Administration of Justice 511

Regulation of Corporate and Governmental Illegality

Fall 1992


Philip Jenkins

Class meets Wednesday evenings 6.30-9pm                                   

Office hours: Tuesday/Thursday 10-11 am in 1006 Oswald Tower


The course

This course will discuss some of the major forms of corporate, political and upper-world criminality. It will examine the effects and seriousness of this type of offense; the nature of the harm caused; and will compare the seriousness of upperworld crime to that of street crime. We will consider the implications of upperworld crime for mainstream criminological theory, and for the possibility of equitable and effective law-enforcement. What does corporate crime tell us about the nature of law? Can a corporate entity be convicted of crimes like murder? If a corporation is held guilty, who should pay the price?


In terms of solutions, issues to be addressed include the use of "regular" criminal justice methods, as well as several alternatives - civil justice mechanisms; federal and state regulatory agencies; and political agencies or investigative commissions. Is the proper regulation of abuses to be found through the police, the courts, congress, or the community? Or is it a question of fundamental political change?



The grade for this course has three components


i.   Paper one               - 25%

ii.  Paper two              - 65%

iii. Class participation - 10%


The main assignment for the grade will be two papers, applying the theoretical issues raised in the course to any one case-study of corporate or political crime. The exact topic will be agreed with the instructor before the end of the fourth week of the semester, on September 16. The first paper should provide a bare narrative of the case or incident, briefly outlining the research issues to be addressed, and including a bibliography. Basically, this paper (due by the eighth week of semester, October 14) outlines what you are proposing to do, and how you intend to go about it. The second paper (due by the end of the semester) will represent an expansion of this, but will also pay far more critical attention to the theoretical, legal and/or criminological issues raised by the case. Each student will make a presentation based on his or her research in the last two or three weeks of class. Depending on the size of the class, I may devote more classes than scheduled here to presentations.


The topic chosen can be more or less anything within the general scope of corporate or political criminality, as outlined in the following syllabus. The only restriction concerns case-studies. If you choose to describe a particular incident or individual, it should not be one that is already fully described in book form - for example, don't just do a rehash of the BCCI or Iran-Contra cases. Where possible, you should research the topic from official documents, but media sources are perfectly acceptable.


Note that most of the books on the bibliography that I have compiled will be available in Pattee library, and some will be on reserve. However, there will also be a great deal of material in official and congressional documents available in the documents room. Do note that these materials are occasionally listed in the LIAS catalog, but usually they are not. You assuredly need to spend a couple of hours familiarizing yourselves with the documents room in Pattee and its somewhat confusing cataloging system. Once you get into this, you will be surprised at what a powerful resource this offers for any research topic in this class, or any other graduate work in the social sciences. At some point, some agency or congressional committee will have done a study into whatever topic you are looking at, and they will provide a largely unsorted wealth of documentation for you to mine. It will rapidly become obvious to you that the newspaper materials you are finding are usually drawn from this official material, and often they are only scratching the surface of it. In summary, the message is: go to the Document Room, and become familiar with this resource early in the semester.


Also, I have made no effort to include here many of the numerous articles on corporate and governmental criminality from journals like Criminology, Justice Quarterly, etc. You will find abundant material in papers like the Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Times, and do check out the computer search faciilities in the microfilm and periodicals rooms in Pattee (ProQuest in particular). Note that there is a lot in journals that you may not have used previously for criminal justice research  - for instance, try Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Far Eastern Economic Review, and similar publications.



M. David Ermann and Richard J. Lundman, eds., Corporate and Governmental Deviance, New York: Oxford University press, fourth edition, 1992, paperback


Mayer, Martin (1992), The Greatest-Ever Bank Robbery New York: Collier




1. August 26

Theoretical and criminological issues. A historical perspective. RICO and the definition of corporate crime

I am not going to give specific week by week readings, but I assume you will read the textbooks over the first couple of weeks of class.


2. September 2

Upper-world crime and the denial of democracy: Wedtech, Bechtel, CTA


3. September 9

The defense industry


4. September 16

The banks; the Savings and Loan debacle. Discussion of Mayer book.

I need to know the general theme of your paper


5. September 23

Investment fraud and tax evasion. Criminogenic economic environments.


6. September 30

Outrageous misconduct - the health and safety of consumers and employees


7. October 7

Corporate and organized crime: the case of Atlantic City.

E. F. Hutton and money-laundering.


8. October 14

Patterns in American political corruption

First paper due: brief presentation by each student on the nature of their research and progress to date


9. October 21

Police and intelligence abuses


10. October 28

The Iran-Contra affair


11. November 4

Investigation and prosecution. The regulatory agencies


12. November 11



13. November 18

A comparative perspective: Western Europe and Japan. Arms trafficking.


please note that there will be no class on November 25


14-15 December 2-9

student presentations.





Additional Bibliography


(A highly selective list of references on some recent cases - chiefly E. F. Hutton, Wedtech, BCCI, and the Savings and Loans)


Adams, James Ring, (1990) The big fix: inside the S&L scandal. New York: John Wiley and Sons.


Adams, James Ring, with Douglas Frantz (1992). A full service bank: how BCCI stole billions around the world New York: Pocket Books.


Barth, James R (1991) The great savings and loans debacle, Washington DC: AEI Press/ University Press of America


Braithwaite, John (1989). "Criminological theory and organizational crime".  Justice Quarterly 6(3): 333-358


Burk, James (1988). Values in the marketplace: the American stock market under federal securities law. Walter de Gruyter.


Burnham, David (1990), The I.R.S. : a law unto itself, New York: Random House.


Carpenter, Donna Sammons, and John Feloni (1989). The fall of the house of Hutton. New York: Henry Holt.


Fisse, Brent and John C. Braithwaite (1983). The impact of publicity on corporate offenders. SUNY Albany Press.


Fisse, Brent and John C. Braithwaite (1985). Corrigible corporations and unruly law. San Antonio, TX: Trinity University Press.


Fitzgerald, A. Ernest (1989), The Pentagonists, Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.


Gaskins, Richard H. (1989). Environmental accidents: personal injury and public responsibility. Temple University Press.


Gordon, John Steele (1988). The scarlet woman of Wall Street. Weidenfeld and Nicholson.


Hawkins, Keith (1984). Environment and enforcement. Oxford University Press.


Huber, Peter (1988). Liability: the legal revolution and its consequences. New York: Basic Books.


Hutchison, Robert (1986). Off the books: Citibank and the world's biggest money game.  New York: William Morrow.


Jackson, Brooks (1988). Honest graft: Big money and the American political process. New York: Alfred Knopf.


Jenkins, Phiilip (1991) "The European arms industries in the 1980s: a case-study in corporate crime". International Criminal Justice Review, 1(1).


Jones, Tara (1988). Corporate killing: Bhopals will happen. London: Free Association books.


Lowy, Martin E (1991). High rollers: inside the savings and loan debacle New York: Praeger


Mayer, Martin (1992a), Stealing the market New York: Basic Books (on the SEC and the Wall Street scandals of the 1980s)


Mayer, Martin (1992b), The greatest-ever bank robbery New York: Collier (the Savings and Loans)


Mokhiber, Russell (1988). Corporate crime and violence: big business power and the abuse of the public trust. Sierra Club.


Newfield, Jack and Wayne Barrett (1988), City for sale: Ed Koch and the betrayal of New York. An overview of the major city scandals of the Koch years


Zane Pilzer, Paul, and Robert Deitz (1989) Other people's money: the inside story of the S&L mess, New York: Simon and Schuster


Pizzo, Stephen,  Mary Fricker and Paul Muolo (1989). Inside job: the looting of America's savings and loans. New York: McGraw Hill.


Potts, Mark, with Lionel Kochan and Robert Whittington (1992). Dirty money: BCCI, the inside story of the world's sleaziest bank. Washington: National press Books


Scott, Donald W. (1989). "Policing corporate collusion", Criminology, 27(3):559-557


Sherrill, Robert (1984). The oil follies of 1970-1980. New York: Doubleday Anchor.


Sternberg, William and Matthew C. Harrison (1989). Feeding frenzy: the inside story of Wedtech. New York: Henry Holt.


Sterngold, James (1990), Burning down the house New York: Summit. (on the fall of E.F. Hutton)


Stevens, Mark (1989). Sudden death: the rise and fall of E. F. Hutton. New York: NAL.


Thompson, Marilyn (1990) Feeding the beast: how Wedtech became the most corrupt little company in America, New York: Charles Scribners' Sons


Timmerman, Kenneth R. (1992) The death lobby: how the West armed Iraq, New York: Houghton Mifflin.


Traub, James (1990) Too good to be true: the outlandish story of Wedtech, New York: Doubleday


Weiner, Tim (1990) Blank check: the Pentagon's black budget, New York: Warner Books


Wheeler, Stanton, Kenneth Mann and Austin Sarat (1988). Sitting in judgment: the sentencing of white-collar criminals. Yale University Press.


White, Larry C. (1988). Merchants of death: the American tobacco industry. New York: Beech Tree