By William K. Black
October 22, 2017 Kansas City, MO
This is the first in a series of columns I will write that are prompted by the joint 60 Minutes and Washington Post investigations of the role of Congress and the White House in making it far harder to sanction effectively companies selling massive numbers of opioids that they know will go largely to those addicted to opioids. I will use the case study to illustrate many important points that criminologists know about elite white-collar crime and how to limit it and sanction perpetrators.
In this column, I introduce one of the most important concepts in white-collar crime – “seeming legitimacy.” The most elite predators use the seemingly legitimate entities in the business, government, and non-profit sectors that they run as “weapons” of predation and “shields” against sanctions. The criminology term for this is “control fraud.” The same logic applies to non-criminal predation. I will show in later columns in this series that Representative Marino (R, PA), the worst of the political shills for the opioid Predator Class, repeatedly spread the falsehood that the worst of the opioid predators could not be predators because they structured their firm as if it were “legitimate.” As a former state and local prosecutor, Marino knows that CEOs running the largest frauds pose as seemingly legitimate firms because it optimizes control fraud.