Table of Contents

Research Handbook on International Financial Crime

Research Handbook on International Financial Crime

Research Handbooks in Financial Law series

Edited by Barry Rider

A significant proportion of serious crime is economically motivated. Almost all financial crimes will be either motivated by greed, or the desire to cover up misconduct. This Handbook addresses financial crimes such as fraud, corruption and money laundering, and highlights both the risks presented by these crimes, as well as their impact on the economy. The contributors cover the practical issues on the topic on a transnational level, both in terms of the crimes and the steps taken to control them. They place an emphasis on the prevention, disruption and control of financial crime. They discuss, in eight parts, the nature and characteristics of economic and financial crime, the enterprise of crime, business crime, the financial sector at risk, fraud, corruption, the proceeds of financial and economic crime, and enforcement and control.

Chapter 1: The characteristics of economic crime and criminals

William Tupman

Subjects: economics and finance, financial economics and regulation, law - academic, corruption and economic crime, finance and banking law


Economic crime is a relatively loose term, covering a wide variety of phenomena. All property crime and acquisitive crime is economic crime in the sense that it is crime aimed at making the perpetrator wealthier, but robbery and burglary are not normally included in the concept. Barry Rider’s overview of 1988 reviews the problems in a way that could be republished today with very little change. Looking at contemporary practitioners, the Economic Crime Command of the National Crime Agency include fraud, intellectual property crime, identity theft and counterfeit currency in their remit. But a list does not amount to a definition. The City of London Economic Crime Directorate, policing lead for fraud investigation in the UK, has fraud teams that target boiler room frauds, mortgage fraud, insider and illegal trading, ticketing fraud and identity crimes. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) white collar crime website pulls no punches in defining white collar crime as “Lying, cheating and stealing”. It goes on to say, more calmly, that “the term is now applied to the full range of frauds committed by business and government professionals”. The list of crimes that follow, however, widens the focus beyond this group. The Swedish Economic Crime Authority concentrates on accounting crime, tax crime, bankruptcy related crime, crime under the Swedish Companies Act, market abuse crime and crime against the EU’s financial interests. In Sweden, fraud is dealt with by the police and corruption by the National Anti-Corruption Unit.