Document Type


Date of Award



Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs (SOPA)

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Administration of Justice

Committee Chairperson

Ihekwoaba D. Onwudiwe

Committee Member 1

Howard M. Henderson

Committee Member 2

Glenn S. Johnson

Committee Member 3

Jasmine M. Drake


• Corporate crime • Fort Bend County • Fraud • Non-Fraud • Organizational deviance • White-collar crime


In many respects, white-collar crimes are invisible, with offenses characteristically cloaked within organizational routines that often render them undetectable by observers, victims, or law enforcers. The prosecution of such crimes is unique in different states and distinct on a case-by-case basis. Studies have shown that despite the increased number of white-collar crimes fostered by explosive advancements in technology, many white-collar crime cases still go undetected and are not subjected to the criminal justice system. This dissertation will examine the approach of the Office of the District Attorney for Fort Bend County, Texas, in the prosecution of white-collar crimes in the county. A quantitative methodology (questionnaire) consisting of 18 questions/items and a sample population of 200 subjects obtained from the District Attorney’s Office in Fort Bend County, Texas was examined. The 200 subjects were divided into fraud (1) and non-fraud (0). Analyzing empirical studies, court dispositions, and questionnaire responses will help elucidate the nature of the white-collar crimes committed between 2015 and 2020 in the county. Edwin Sutherland's application of the social learning theory (differential association in particular), with the rational choice and routine activity theories, was used to explain and comprehend the nature of white-collar crime in Fort Bend County. A logic regression was conducted, and the findings revealed that demographic factors and criminal history were statistically significant predictors of white-collar crimes. This study also found that African Americans were .59 times less likely to engage in white-collar crime compared to other ethnic groups in the Fort Bend County population that was analyzed. Such findings appear to be comparable with previous empirical studies. This study contributes to the education of the local public on the impact of white-collar crimes, which includes financial crimes, such as tax evasion, embezzlement, and fictitious sale of insurance plans, to name a few; as well as money laundering, debit, and credit card abuse that are financial sector crimes. This study also contributes to the development of appropriate policies for such offenses prosecuted in Fort Bend County, Texas.


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