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The commission of wrongs through fraud as well as through force is as old as human society. Although the concept of white collar crime did not come into use in our own society until Sutherland coined it some fifty years ago, sociologists in the early twentieth century recognized a type of criminal who "picks pockets with a railway rebate, . . . cheats with a company prospectus instead of a deck of cards, or scuttles his town instead of his ship. . . ." Thus, Americans' current attention to white collar crime–either in its garden variety forms or in the more special forms associated with the abuse of political power in the nation's capital, or abuse of financial power in the nation's largest city–is a return to long-standing problems and issues in our society.

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