Press Releases

Report outlines devastating impacts of corporate fraud

Date released: 20/08/07

Embargo:00.01hrs Monday 20th August 2007

The devastating consequences of corporate fraud on victims remain largely hidden and the lessons ignored, argues a new report published today by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College London.

`Knowledgeable consumers? Corporate fraud and its devastating impacts' by Dr Basia Spalek of the University of Birmingham, is based on interviews with victims of corporate fraud. It shows that the harms caused are equivalent to, and often more devastating than, those usually focused on by the criminal justice system. Victims express a range of emotional and health problems, long-term financial difficulties and other impacts that are not fully appreciated by government policy.

One victim of the BCCI scandal said, `Street crime can involve you being physically assaulted but with white-collar crime you are physically and mentally assaulted.'

Following analysis of interviews with the victims of the scandals relating to Robert Maxwell and the closure of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) the report concludes that:

An embargoed copy of `Knowledgeable consumers? Corporate fraud and its devastating impacts' by Dr Basia Spalek is available here.

The author of the report, Dr Basia Spalek of the University of Birmingham University, said,

`The idea that consumers and employees can protect themselves from corporate fraud is a chimera. Policy discussion should be focused on the long term impact of financial harm and the appropriate regulatory responses, rather than the constant obsession with the slackening of consumer rights and company responsibilities.'

Richard Garside, Director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, said,

`If the real scale of cost and impact of white-collar crime on its victims was properly documented it would raise big questions about the willingness and ability of the state to protect the population from serious harms. As it is, a significant source of social injustice remains hidden and unaddressed by government.'

ENDS

To arrange interviews with the author or for further information contact:

Rebecca Roberts, CCJS on 020 7848 1685 or 07818 414717

A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

Notes to editors:

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