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State’s New White Collar Crime Registry Draws Criticism

April 20, 2016 | Written by Dan Margolis

A charge concerning a white collar crime comes with several penalties upon conviction. These penalties include prison sentences, court fines and orders of restitution to any alleged victims. However, one state’s action of creating a white collar crime offender registry could influence lawmakers in Ohio to create one there, despite the criticism the new registry has received from some.

One professor at Ohio State University pointed out that punishment for people convicted of fraud is often more symbolic in nature, but was not sure whether taking such action would be more effective, according to The registry, which was passed and put recently into action in Utah, is the state’s effort to stem what it says is a major problem. The state said that on average, every year fraud convictions are handed down to 100 people.

People who have been convicted of second-degree felonies that fall under the white collar crime category, including money laundering, mortgage fraud, theft by deception and communications fraud, will be included in the registry. The registry will feature a list of the person’s crimes, mug shots, physical descriptions, aliases and the person’s name. Currently 100 names are on the registry and it is expected to have 230 when it officially launches.

Marketplace states that this type of punishment for white collar convictions is considered public shaming. Some say that it would also lead to continued punishment after people have carried out their sentence and goes against the way that people are prosecuted in America. There is no assurance that it will help, either, as its inspiration, the sex offender database, has mixed results. It is possible for people to avoid being on the list, or get taken off, if they choose to pay their victims restitution. It can be very difficult to receive restitutions after this type of crime, which is one reason the Utah lawmakers have added that caveat to the registry. Amid criticism, they feel that the registry will be successful if it helps increase the number of success restitutions.

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