What Were They Thinking?

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In this unit, you will discuss economic crimes, and initially you may think of the criminal that scams people out of their money, but we see there are also crimes that the individual may do that also directly impacts his or her immediate family.

The essential characteristics of economic crime include:

  • Deviant behavior that violates economic criminal law.
  • Crime that is primarily not directed against individual interest, but against individual sectors of economy.
  • Crime that causes physical, psychological, social, economic, and immaterial damage.
  • Misuse of trust and power.

Some forms and examples of economic crime are:

  • Disregard of employment protection.
  • Unfair trading practices.
  • Economic fraud.
  • Unjustified commercialization of medical treatment.

The various forms of appearance of economic crimes include:

  • Consumer credit fraud.
  • Insolvency fraud.
  • Computer crime.

Brown’s 2007 article, “Money Aside, What Were They Thinking?,” in this unit’s studies introduces you to several economic offenders and some of the background of their crimes. As you read about economic crimes and the ripple effect these crimes have on the individual, the family, the community, and even the society, look for psychological patterns or similarities in their presentations.


In your main post:

  • Discuss whether being socially responsible is impractical if crime pays. Use a summary of the main premise of the article to support your answer.
  • Analyze the motivation of the people highlighted in the article. Were their motivations any different from things we all see or face?
  • Identify the most likely psychological personality for this type of crime. Describe characteristics of the chosen psychological personality. Are there enough consistent characteristics exhibited by offenders to develop a disorder category?

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