Crime pays, apparently. Well, ok, it pays better if you're savvy enough to nick money through 'white-collar' methods. Bloody bourgeoisie. Not content with stealing the full fruits of the blue-collar workers' industry, they wangle themselves a better deal if they happen to be nicked for it.
Michael Snyder is not a name familiar to us but he's apparently the chairman of policy and resources for the City. Not sure what this involves but today he's been writing in the FT and complaining about white-collar criminals getting off lightly:
"How can it be that a [white-collar criminal] stealing £1m is sentenced to an average three years in prison, well below the jail time served by a criminal using another sort of acquisitive crime to steal the same amount?"
Fair question, really. He reckons that being soft on financial criminals potentially sets up the City as a "honey pot" for fraudsters, as they weigh up the balance of risks and calculate that it's worth having a crack.
To be honest, the lesson we'd taken from this story is that the next time Londonist is up before the beak we'll make sure to take the advice of our brief and forego the NWA 'Fuck Tha Police' t-shirt for a suit and tie.
Thing is, though, Mr Snyder reckons it's not the Persil whiteness of the collar dazzling the judge that leads to such a low average sentence but rather the awful dullness of fraud trials baffling the juries.
"[Some] fraud trials spiral into complexity beyond even the smartest juries, leaving fraudsters to walk out of court - if not to resume a business career then at least to play golf in comfort for the rest of their lives."
If your golfing skills are anything like ours then you might prefer prison...
Photo 'Not a happy dog' taken from Andy G's flickr photostream under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 licence.