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5.2: Criminal Law in a Business Context

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  • 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.


    The video below provides a recent example of business fraud, perhaps the largest single financial fraud in history.


    A YouTube element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here: