When most people think of criminals in Louisiana, murderers and thieves come to mind. It may take some time before people also begin to think of the leaders of Ponzi schemes and other white collar crimes. Forbes notes that one of the newest schemes that has surfaced in the American public is Operation Varsity Blues, where executives and celebrities paid large sums of money under the table to bribe their children’s way into the best colleges.
What is most surprising about the executives who commit white collar crimes in recent times is that they represent the American Dream. They are people who have acquired wealth through legal and legitimate means and who wield high influence and power. They are respected leaders of their communities and people trust them.
Thus, white collar crimes are no longer centered around ideas of greed or reckless behavior. Instead, Forbes notes that these people risked a lot of money, not to mention potential convictions, to gain very little. Some people also point to a problem with entitlement for not just themselves but their children. And, in cases like the college admission scandal, there are some who agree it is unfair but question whether or not it should be considered a crime.
When the wealthy are convicted of a white collar crime, it is a common belief that the prisons they are sent to are luxury spa versions of regular prisons. According to CNBC, this is not the case. Lawyers especially may have a hard time in prison, as inmates may blame them for their conviction. Some may threaten to send outside connections to harass the inmate’s family or assault the inmate while in prison.
White collar criminals do tend to serve lighter sentences than those who commit blue collar crimes. They are also not usually sent to prisons where the majority of those serving are facing convictions for violent crimes. Even so, how well they transition from multi-million-dollar mansions to confinement may depend on the reason for their conviction and how they relate to fellow inmates.