cover image Big Dirty Money: The Shocking Injustice and Unseen Cost of White Collar Crime

Big Dirty Money: The Shocking Injustice and Unseen Cost of White Collar Crime

Jennifer Taub. Viking, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-1-984879-97-4

Taub, a law professor at Western New England University, examines the adverse impacts of white collar crime on American society in her eye-opening and well-informed debut. Citing FBI statistics, Taub notes that fraud, embezzlement, and other white collar crimes cost victims $300 billion to $800 billion per year, while street-level property crimes total $16 billion annually. She discusses corporate crime waves in U.S. history, examines the laws put in place to combat them, and argues that “white collar crime is on the rise and criminal enforcement has cratered” since the 2008 financial crisis. Taub blames the current state of affairs on lack of prosecutorial muscle, “mutually assured immunity for the upper classes” (Democrat and Republican alike), and greater judicial discretion in sentencing white collar crimes compared to other offenses. Her examples of corporate crimes include a “pay-to-play” bribery scheme involving a portfolio manager for the New York State Common Retirement Fund, Purdue Pharmaceutical’s false claims about the addictiveness of OxyContin, and a 60 Minutes story on the willingness of American lawyers to facilitate foreign money laundering. Taub’s detailed solutions includes a new division within the Justice Department to focus on prosecuting white collar criminals and restoring funding to the IRS. Backed with hard evidence and firm conviction, this is a powerful and persuasive call for reform. Agent: Jill Marr, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Sept.)