This book analyzes in detail how and why people become involved in long-firm (planned bankruptcy) fraud, the similarities and differences between long-firm fraud and other crimes, the links between bankruptcy fraudsters and other professional and organized criminals, the techniques that fraudsters use, and the social and commercial relationships that exist within the operational world of the long-firm fraudster. Extensively researched, the study uses interviews with and documentation from businesspeople, credit controllers, lawyers, judges, police, fraud investigators as well as fraudsters themselves. It also makes use of extensive documentary material from contemporary and historical police and court records. Originally published in the 1980s, the revised edition of this seminal work provides a substantial new introduction written by the author to highlight the changing and unchanging relevance of the findings for a contemporary audience, and the ways in which fraud opportunities and the organization of frauds have modified in the intervening years.
'This book was one of a handful in its era (Peter Reuter's Disorganized Crime is the other that comes immediately to mind) that changed the way investigators of crime and its discontents looked at the world and at their subject. It remains vital today, particularly with the additional material which situates it neatly in a more current context. Dealing with what back when it was written seemed at first glance an investigation of a minor (except to victims) and rather colourless crime, namely fraudulent bankruptcy, in reality this book challenged the usual logic applied to investigations of economically motivated crimes, and set a new standard in what - with only a hint of irony - might be called evidence-based (as distinct from random anecdotally based) crime studies.' Thomas Naylor, McGill University, Canada 'This is one of the few books to focus on what fraudsters say and think themselves. This understanding of professional fraudsters "from inside" not only provides a fascinating insight into their lives, it also sheds a penetrating light on the historical background and contemporary surrounding landscape.' Petrus C. van Duyne, Universiteit van Tilburg, The Nedtherlands 'A second edition after more than 20 years is a rare exception in our field. Michael Levi's The Phantom Capitalists is as fresh as it was in 1981. His naturalistic approach and virtuoso account of the world of fraudsters is cutting-edge today - an anticipatory tale of globalisation and crime, without even using the term. Susanne Karstedt, Keele University, UK '…[this books] re-issue is welcome amidst the contemporary torrent of criminological publishing - for the very fact of it being available to a new audience, as well as for it to be re-read in the light of what we think we know about how the world has changed since its first appearance…a classic British criminological text.' British Journal of Criminology 'Despite the now all too obvious relevance for our times and for the continuin
Contents: Preface; An introduction and postscript to the second edition of The Phantom Capitalists; Introduction; History of long-firm fraud in England until the Second World War; Craft of the long-firm fraudster; Social and criminal organization of long-firm fraud; Motivations and criminal careers of long-firm fraudsters; Informal control of long-firm fraud; Long-firm fraud and the criminal law; Policing of long-firm fraud; Prosecution and trial of long-firm fraudsters; Sentencing of long-firm fraudsters; Towards a theory of long-firm fraud; Control of long-firm fraud: some issues for the future; Appendix A: methodology of this study; Appendix B: predicting those factors which may influence the sentencing of long-firm fraudsters; References; Index.