Organized fraud and organizing frauds: unpacking research on networks and organization

Article English OPEN
Levi, Michael (2008)
  • Publisher: Sage
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1177/1748895808096470
  • Subject: H1 | HV | HG

This article examines the settings for frauds in the context of crime networks, fraud opportunities and of a victim-centric typology of fraud. It demonstrates the variety of actors, settings and the variable need for knowing collaboration between co-offenders in frauds of different types. It explores what is known about those involved in the organization of some forms of frauds; how they find both co-offenders and victims in face-to-face and remote settings; and the barriers to growth of the `fraud business'. It concludes that the globalization of crime is part of contingent relationships between settings, with their rich and varied opportunities (reflecting patterns of business, consumer and investment activities), the variable abilities of would-be perpetrators to recognize and act on those opportunities (the `crime scripts' perspective), and their interactions with controls (including, but not restricted to, law enforcement). Constructs of `organized crime' are becoming less obsessed with the structure of groups than with what people need from the largely illicit and largely licit worlds before they commit fraud. Although some frauds are committed by generic transnational `organized crime' networks, others are merely mobile small groups or individuals who can transplant techniques wherever they go; and others still commit very large one-off frauds without a need for long-term or any involvement in `organized crime'.
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