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Illegal Drug Use, Prostitution and Money Laundering Research Paper


White-collar crimes are executed with care to ensure that they are not detected. The outcome elicits feelings of loss and deprivation. Whether white-collar criminals and cartels operate prostitution businesses, money laundering, or drug smuggling and trafficking, they have a social and economic impact. Global communities have to incur these costs. Therefore, there is a need to curtail these illegal acts by ensuring that criminals do not receive any ultimate gains from their crimes.

Upon discussing the impact of money laundering, illegal drugs, and prostitution, the paper proposes the issuing of a court order restraining the use of wealth acquired from victimless crimes as one of the approaches to curtailing the crimes. This strategy can lower the motive of participating in white-collar crimes since the ultimate goal involves acquiring money used to purchase an income-generating property.


The US has been committed to combating both white and blue-collar crimes. However, the task of the government officials keeps on becoming harder since people transit from committing one crime to another. In opposition to this effort, people who commit crimes, including illegal drug use, prostitution, and even money laundering, continue to put tireless efforts to make these activities look legitimate. This paper discusses the implication of illegal drug use, prostitution, and money laundering not only for the US but also for the global economy. However, it first discusses the nature of these crimes.

Nature of White-collar and Blue-collar Crimes

Federal offenses may be classified as white-collar and blue-collar crimes. White-collar crimes encompass all misdemeanors that involve the violation of the law committed by an individual or groups of persons in the course of their daily legitimate activities. These crimes include security-related offenses, bankruptcy fraud, money laundering, and deceit against the government. They differ from blue-collar crimes in terms of their ultimate implications or effects.

Blue-collar crimes such as assassination, burglary, and sexual assault produce or elicit poignant actions that attract resentment, repulsion, and grief among individuals. Security deception, currency laundering, and commercial crimes are not associated with fury and irritation in most individuals (Cumming, Leung, & Rui, 2015). Rather, they elicit feelings of loss. While blue-collar crimes only influence one family or community, white-collar felonies have financial implications on businesses and societies. Therefore, in the case of blue-collar crime, one family or individual feels offended, white-collar misdemeanors offend the whole society or the nation. This situation is evident in corporate crimes.

Both white and blue-collar crimes have financial implications for a nation. FBI findings indicate that white-collar crimes cost the US about $300 billion annually compared to roughly $4 billion in the case of blue-collar crime (FBI Statistics, 2016).

However, despite this huge financial implication, the largest effort of states in combating crimes mainly focuses on blue-collar crimes. This incredible focus arises because the number of blue-collar crimes committed is higher compared to white-collar offenses, although the latter category of crimes is more expensive to the US government. However, the two types of crimes may enforce each other. For example, through organized blue-collar crimes, white-collar crimes can be committed.

The two crimes have differences in terms of the easiness of prosecution. White-collar crimes are difficult to identify and prosecute due to their complexity and size. In fact, they use sophisticated means to conceal them. For example, fraudulent crimes use complex transactions, which are engineered in a witty manner to ensure that auditors do not easily disclose the crimes. Hence, such crimes involve clearly genius-crafted techniques for legitimizing them. Indeed, in some cases that involve white-collar crimes, most companies that commit them to pay a lucrative lawyer to help in avoiding any prosecution. In some cases, some laws make it possible to defer the prosecution of corporate crime. Thus, some criminals may end up going scot-free for a long time. The non-prosecution agreement and the deferred tribunal concord are examples of the way in which criminals can work with law enforcement to avoid or delay prosecution processes.

Recognition of the nature of both blue-collar and white-collar crimes requires the development of mechanisms for dealing with them to help in reducing the costs incurred. Dealing proactively with the crime requires acquiring a means for detecting them. However, issues such as the complex nature of the crimes and difficulties in detecting them deter any effort of their recognition to the extent that legal loopholes utilized by white-collar criminals can be sealed.

Nevertheless, strategies for dealing with crimes have been established. The possible solutions may involve putting sanctions on corporate bodies that engage in the crimes, enacting stiffer fines, paying for prosecution, harsh punishment, and deployment of effective business control strategies that are founded on the principle of corporate social responsibility. Other alternative solutions include imprisonment terms that depend on the severity of the crimes, paying back the government and constant reviews on businesses and industry models.

Impact of Illegal Drug Use

Illegal drug use is dangerous. People are murdered in their endeavor to cheat or fool buyers. When they are on the drug, they may get involved in dangerous activities, which can be fatal. Drug Policy Research Center (2010) suggests that drug users have the likelihood of engaging in risky activities, including prostitution. For high corporate people, drug use helps to develop strong courage that one would escape with crimes such as money laundering.

Hence, drug use is a risk factor in engaging in illegal prostitution and white-collar crimes such as money laundering. To this extent, drug use is a contributor to the financial loss implications of white-collar crimes. Using illegal drugs leads to addiction, which is expensive for the government. The US government spends large sums of money in managing health risk factors associated with illegal drug use. For example, methamphetamine (meth) constitutes one of the highly abused substances in the US with severe health implications.

In the US, this highly addictive drug is ranked in second place in terms of the prevalence of use after marijuana (The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2012). Coffin, Santos, and Das (2012) report that in 2009, more than one million people in the US used the drug. It is associated with low perception levels of vulnerability risks, which may result in the involvement of risky sexual behaviors that lead to an increased prevalence of HIV infections among its users.

The relationship between meth use and engagement in risky sexual behaviors implies that illegal drug consumption increases the economic burden of the government in terms of running treatment facilities and control programs of drug use. The best estimates of the economic burden of meth addiction are of 2005 when the US incurred a cost of $23.4 billion in terms of meth use costs (Drug Policy Research Center, 2010). About $16.6 billion of these costs are accounted for by intangible burden related to abuse and premature deaths. In 2005, it was estimated that meth-related deaths were about 900. This figure was higher when compared to those of marijuana (the most prevalent drug in the US).

Illegal drug use has the effect of increasing the cost of criminals and the justice system. These costs are incurred in the administration of justice for offenses that relate to illegal drug use. For example, using the case of the US, specifically, the 2005 estimates, justice and criminal costs for the administration of criminal cases arising from the illegal use of meth were estimated to be in the range of $4.2 billion.

Drug Policy Research Center (2010) reveals, “Meth-specific offenses—processing offenders for possessing and selling meth—represent more than half these costs, while violent and property crimes attributable to actions of people using or seeking meth represent an additional $1.8 billion” (p.2). More than $70 million was spent on probation violation coupled with parole violations associated with meth use in 2005. Nevertheless, the literature on the relationship between justice and illegal drug use offenses such as property and violent crimes is incomplete.

Drug use is one of the most booming industries in the United States. It constitutes a multi-billion venture. Can money generated by drug trafficking cartels be justified on the ground that it helps in expanding the economy? In November 2012, Washington and Colorado passed regulations legalizing the use of ‘pot’ for recreational purposes. This ruling expanded the scope of the legal use of marijuana since the state also legalized the deployment of pot for medicinal purposes (Hartman, 2013).

Residents and some legal experts hailed this legalization claiming that the US constitution guarantees liberty rights to its citizens. This move reveals why the popular vote among supporters of the legalization of pot use in both Colorado and Washington counted to the overall decision for its legalization. The ruling was passed at a time when drug use has been detrimental to the collective sustainability of societies.

The challenge is that the cost of illegal drug use is not anticipated to decline since people tend to desire and continue consuming substances that have been declared illegal. Even though the use of illegal drugs such as marijuana is acceptable in some regions such as Washington, DC, it is illegal at the federal level. Therefore, when one is arrested in the possession of the drug, he or she can face prosecution under federal laws.

Impact of Prostitution

Prostitution is related to illegal drug use. The manner in which this crime is committed is similar to the traits of most white-collar crimes. Indeed, individuals who smuggle people for the prostitution business may be classified as white-collar criminals due to the difficulties in detecting the offenses and the much effort put in place to conceal them. Additionally, commercial prostitution business elicits feelings of loss by the larger society, rather than offending one person or family.

All forms of commercial sex are considered prostitution. Offenders have been traditionally handed jail terms when found guilty. Where cartels are involved, detecting and prosecution are incredibly difficult. A major debate in the US has been whether those found guilty of engaging in prostitution should be punished through a jail term or the mastermind/the owner of the prostitution business should be identified and punished on their behalf.

Prostitution constitutes a form of human trafficking. Addressing the crime requires alternative strategies to handle it, rather than fining or subjecting victims to a jail term. Center for Court Innovation (2015) confirms that alternative strategies for dealing with prostitution entail addressing overlapping challenges such as abuse, substance and drug addiction, and trauma (para.1). How does the judicial system accomplish this process? It links the victims of human trafficking to technical assistance funded by the state institute of justice. This support entails providing social and counseling services to the victims as opposed to a jail term.

Although many programs have been established to curb prostitution as a form of human trafficking based on the court-initiated criminal justice policy, alternative strategies for jail term constitutes a promising program since prostitutes have been double victimized in the past. They have been victimized through fines or jailing when found guilty. Besides, they have also suffered at the hands of their assailants. Such programs influence other aspects of criminal justice systems. When prostitution is tackled based on its causes, rather than just punishing the offenders, its effects such as the increasing number of street children or homelessness are also addressed in a manner that promotes juvenile justice and other forms of integrity.

The US government has its budget priorities. However, the court also requires funding its initiatives for reducing human trafficking and its associated offenses. In case of initiatives to reduce or deal with prostitution, the court links victims to federally funded centers that offer social and counseling services. This plan underlines the importance of collaboration between different sectors of government to guarantee the success of the overall judicial system.

Considering that fining or subjecting victims of prostitution as a form of human trafficking does not solve the root of the vice, court-directed revisions to criminal justice policies have an overall impact of enhancing reforms in the judicial justice to guarantee positive outcomes in the execution of its mandates.

The main scholarly question revolves around why people willingly engage in prostitution through illegal means. From the context of Marxism theory, class struggles are important in determining the engagement of people in activities that are considered out of social and moral order such as prostitution. The often-oppressed proletariats hardly earn enough to sustain their lives (Rummel, 2009). Why should they not engage in activities, which act as their last resort to survival?

Marxism theory responds to this query by claiming that any activity that supplements the budgetary constraints of the low-class members of the society may be justified as worthwhile to the extent that it aids in narrowing the gap between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, such an argument only establishes a different paradigm of attempting to make prostitution appear like a legitimate activity.

Considering the implications of prostitution, it remains illegal in the eyes of the law. It leads to objectifying the prostitute. Individuals who procure sex view the prostitute as an object of trade. This attitude justifies the violent acts that are directed towards prostitutes. Those who run prostitution businesses see prostitutes as employees who help them to generate money. Therefore, they are not interested in protecting them.

Rather, the illegal business owners mercilessly and aggressively punish prostitutes physically, sexually, and emotionally to induce discipline and commitment to the business owner. Prostitutes do not live comfortable lives. The implication of prostitution underlines the reason why it is illegalized with the anticipation that when no one is willing to engage in prostitution, the business owners and cartels would run out of business.

Impact of Money Laundering

Towards the end of the national battle in the US, between 33% and 50% of the money that was being exchanged was fake (Reese, 2014). This situation led to the establishment of the Secret Service Agency (SSA) in 1865 to deal with the crime, which posed an enormous threat to the US economy. Nevertheless, this observation does not suggest that the problem of money laundering has been completely eradicated by the American SSA.

In some jurisdictions, money laundering is not considered a crime. Nonetheless, it is not complicated to relate money-laundering activities with illegal deeds such as prohibited drug use, smuggling, or prostitution. This relationship arises from the fact that criminals cannot engage in activities that do not yield positive results. Therefore, incrimination of activities that involve money laundering has the effect of reducing crimes, for instance, prostitution and drug use.

Mazuru (2009) asserts that 80 percent of economic crimes are executed to finance activities that include smuggling and drug use. The author asserts, “If there weren’t persons ready to buy stolen things, the theft would be meaningless since it wouldn’t produce money” (Mazuru, 2009, p.1). Many nations have the general contention that a person who manipulates stolen property and goods should receive harsher punishment when compared to the persons who actually steal.

The objective is to make the cycle of events in many economic crimes non-profitable. Nonetheless, in money laundering crimes, no physical representation of goods being manipulated is observable. Hence, laws applicable to physical transfers or possession of stolen commodities do not apply. Therefore, legal authorities concur that reducing the crime calls for “depriving the criminals of the results of the crime they commit” (Mazuru, 2009, p.2). This claim suggests that authorities should restrain cartels from benefiting from the outcomes of laundering activities.

Money laundering, a victimless crime, has the implication of negatively affecting people at the national and even at a global level. People who do not participate in the activity incur high tax rates. Those who do not present false damage claims encounter escalated insurance rates. Due to money laundering crimes, people who do not fill falsified VAT returns suffer from paying higher taxes. These costs lead to escalated expenses of running a business. The costs influence society. Firms have lower financial resources to commit to socially beneficial activities. People find it hard to afford insurance to fund the supply of public goods such as healthcare and education.

Money laundering and its associated crimes do not stop at the national jurisdictions. Mazuru (2009) suggests that crime is deeply enshrined in civil societies around the globe. Tax evasion, fraud, prostitution, the sale of guns, and corruption are deeply ingrained in financial organizations, integrated banks, and credit institutions. This situation ensures that participants in the crimes are properly shielded from being easily detected. This concern leads to the establishment of regulatory documents such as the UNO Vienna Convention.


Money acquired through laundering is used to finance illegal businesses such as drug smuggling and prostitution. This finding suggests an interrelationship between the three evils. Here, money laundering is an important determinant of the prevalence of the other two offenses. Consequently, putting court restrictions on the use of the property and other forms of wealth, including floating cash in banks suspected to have been acquired through money laundering and other illegal activities, for instance, prostitution and drug use, can reduce the prevalence of various white-collar crimes, including money fraud and laundering.

Reference List

Center for Court Innovation. (2015). . Web.

Coffin, P., Santos, G., & Das, M. (2012). Aripiprazole for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Addiction, 10(8), 751-761.

Cumming, D., Leung, T., & Rui, O. (2015). Gender Diversity and Securities Fraud. Academy of Management Journal, 58(5), 1572-1593.

Drug Policy Research Center. (2010). The costs of methamphetamine use: A national estimate. New York, NY: DPRC.

FBI Statistics. (2016). Web.

Hartman, H. (2013). Legalize marijuana and the workplace: Preparing for the Trend. Employee Relations Law Journal, 38(4), 72-75.

Mazuru, L. (2009). Anti-money laundering: A legal method. Management Agricol, 11(3), 1-6.

Reese, S. (2014). The U.S. Secret Service: History and Missions. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

Rummel, R. (2009). Marxism and Class Conflicts. European Journal of Public Governance, 3(2), 235-247.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2012). World Drug Report 2012, UNODC. New York, NY: UNODC.

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