Organisations: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators

2nd Winter Economic Crime Symposium 2021

Economic crime scholarship presents an organisation as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, organisations are cheated by their employees, discriminated by corrupt public officials, and face cyberattacks, whereas on the other hand, organisations evade taxes, defraud their customers, and cheat competitors.

The network of relationships inside and between organisations and how it should not be reduced to victims and perpetrators was the key topic of the 2nd Winter Economic Crime Symposium – Organizations: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators organised online by the Centre for Counter-Fraud Studies on 4th February 2021. The event was covered in several world languages by Risk & Compliance Platform Europe.

Eight speakers with experience from the public sector, private sector, and academia focused on a range of economic crime-related topics from brand protection, corruption, corporate compliance, foreign bribery, and intellectual property (IP) crime. These speakers discussed with more than 280 delegates how economic crimes cause immense losses to individual organisations as well to society, but how also many of those crimes are committed by organisations themselves.

Many organisational victims are hidden and neglected

In his keynote address, Mr Anthony Stansfield (the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner), set the tone for the discussion. The UK criminal justice system face many internal coordination challenges that prevent it from effectively delivering justice, especially when senior white-collar criminals are concerned.

How many organisational victims are hidden and neglected by both researchers and practitioners was the highlight of the panel on policing fraud consisting of Prof. Mark Button (University of Portsmouth) and Dr David Buil-Gil (University of Manchester). The panel engaged in an in-depth discussion on topics such as financial cybercrime, victims of fraud, and the opportunities and barriers of public-private cooperation in policing economic crime.

Corporate Compliance: Corporations are more than victims and perpetrators

In the second key-note of the day, Mr Peter Y. Solmssen (Chairman of the IBA Committee on Non-Trial Resolutions of Foreign Bribery Cases) focused on corporate compliance in the area of international bribery. He explained how corporations are more than victims and perpetrators in this area, and explained how many perpetrators consider themselves to be victims. Mr Solmssen also indicated that there is generally very little incentive and advantages of engaging in international bribery and that oftentimes, bribery does not start within organisations. Peter Solmssen ended his keynote by stating how a more sophisticated process to engage corporations to work together with law enforcement is needed.

The discussion on corporate compliance in the area of international bribery focused on the emergence of compliance programs, which has very much to do with perceiving the corporation as a partner of national enforcement authorities. Dr. Abiola Makinwa (the Hague University of Applied Sciences) focused on the normative shift in the criminalisation of foreign bribery. Dr. Branislav Hock (University of Portsmouth) then discussed what happens behind the scenes when foreign anti-bribery negotiations are being settled.

IP Crime – Economic Crime Seminar Series

The Symposium was concluded by a discussion between Prof. Jeremy M. Wilson (the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University) and Dr. David Shephard (University of Portsmouth) on IP crime. The panel engaged in an in-depth discussion on topics such as what firms’ brands can do to protect themselves and consumers from these fraudulent behaviours of product counterfeiting and how physical counterfeit products cause significant harm to society and to economies.

This session was part of the Economic Crime Seminar Series. The series aims to allow these with expertise and interest in economic crime across faculties, departments, students and local community to come together, share ideas, and engage in collaborative work. The series is a joint interdisciplinary effort of the Center for Counter Fraud Studies, Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, Portsmouth Business School – the Department of Economics and Finance, the Department of Accounting and Financial Management, and Portsmouth Law School.

The next seminar, focusing on Anti-Money Laundering System and Globalization, will take place on Wednesday, 24th March, 12pm. You can register via here.