Research Handbook on International Financial Crime
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Research Handbook on International Financial Crime

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.
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Chapter 45: The traditional criminal justice system: its efficacy in dealing with financial and economically motivated crime

David Fitzpatrick


By the traditional criminal justice system the following is adopted as a simple description: the criminal justice system in England and Wales at the day of writing, in its substantive, procedural and evidential components. By financial and economically motivated crime, it is presumed that the crimes go beyond simple theft and robbery and simple instances of deception employed to dishonestly appropriate property or services, for example, passing a dud cheque. If efficacy is measured by its deterrent effect then the system plainly fails, given the extent to which fraud of some kind is encountered in the United Kingdom’s economy. If efficacy is measured by the system’s ability to deliver swift, timely justice to the victim, again it is failing, as will be seen below. There are several reasons why the system cannot deliver the product with which it would satisfy society. To identify and explain the problems this chapter is divided into two parts: Part One, a simplified history of the common law as it has developed to deal with fraud; Part Two, the way ahead, a review of what may be done to improve the system. Unless the wrongdoer employs a simple and direct misappropriation of property, he will need to employ deception of some kind upon the victim. Deception practised to dishonestly appropriate economic assets from the victim is commonly characterised as “fraud”, a word without the need of a precise definition.

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