Qualitative research on elite frauds, ordinary frauds, and “organized crime”

Authored by: Michael Levi

The Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Criminology

Print publication date:  March  2015
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415659703
eBook ISBN: 9780203074701
Adobe ISBN: 9781135114947

10.4324/9780203074701.ch15

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Abstract

This chapter aims to review the qualitative approaches that have been taken to researching frauds and “organized crime,” the problems that researchers have faced (or avoided) in interviewing fraudsters and organized criminals, the alternative/supplementary data sources they can use, and some key problems and research gaps that remain. These include issues such as how we can judge whether offender and enforcement agency accounts are credible. (For elaboration of the general themes, see further, Maruna & Copes, 2005, and chapters in Bernasco, 2010.) In this chapter, I focus on financial crimes for economic and symbolic gain committed by people whose acts are labelled as “white-collar crime” or as “organized crime”—categories that are not as distinct as they used to be, as fraud is an increasing component of crime and organized-criminal careers (Kleemans & de Poot, 2008; van Koppen, de Poot, Kleemans, & Nieuwbeerta, 2010). Some research opportunities and problems are country specific, and others relate to the social capital of particular researchers, and this should be borne in mind when prospects are assessed realistically.

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