Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal

Book Title

 By Eugene Soltes 


From the financial fraudsters of Enron to Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, the failings of corporate titans are regular fixtures in the news. But what drives wealthy and powerful people to commit white-collar crime?

Drawing from seven years of personal interaction and correspondence with nearly 50 former executives, Harvard Business School professor and 28th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference keynote speaker Eugene Soltes utilizes the latest research in psychology, criminology and economics to investigate how once-celebrated executives become white-collar criminals.

In this book, you will learn how the usual explanations for why people commit fraud fail to tell the whole story of why many seemingly successful people cross the line and decide to commit crimes.

Product Details:
Copyright 2016
Hardcover, 464 Pages

Table of Contents:


Prologue: Managing in the Gray p. 1

PART I: The Struggle to Criminalize

Chapter 1: "Not... bucket-shop operators, dead-beats, and fly-by-night swindlers": Pillars of the Community p. 13

Chapter 2: "Guys... don't drop out of windows for no reason": Creating the White-Collar Criminal p. 33

PART II: Nature Or Nurture? Reasoning Or Intuition?

Chapter 3: "Inherently inferior organisms": Bad People Making Bad Decisions p. 47

Chapter 4: "I thought it was all going to pass": A Press Release with Consequences p. 65

Chapter 5: "If you don't take it then you will regret it forever": The Triumph of Reason p. 81

Chapter 6: "I never once thought of the costs versus rewards": Intuitive Decisions p. 99

Chapter 7: "I never felt that I was doing anything wrong" Overlooking Harm p. 115

Chapter 8: "If there was something wrong with this transaction, wouldn't people have told me?": The Difficulty of Being Good p. 131

PART III: The Business of Malfeasance

Chapter 9: "You can't make the argument that the public was harmed by anything I did": Misleading Disclosure p. 165

Chapter 10: "Unfortunately, the world is not black and white": Financial Reporting Fraud p. 175

Chapter 11: "You go from just being on top of the world": Insider Trading p. 201

Chapter 12: "I thought we were freakin' geniuses": Deceptive Financial Structures p. 227

Chapter 13: "You couldn't stop because you would wreck everything'': The Ponzi Scheme p. 257

Chapter 14: "When I look back, it wasn't as if I couldn't have said no": Bernie Madoff p. 287

Conclusion: Toward Greater Humility p. 309

Acknowledgments p. 331

Illustration Credits p. 337

Notes p. 339

Bibliography p. 397

Index p. 435