Sociology Index


Red collar crime is a sub-group of white-collar crime in which the perpetrator uses violence to avoid detection or prosecution. Red-Collar Crime is a new term that a group of researches have coined for a growing area of research looking into violence, suicide and murder as it relates to white-collar crime. The perpetrator in red-collar crime uses violence to avoid detection or prosecution. Perri and Lichtenwald have linked and examined this type of violent behavior and have coined the term red-collar crime. When there is threat of detection, red-collar criminals commit acts of violence to silence the people who have detected their fraud so as to prevent any further disclosure. Red-collar criminal is described as a violent subgroup of the traditional white-collar criminal and explain that the threat of fraud detection serves as the motive for these violent crimes. The best way to prevent white collar crime, and its association to red collar crime, is for businesses to have a process through which white collar crime can be reported anonymously.

Red-collar crimes are on the rise as compared to other types of collar-crimes, like black-collar crime, blue-collar crime, green-collar crime, and pink-collar crime. Fraud-detection homicide is also used to describe Red-collar Crime. They are red-collar crime because they straddle both the white-collar crime arena and, the violent crime arena. But they are still not considered conventional crime. It is wrongly believed by most that red-collar crimes are isolated incidents. Although many write red-collar crimes off as crimes of passion, the real motive behind these violent and heinous acts is concealment of fraud. Red-collar Crime theory examines the phenomenon of white-collar criminals becoming violent toward their victims.

Perri and Lichtenwald argue that red-collar criminals perceive the fraud detection as an existential threat, a blow to their self-concept, and, consequently, as an act of “self” preservation, they are willing to resort to violence. Red-collar criminals do not reject violence as a solution to a perceived problem, so killing is just as viable a solution as using deceptive and manipulative characteristics to satisfy their needs.

Although red collar crime appears to be a rare event in the U.S., it is advisable for businesses to have a process through which white collar crime can be reported anonymously. When the perpetrator of the white collar crime doesn't want the nature of his actions disclosed, the outcome may change to a red collar crime.

Cases with red-collar crime characteristics

These cases involve those who would be considered by most as the “typical” white-collar criminal attempting to conceal the crime through the act of red-collar crime.

The Reginald J. Robinson case was a classic case of Red-collar Crime

On April 27, 2008 a man by the name of Kashmir Billon was found in his car shot to death. Firefighters when they arrived they found a man, shot numerous times in the chest, lying outside the burning BMW. Billon was 42 years old and worked as a mortgage lender operating Billon Enterprises. Law enforcement officers received a tip from an individual claiming that he was solicited by a Reginald J. Robinson to kill his business partner the Friday before Billon was murdered. The informant told authorities Robinson offered to pay them $50,000 to kill a business associate before Monday, April 28.

Examples Of Red Collar Crime

The earliest example of red collar crime dates back to 1982, when the owner of the Candor Diamond Company of Manhattan, one by name Irwin Margolies contracted a hitman to kill two employees.

Red collar crime does not necessarily result in the murder, or even attempted murder of a colleague. In 2008, Sallie Rohrbach, an agency examiner with the North Carolina Department of Insurance, was murdered by insurance company owner Michael Howell after she discovered evidence of insurance fraud.

In 2016, Naquan Reyes, a former bank employee, was convicted of paying for the murder of a co-conspirator, who had been caught conducting check fraud on Reyes' behalf and who had agreed to testify against him. Although not a red collar crime, other co-conspirators had worked in the bank with Reyes and were equally as guilty in the check fraud scam.

The extent of red collar crime is also unknown in the same way as nobody really knows the true cost of white collar crimes. When the white collar crime is not detected, a possible red collar crime goes undected.

There have been a number of failed red collar crimes. In 2008, Randy Nowak was found guilty of attempting to hire a hitman to murder an IRS agent he believed was about to uncover his tax fraud and money laundering schemes. The hitman he tried to hire actually an undercover FBI agent.