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Journal cover: Journal of Financial Crime

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Online from: 1993

Subject Area: Accounting and Finance

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The effects of organized crime on legitimate businesses

Document Information:
Title:The effects of organized crime on legitimate businesses
Author(s):Frank J. Marine, (Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, United States Department of Justice, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)
Citation:Frank J. Marine, (2006) "The effects of organized crime on legitimate businesses", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 13 Iss: 2, pp.214 - 234
Keywords:Corruption, Crimes, Law enforcement, United States of America
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/13590790610660926 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the development and nature of organized crime in the USA over the past 50 years, emphasizing organized crime's corruption and victimization of legitimate businesses and describing law enforcement's efforts to combat organized crime through specific case studies.

Design/methodology/approach – First, the paper analyzes the control over and corruption of legitimate businesses in the USA by the La Cosa Nostra (“LCN,” or the American Mafia), including the following industries: Las Vegas gaming; moving and storage; garment; waste – hauling; and, construction, and the following unions: the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Laborers International Union of North America; and, the International Longshoreman's Association. The paper also describes law enforcement's successful efforts to combat such corruption through the use of criminal and civil racketeering laws and specific prosecutions. The paper then discusses the emergence in the mid-1980s of non-traditional organized crime groups in the USA, including various Asian ethnic groups and large-scale human trafficking organizations that impact Europe and Asia as well as the USA.

Findings – The non-traditional criminal groups not only prey on the legitimate businesses in ethnic Asian communities in the USA, but they also engage in complex crimes, alien smuggling, drug trafficking, credit-card frauds, money laundering, and other financial crimes. There has emerged a new era for organized crime that began in the 1990s with the fall of the former Soviet Union and the emergence of transnational organized crime groups emanating from the nations comprising the former Soviet Bloc. These organized crime groups engage in a wide variety of economic crimes including extortion, fraud, illicit appropriation of natural resources, and public corruption. Such extensive corruption threatens the stability of some of these emerging nations.

Originality/value – This paper will be valuable to law enforcement offices and policy makers to assist them to understand the scope and nature of organized crime's adverse effects upon businesses and economic interests and to develop tools to combat such criminal activities.

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