: English for Law Students. 2 year. Part 2 - ( ..)


: 1775

Unit 3 business crime


1. Read these statements and discuss them in pairs to see whether you agree or not. Prove your point of view.

Behind every fortune there is a crime.

Honore de Balzac

The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.

Clarence S. Darrow


B1. Memorize the new words and read the text.

pilferage ,

pilfer ,

bad check

consumer fraud

insider trading , acquisition


identity theft (., .)

copyright infringement


A business, like any person, is subject to general criminal law. Some crimes, however, are found more frequently in the business than elsewhere. Business firms are frequently the victims of crimes such as robbery, burglary, shoplifting, employee pilferage, passing bad checks, vandalism, receiving stolen peoperty, and embezzlement. Less frequently, but often with large sums of money involved, business persons and firms may commit crimes. Because such criminals are generally well-educated, respected members of the community, the offenses are called white-collar crimes. Common

examples of white-collar crimes are income tax evasion, consumer fraud, cheating with false weighing machines, conspiring to fix prices, insider trading, bribery and embezzlement. Normally no physical violence is involved in crimes of this nature. Thus, courts tend to be more soft with the criminals, punishing them with fines or short prison sentence.

Here are some of the common business-related crimes.

Industrial espionage is an acquisition of trade secrets from business competitors. A by-product of the technological revolution, industrial espionage is a reaction to the efforts of many businessmen to keep secret their designs, formulas, manufacturing processes, research, and future plans in order to protect or expand their shares of the market. An employer who discovers that his trade secrets have been adopted by a competitor usually takes legal steps to prevent further invasions of his commercial privacy. The penalties against companies found guilty of usurping trade secrets may be an injunction against further use of the knowledge, an accounting and payment of all profits made from the utilization of pilfered information, or additional punitive damages if a violation of the company's rights has been flagrant. Forgery is falsely making or altering any writing (e.g. the signature of another person). The most common forgeries are found on checks when one has signed anothers name without permisskion to do so. Forgery also includes altering a check, such as when one changes $7 to $70 and seven to seventy. Forgery is usually a felony.

Extortion (commonly known as blackmail) is obtaining money or other property from a person by wrongful use of force, fear, or the power of office. The extortionist (blackmailer) may threaten to inflict bodily injury on the victim or a close relative of the victim. Sometime the extortionist threatens to expose a secret crime if payment is not made.

Conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to do an unlawful

criminal act, or to do a lawful act by unlawful means. Usually the agreement is secret. Depending on the circumstances, the crime may be either a felony, or a misdemeanour. Business executives of competing corporations sometimes conspire to fix prices or to divide markets.

Computer crime encompass a broad range of potentially illegal activities. Generally, however, it may be divided into one of two types of categories: (1) crimes that target computer networks or devices directly (computer viruses); (2) crimes facilitated by computer networks or devices, the primary target of which is independent of the computer network or device (fraud or identity theft, information warfare, cyberterrorism, etc). Issues surrounding computer crime have become high-profile, particularly those surrounding hacking, copyright infringement. There are also problems of privacy when confidential information is lost or intercepted, lawfully or otherwise.

B2. Answer the following questions:

1. What crimes can be often found in the business sphere?

2. Why are business offences called white-collar crimes?

3. What penalties are generally applied to these kinds of crime?

4. Explain how industrial espionage is a by-product of the technological revolution.

5. What can a businessman do, if he finds out his trade secrets to be adopted by a rival?

6. Explain how forgery can be committed in the business sphere.

7. What is a conspiracy?

8. Give some examples of computer crimes and explain what their aims


B3. Explain the following phrases in other words:

a. trade secrets

b. business competitors c. employee pilferage

d. to fix prices

e. insider trading

f. share of the market g. cyberterrorism

h. commercial privacy i. identity theft

j. copyright infringement


C1. Find in the text above the English equivalents for the following expressions:







- 堠 , 堠 堠






C2. Here are the definitions of some business crimes. Can you name them?

a) illegally forcing someone to give you something, especially money,

by threatening them

b) the crime of paying too little tax

c) the crime of using secret information that you have about a company or knowledge of a situation to buy or sell shares at a profit

d) unlawful use of cheques in order to illegally acquire or borrow funds that do not exist within the account balance or account-holder's legal ownership

e) stealing money from the place where you work

f) this crime ncompasses a wide range of fraudulent and deceptive practices in the advertising, marketing, sale, or provision of goods or services

g) a secret plan made by two or more people to do something that is harmful or illegal


D1. Read the text and write down the Russian equivalents for the words and expressions in bold type.

Notorious fraudsters

1. Frank Abagnale remains one of Americas most successful fraudsters

who Leonardo DiCaprio played in the film Catch Me if You Can. He became notorious in the 1960s for successfully passing US$ 2.5 million worth of meticulously forged checks across 26 countries over the course of five years, starting when he was only 16 years old. In the process, he claimed to have assumed no fewer than eight separate identities, successfully impersonated an airline pilot, a doctor, a prison inspector and a lawyer. He escaped from police custody twice (once from a taxiing airliner and once from a

US Federal penitentiary), all before he was 21 years old. Eventually, he was caught and imprisoned in France, only to be released again five years later as an unpaid adviser to the FBI who helped authorities fight crimes committed by fraud and scam artists.

He is currently a consultant and lecturer at the academy and field offices for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also runs Abagnale & Associates, a financial fraud consultancy company.

2. Bernard Madoff is a former stock broker, investment adviser, nonexecutive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market, and the admitted operator of what has been described as the largest

Ponzi scheme in history. A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned. In March 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 felonies (securities fraud, investment advisor fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, false statements, perjury, theft from an employee benefit plan) and admitted to turning his wealth management business into a massive Ponzi scheme that defrauded thousands of

investors of billions of dollars. The amount missing from client accounts, including fabricated gains, was almost $65 billion, which is the biggest fraud in US history. In total, he fleeced more than 1,300 investors, many of their life savings. Two notable victims were filmmaker Steven Spielberg and actor Kevin Bacon. On June 29, 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, the maximum allowed, and forfeiture of $170 billion.

D2. Work in pairs. Make up 5 questions to either part of the text and make your partner answer them.


E1. Using additional sources of information find more facts about notorious fraudsters and present it in the form of a report to the class.


F1. Supply the text below with the forms of the words given in

parentheses. Translate it into Russian.

White-collar crime

Crimes committed by business people, professionals, and 1_

(politics) in

the course of their 2

Contrary to popular 3_

(occupy) are known as white-collar crimes. (use), criminologists tend to restrict the term to

those illegal actions intended by the 4

(perpetrate) principally to further

the aims of their organizations rather than to make money for themselves

personally. Examples include 5_

(conspire) with other corporations to

fix prices of goods or services in order to make artificially high profits or to

drive a particular 6

(compete) out of the market; 7


officials or falsifying reports of tests on pharmaceutical products to obtain

manufacturing licenses; and 8

(construct) buildings or roads with

cheap, 9



(defect) materials while charging for components meeting full (specify). The cost of corporate crime in the United States has been (estimation) at $200,000,000,000 a year three times the cost of

organized crime. Such crimes have a huge impact upon the 12

(safe) of

workers, consumers, and the environment, but they are seldom detected. Compared with crimes committed by juveniles or the poor, 13 (corporation) crimes are very rarely prosecuted in the criminal courts, and

14 (execute) seldom go to jail, though companies may pay large fines.

The term white-collar crime is used in another sense, by the public and

15 (academy), to describe fraud and embezzlement. Rather than being

crime by the firm, for the firm, this constitutes crime for profit by the individual against the organization, the public, or the government.


G1. In pairs find the synonyms to the entries taken from the text (in the box).Write two/three sentences using them.

Not all crimes are viewed as equally serious by the law or by the public in general. In the United States there is a subclassification of misdemeanor called petty offense. Great Britain abolished the distinction between felonies and misdemeanors in 1967 and replaced it with a distinction between arrestable and nonarrestable violations of law.



scrutiny, canvass, check over, check up, con, examine, inspect, study, survey, eye, consider, contemplate, gaze (upon), look (at or upon), observe, see, behold, descry, discern, distinguish, espy, mark, notice, observe, perceive, consider, account, deem, reckon, regard

offense (noun)


attack, aggression, assailment, assault, offensive, onset, onslaught, crime, misdeed

violation (noun) Synonyms:

breach, contravention, infraction, infringement, transgression, trespass, illegality, misdemeanor, offense, wrong

G2. Translate the following text into English.

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- elixir

- eternal life, immortality juggler

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