Convenience Triangle in White-Collar Crime
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Convenience Triangle in White-Collar Crime

Case Studies of Fraud Examinations

Petter Gottschalk

The ‘convenience triangle’ is the dynamic relationship between motive, opportunity, and willingness to commit a crime, which culminates in the illegal acts which constitute white-collar crime. This book aims to discuss the role of the ‘convenience triangle’ in white-collar crime, how it affects the perpetration of these crimes, the impact of this on detection and prevention and the effects of the punitive measures taken against white-collar criminals.
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Chapter 17: Case 8: BP claims attorney misconduct

Petter Gottschalk


After an oil spill in the Gulf, British Petroleum had to compensate victims of the accident. The total compensation was $11 billion. As suggested by the theory of convenience, a financial motive, an organizational opportunity and a personal willingness can explain deviant behavior by members of the elite in society to gain from the compensation program. In the case of the BP Deepwater Horizon settlements, attorneys were both presenting claims on behalf of victims as well as approving claims on behalf of petroleum company BP. It was a profitable assignment for attorneys, and some attorneys made it even more profitable for themselves by kickbacks and by both applying for and approving compensations. As illustrated in this case study, a report of investigation can serve as an empirical basis for the study of convenience theory.

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