, a complete check of all security systems was also characterized by some issues. For example, to check all the pipes in one of the company’s oil depots for the integrity of the structure, several miles of tubing had to be carefully examined. At this scale, a team of hundreds of people is needed, which was not undertaken by the company in order to save money.

In this regard, by analyzing the Deepwater Horizon accident and the concepts of corporate, cyber, and the environment white-collar crimes, one may identify some commonalities and interconnections between them. Firstly, for all the above areas, there is the same principle of work and consequences. These commonalities are formulated by negligence, ferocious economy, and the desire to get rich by violating of security norms. Further, for all spheres, its consequences are the same, namely, large-scale economic damage and even loss of life. In the case of a white-collar crime in the environment, namely an accident at the Deepwater Horizon, one can also highlight negative environmental impacts. Namely, air pollution from a fire, oil spillage, water pollution with oils, fuel, and the death of animals due to air and water pollution.

Talking about the relationship between corporate, cyber, and environmental crime, one can see how one thing leads to another. In other words, with the example of the Deepwater Horizon, one might notice that corporate crime has led to an environmental one. The company’s policy of taking risks and savings, ignoring a number of security recommendations in the Gulf of Mexico, and the desire to enrich themselves formulate the corporate crime. Accordingly, it resulted in environmental crime, namely explosions, pollution, and oil spills. One may also notice the severity of the consequences of such actions, especially given the loss of life, which is an unprecedented case.


To conclude, white-collar crimes are criminal acts for the purpose of enrichment or other personal purposes using the powers and influence of an individual. As a rule, such crimes take place without the use of force, weapons, or cruelty. It is characterized by bribery, deceit, hacking, breach of trust, dissemination of personal information, and blackmail. One also managed to find out what is common in corporate, cyber, and environmental crime. Finally, using the example of the Deepwater Horizon accident, one was able to establish that corporate crime can lead to the environmental and which consequences it may have.


Payne, B. K. (2021). White-collar crime: A systems approach. SAGE Publications.

Frontline. (2010). The Spill. [Film]. Web.

Cite this paper

Select style


LawBirdie. (2023, April 5). White-Collar Crime and Its Consequences. Retrieved from https://lawbirdie.com/white-collar-crime-and-its-consequences/


LawBirdie. (2023, April 5). White-Collar Crime and Its Consequences. https://lawbirdie.com/white-collar-crime-and-its-consequences/

Work Cited

"White-Collar Crime and Its Consequences." LawBirdie, 5 Apr. 2023, lawbirdie.com/white-collar-crime-and-its-consequences/.


LawBirdie. (2023) 'White-Collar Crime and Its Consequences'. 5 April.


LawBirdie. 2023. "White-Collar Crime and Its Consequences." April 5, 2023. https://lawbirdie.com/white-collar-crime-and-its-consequences/.

1. LawBirdie. "White-Collar Crime and Its Consequences." April 5, 2023. https://lawbirdie.com/white-collar-crime-and-its-consequences/.


LawBirdie. "White-Collar Crime and Its Consequences." April 5, 2023. https://lawbirdie.com/white-collar-crime-and-its-consequences/.