After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
- Explain how criminal law differs from civil law.
- Categorize the various types of crimes and define the most serious felonies.
- Discuss and question the criminal “intent” of a corporation.
- Explain basic criminal procedure and the rights of criminal defendants.
At times, unethical behavior by businesspeople can be extreme enough that society will respond by criminalizing certain kinds of activities. Ponzi schemes, arson, various kinds of fraud, embezzlement, racketeering, foreign corrupt practices, tax evasion, and insider trading are just a few. A corporation can face large fines, and corporate managers can face both fines and jail sentences for violating criminal laws. This chapter aims to explain how criminal law differs from civil law, to discuss various types of crimes, and to relate the basic principles of criminal procedure.