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Prestigious panel examines impact of white collar crime

April 4, 2011

DETROIT (April 4, 2011) – The impact of white collar crime on the American economy and on individuals has been enormous, and its effect as an issue of citizenship has not been fully explored.

Now a prestigious panel including Barbara McQuade, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan; Harold Gurewitz, attorney with Gurewitz and Raben, PLC; and Peter J. Henning, Wayne State University Law School professor, will discuss the nature, impact, and challenges of white collar crime in a free public forum. “Corporate Citizenship and White Collar Crime in the Age of Enron and Madoff” that will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, 2011.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has said that white collar crime costs Americans more than $300 billion annually. First defined in 1939, white collar crime is described by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School as “crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.” 

As examples, in recent years the depredations of Bernard Madoff made near-paupers of many individual investors who trusted him with their savings, while at a corporate level energy company Enron disrupted state economies, made a mockery of energy trading networks, and stymied attempts to plan vital energy infrastructure. The housing bubble that led to the worst national recession since the Great Depression has been fueled, in part, by white-collar crime at many levels.

The free event, to be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, 2011, at the Law School’s Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium, is presented by the Center for the Study of Citizenship at Wayne State. Audience members will have an opportunity to interact with the panelists during a question and answer session.

The event is co-sponsored by the Federal Bar Association, the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, and Wayne State University Law School, Irvin D. Reid Honors College, Eugene Applebaum Chair in Community Engagement, and Forum on Contemporary Issues in Society (FOCIS).

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For more information on the Center for the Study of Citizenship, visit http://www.clas.wayne.edu/citizenship.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students. For more information about Wayne State University, visit http://www.wayne.edu.