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Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice

Fraud, white collar and organised crime

The fraud and organised crime projects are CCCJ researchers are currently working on.

Global White-Collar Crime Survey: Anti-Bribery and Corruption (Mar 2017 - Feb 2018)

Funder: White & Case LLP

Principal Investigators: Nicholas Lord, Aleksandra Jordanoska and Katie Benson

This White & Case LLP funded project will involve undertaking a global anti-bribery and corruption survey with multi-national businesses operating across a variety of sectors and jurisdictions. The purpose of the survey is to develop understandings of how global businesses are responding to the creation of international and domestic anti-bribery laws and standards. This will involve researching the interactions of business with regulators and gaining insights into organisational cultures and ways of operating that may be facilitative of corruption. In addition to the survey, the research will also involve qualitative interviews with key actors representing various strategic and operational levels of the sampled businesses.

The (Mis)Use of Corporate Vehicles By Transnational Organised Crime Groups in the Concealment, Conversion and Control of Illicit Finance (Dec 2016 – May 2018)

Funder: ESRC

Principal Investigator: Nicholas Lord

Project Aim: This ESRC funded research will, through a criminological and socio-legal lens, critically review the evidence base and the ‘state of the art’ literature, and undertake empirical research to improve our understanding of how, why and under which conditions organised crime groups (OCGs) use corporate vehicles for the concealment, conversion and control of illicit finance. OCGs make money through varied activities (e.g. trafficking, drugs, cyber-frauds, counterfeiting, etc.) and have evolved to make use of licit corporate structures to conceal their illicit finance.

Demystifying the Corruption Paradox by Exploring Bribery 'At Home' (Oct 2016 – Sept 2018)

Funder: British Academy/Leverhulme

Principal Investigator: Nicholas Lord

Project Aim: This British Academy funded project analyses bribery 'at home' and bribery 'abroad'. Historically, there has been a paradox in the attitudes and responses to bribery ‘at home’ in contrast to bribery ‘abroad’. Using bribery in foreign countries to further UK economic/political interests was a ‘necessary evil’, while bribery within the UK was less acceptable. Nation-states are now under intense scrutiny from inter/nongovernmental organisations to stop their businesses from bribing developing countries and this has led to an improved enforcement response. But domestic bribery occurring within UK business and public institutions has not emerged as a priority enforcement issue despite this being a requirement of the UN Convention Against Corruption 2003 and encouragement in the UK Anti- Corruption Plan 2014. This is a major research gap, as much is known, and done, about the former, but not the latter, and we must question why the response to domestic and international bribery varies so strongly. This project aims to enhance the evidence-base on the nature and control of domestic bribery, comparing the UK with the Netherlands, an economically and culturally close neighbour.

Distribution and Consumption of Counterfeit Alcohol: Getting to Grips with Fake Booze (Sept 2016 – Aug 2018)

Funder: Alcohol Research UK

Principal Investigators: Jon Spencer, Nicholas Lord

Project Aim: The aim of this Alcohol Research UK funded project is to develop a greater and more detailed understanding of the distribution mechanisms associated with counterfeit alcohol. The distribution of counterfeit alcohol requires a high level of organisation and a developed network of actors to ensure market penetration. The discipline of criminology brings a particular approach to the understanding organisation of this crime and provides more detailed insights into how the networks of distribution operate.

A criminological network analysis of counterfeit alcohol distribution

Funder: University of Manchester Research Institute (UMRI)

Principal Investigator: Jon Spencer

Project aim: To assist an understanding of how illegal markets in fake alcohol are formed and sustained, who engages in this activity and what are the drivers of the market and how such crimes of enterprise organised.

Corruption in (non-)criminal commercial enterprise: Law, theory and practice

Funder: Arts and Humanities Research Council

Principal Investigator: Nicholas Lord

Project Aim: This AHRC funded project aims to build a research network exploring the intersections of corruption and organised crime activities in the context of criminal and non-criminal enterprise in domestic and international commerce in OECD countries.

Food fraud: A Supply network integrated systems analysis

Funder: Economic and Social Research Council

Principal Investigator: Jon Spencer

Project aim: To identify the points of vulnerability within the supply chain to food crimes in order to allow regulators and retailers to take appropriate action to avoid food adulteration.

The dynamic of demand in trafficking for labour and unfree labour

Funder: University of Manchester Strategic Investment Research Fund (SIRF)

Principal Investigator: Jon Spencer

Project aim: This project was submitted to the European Commission FP7 framework funding scheme. The project brings together eleven partners from across the EU that includes universities, NGOs and official agencies. The main aim of the project is to explore the dynamics of labour demand across a number of sectors and how these interact with global supply chains.