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John Passant

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July 2011
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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
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Me on Razor Sharp this morning
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White-collar criminals on easy street

Judge Ray Finkelstein retired on 30 June. Just before he retired he gave an interview to Patrick Durkin from the Australian Financial Review in which he railed against the lenient treatment white-collar criminals often get.

The Fink as he is known has seen his fair share of corporate criminals. But as he said in the interview: ‘My concern with white-collar crime is a dislike for a system which treats white-collar criminals leniently compared with what people regard as real crime.’  He went on to say:

I don’t buy the distinction that people who make clear, unambiguous choices should be able to come along and say ‘but I am a good guy, I went to a good school’. I don’t regard that as an appropriate attitude. 

The judge identified the class nature of criminal punishment when he said:

It is a system where people who have a good background and no need to cheat and no need to steal get treated leniently when compared with people who come from a miserable background, probably starving to death, have learnt to cope in the only way they know how, which is to steal and rob and get treated harshly. 

As the Australian Crime Commission’s Operation Wickenby shows, white collar tax fraud is rife.

But punishment is not the only issue. So too is investigating the rich.

Here’s what the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), Mr John Lawler, noted after dropping the five year investigation of Paul Hogan for alleged tax fraud:

  ‘… on the material presently available to the ACC, including documents recently obtained as a result of overseas enquiries, the ACC has concluded that there are insufficient prospects of securing convictions to justify continuing with its investigation at this time.’

He went on to say:

The delay in resolving this long running investigation hinges on the international complexity of the structures put in place by those who are the subject of the investigation and a clear strategy by those being investigated to legally challenge the ACC’s attempt to establish the facts in the case.

Wickenby has had some successes. Glenn Wheatley spent 9 months in jail. However his 15 month jail sentence was inappropriately low and that of one year for his lawyer manifestly inadequate said the Victorian Court of Appeal. Despite these findings the original sentences stood.

Last week two more Wickenby criminals were sentenced to home detention through what are called intensive detention orders.

The amount involved in one of the fraud cases was $1.75 million.  The fraudster, Michael Boughen, is one of the men behind Celebrity Big Brother, Perfect Match and Deal or No Deal. While some  might argument this alone is grounds for imprisonment, the judge’s reasoning for imposing home detention rather than jail highlight again the class nature of the criminal system. According to Hannah Low in Saturday’s Australian Financial Review the judge said:

The essential difference between an intensive corrective order and jail is that the offender is not at risk of violence at the hands of inmates who could, for reasons of resentment, jealousy or anything else, decide to attack them.

Translation: We shouldn’t send rich men to jail for their tax fraud. Jail wouldn’t be good for them. It’s the place for working class men.



Comment from Ross
Time July 30, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Hey John.The biggest institutionalised white collar fraud is the fractional reserve system of banking.If we stop this scam,then our Govts will not have to tax us so much to pay them for the debt they illicitly create.

Why cannot the Reserve Bank of Australia become the lender of first resort,thus creating new money to equal our increases in productivity?

Money is not the source of productivity but a consequence of it.Private banksters have not the right to own the soul of our creativity.Our Govts currently serve our oppressors.

Comment from John
Time July 31, 2011 at 8:28 pm

And capitalism stops dead in its tracks.

Comment from Ross
Time July 31, 2011 at 10:31 pm

John as Zbigniew Brezezinski says,”There is a global political awakening.”He admits that this is a problem for the elites.Last yr he stated that in the past it was easy to control a million people than kill them.Now he espouses that it is far easier to kill a million people than control them.

We can now see where these elite egocentric scumbags are taking us.It is about Global dominance by the few.Hitler is their model.Science is now making it possible to live way beyond 100 yrs.Like Hitler they want to breed a super race of humans but the 7 billion current masses on the planet ,are a hinderance to their grand plan.

The carbon tax and a new world currency is their way to global dominance.These Lowy think tanks do not exist for the benefit of the masses.