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

By Eugene Soltes

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


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

Label Value
ISBN 978-1-610-39536-6
Publisher PublicAffairs
Published Copyright 2016
Pages 464
Format Hardcover

Table of Contents

Prologue Managing in the Gray
PART I The Struggle to Criminalize
Chapter 1 "Not... bucket-shop operators, dead-beats, and fly-by-night swindlers": Pillars of the Community
Chapter 2 "Guys ... don't drop out of windows for no reason": Creating the White-Collar Criminal
Part II Nature Or Nurture? Reasoning Or Intuition?
Chapter 3 "Inherently inferior organisms": Bad People Making Bad Decisions
Chapter 4 "I thought it was all going to pass": A Press Release with Consequences
Chapter 5 "If you don't take it then you will regret it forever": The Triumph of Reason
Chapter 6 "I never once thought of the costs versus rewards": Intuitive Decisions
Chapter 7 "I never felt that I was doing anything wrong" Overlooking Harm
Chapter 8 "If there was something wrong with this transaction, wouldn't people have told me?": The Difficulty of Being Good
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
Chapter 10 "Unfortunately, the world is not black and white": Financial Reporting Fraud
Chapter 11 "You go from just being on top of the world": Insider Trading
Chapter 12 "I thought we were freakin' geniuses": Deceptive Financial Structures
Chapter 13 "You couldn't stop because you would wreck everything'': The Ponzi Scheme
Chapter 14 "When I look back, it wasn't as if I couldn't have said no": Bernie Madoff
Conclusion Toward Greater Humility
Illustration Credits

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