New book shares insights on economic crimes

Amidst the massive anti-corruption efforts dispensed by the Brazilian Justice system, FGV launches a book on economic and financial crimes.
18 July 2017
New book shares insights on economic crimes

Economic Penal Law covers a new form of crime, which strays far from the classical concept of the term. Activities are difficult to identify and, in some cases, proceeds are disguised and ‘laundered’ in the financial system and other formal instances, gaining an appearance of legality, which strains the process of investigating and punishing offenders, as well as recovering assets.

Amidst the massive anti-corruption efforts dispensed by the Brazilian Justice system, such as Operation Car Wash, FGV’s Rio de Janeiro Law School (Direito Rio) launches the book Reflexos Penais da Regulação [Penal Reflections of Regulation] on economic and financial crimes, published by Juruá. Coordinated by professor Thiago Bottino, the book illustrates some examples of economic crimes, such as market monopolies and tax embezzlement, among others.

According to Bottino, the economic and social cost of these crimes can be far greater than that of other types of offenses. “The possibility that this and other socially harmful practices occur highlights the market’s inability to keep other violations of moral standards from spiraling out of control,” he said.

In the book, he explains that this process has definitely been leveraged through globalization, which started in the late 20th century, and made even more powerful in the early 21st century, largely by new opportunities created by e-commerce and the internet. The current scenario is also due to the emergence of new markets that can be ‘explored’ and ‘conquered,’ and the increase of potential investors, who are often willing to ‘forget’ the ‘good business practices,’ as long as they get a good financial return.

The central discussion today is about the way to address this type of crime. In other words, what is the best way to regulate the Economic Penal Law? Should the law impose prison penalties or fines compatible with the magnitude of the harm done? Should it punish individuals or organizations?

Reflexos Penais da Regulação’ brings up key issues that need to be discussed, especially at a time when contemporary society is screaming for a more energetic State, for a fight against economic, environmental, and political crimes.

Go to the website for more information on the book.