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The Crime of Misuse Company Funds

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Theft takes many forms. Individuals can steal one another’s heart. They can steal possessions, such as cars. Identity theft is a growing problem. Trivial matters can steal time. Although many individuals don’t regard misusing company assets as theft, it is a form of stealing, that along with employee theft, costs American businesses millions, if not billions, of dollars every year. There are dozens of ways of misappropriating business funds, from taking company supplies for personal use to falsifying expense reports or hours worked to skimming cash. While these may seem like minor infractions for relatively small amounts, they can add up over time.

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Industry world-wide loses billions of dollars every year to counterfeiters. These costs impact on victims countries in a number of different ways. First of all, industries which find themselves in direct competition with counterfeiters endure a loss in sales

Indeed, some markets are even under control by criminals, creating barriers of entry for the manufacturers. Some would argue that the buyers of the fakes would not have bought the genuine item but that is a very narrow argument and can only apply to a small segment of luxury goods. Many counterfeit products today are of higher quality and compete directly with the genuine items. In addition, consumers who are cheated into trusting that they bought a authentic article when it was actually a fake, charge the producer of the product when it fails, making a loss of concern. Even cheaper and obvious copies that are bought in good faith represent a serious threat to the company that wants its brands associated with quality and exclusivity. Thirdly, beside direct losses of sales and goodwill, one should not forget the expenditure involved in protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights. The right owner becomes involved in costly investigations and litigation when combating counterfeiters and may also have to spend further sums on product protection. The budget for anti-counterfeiting is rarely well defined within an organisation, but spans across several departments such as marketing, human resources, product development and legal departments. Such countries suffer both tangible and intangible losses. First, foreign producers of reputable products become reluctant to manufacture their products in countries where counterfeiting is rife as they cannot rely on the enforcement of their intellectual property rights. Hence, such countries not only lose direct foreign investment but also miss out on foreign know-how. Second, if many products from such countries, including genuine ones, gain a reputation of being of poor quality, this will cause export losses which in turn implies both job losses and loss of foreign exchange. It could be argued that the counterfeiting industry creates jobs but these jobs are often poorly paid, often involve substandard working conditions and sometimes use child labour. Third, the foundation for new business development in a country is the existence of a legal system to protect the rights of the entrepreneur and to promote fair competition. The prevalence of counterfeiters in a market discourages inventiveness in that country since it deters honest producers from investing resources in new products and market development. A further direct loss for the government of countries that become havens for counterfeiters, are tax losses, since the counterfeits are normally sold through clandestine channels and counterfeiters are not generally keen to pay tax on their ill-gotten gains. Fiscal losses are increasingly shown to justify action by enforcement officials.

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White collar crime refers to a crime that is committed by a person in the high rank, or a person who is highly respected and with a high social status in the society (Sutherland, 1983; Gerber & Jensen, 2006). Also, it can refer to illegal or dishonest business schemes where consumers can be cheated. Also, white collar crimes may refer to any unlawful act that is committed by officials in the private and public sector (Sutherland, 1983). It can be fraud, swindling, theft or embezzlement. According to Lewis (2002), white collar crime is said to be committed through financial dealings. It can be described as a crime that does not cause any violence, but has an intention of gaining money. Initially, this was a crime that was assumed to have no impact in the society. The white collar crime is not only committed by people of high ranking, but it can also be committed by people from humble or divergent backgrounds. Embezzlement is a form of white collar crime. Embezzlement includes illegal use of another person’s property which the offender was given the responsibility to manage

In this case, the offender uses the property as his or own without authority by the owner. In embezzlement, the perpetrator of the crime uses illegal means to gain undue financial benefits. Nevertheless, the individual may legally possess the property in question, but he may make use of the property in a wrong way (Geis, Pontell, & Pontell-Geis, 2007). Embezzlement may be fraud involving misappropriation of money, assets or any other property which one has been entrusted to manage. This is very different from swindling in that swindling refers to using false pretense or lies and cheating so as to obtain property in a wrong manner. In this case, when the transfer of ownership is done, this makes the swindler to make a transfer to the wrong person of the property. It can be done by one or more individuals who are professionals, nonprofessionals, or just people of lower ranking.

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In conclusion, the company should play their roles by properly managed their company by following the code of conduct and effectively controlled in all division. By doing that, the company will run their businesses in ethical way and those unethical issues such as embezzlement of fund, inappropriate employees discharge, giving or receiving bribes, and also accounting fraud will not happen again or at least will be decrease.

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Carlan, P. E., Nored, L. S., & Downey, R. A. (2011). An introduction to criminal law. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Cross, K., & White, S. (2010). Embezzlement: A true crime story. Alachua, Fla: Bridge Logos Foundation.

Geis, G. L., Pontell, H. N., & Pontell-Geis. (2007). International handbook of white-collar and corporate crime. New York, NY: Springer.

Jennings, M. (2006). Business: Its legal, ethical, and global environment. Mason, Ohio: Thomson/West.

Lewis, R. V. P. D. (2002). White collar crime and offenders: A 20-year longitudinal cohort study. Lincoln, NE: Writers Club Press.

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