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First UK Scholar to be US Society Vice-President

23 February 2011

A Cardiff University Professor has become the first person in Britain and the latest in a line of distinguished scholars to lead an American society dedicated to researching and raising awareness of white collar crime.

Professor Mike Levi, of the University’s School of Social Sciences and Centre for Crime, Law and Justice, has been elected as Vice-President of the US White-Collar Crime Research Consortium (WCCRC).

The Consortium promotes increased public awareness of the impact and burden of white collar crime on society through dedicated research. It supports researchers in the field of white collar crime – mainly in America - and engages with the practitioner community including state and federal law enforcement agencies.

In accepting the post, Professor Levi said: "I may be the last elderly white male to occupy this post, judging from the excellent alternatives this time, and I am delighted that a number of younger scholars are coming through to form the next generation of white-collar criminologists."

Professor Levi has been conducting national and transnational research on white-collar and organised crime, money laundering and proceeds of crime confiscation since 1972. Along with Dr Matt Williams of the School, he is currently undertaking a preliminary assessment of e-crime, funded by the Nominet Trust, which will feed into the e-Crime Reduction Partnership.

He is the only British academic to be appointed to the new World Economic Forum Organised Crime Council. The Council had its first meeting in Dubai as part of the Global Agenda 2010 before Davos, reflecting the growing perception in the business world that some aspects of organised crime are a threat to development and prosperity.

"Although white-collar crime has never been seen as a core part of the criminological project, official bodies are realising the links between some frauds and more traditional organised crime networks," said Professor Levi. "Recent work by WCCRC members in the US has demonstrated that mortgage origination frauds (and slack controls by banks of falsified data on borrowers) were a significant influence in generating the financial crisis. Consumer fraud issues such as identity theft and telemarketing scams have also attained increasing prominence in the media and the political environment in developed countries, so there are many research tasks to be enhanced via the WCCRC network in the years to come."

Professor Levi will take up the post of Vice-President in 2013, succeeding Peter Yeager from Boston University.


Notes to editors

School of Social Sciences
Cardiff School of Social Sciences is one of the largest interdisciplinary Social Science Centres in the UK. Its growing international reputation was recognized in the most recent government assessment of the quality of research in British universities which placed it first in a table that measured "research power". Its research environment was evaluated as "world leading". Research activities are configured around seven research themes: Crime Security and Justice; Education and the Knowledge Economy; Culture and Identities; Globalisation, Work and Labour; Health and Social Welfare; Knowledge Science and Technology; and Innovations in Social Research. These themes bring together research staff and one of the UK’s largest groups of research students.

Teaching is research led and also reflects the School’s inter-disciplinary focus, built around degrees in sociology, educational, social policy, criminology and social work. Undergraduate and postgraduate students are taught about the latest ideas by internationally recognised scholars who are themselves shaping the future of their respective fields. The School plays a major role in fostering public debate and policy development at regional, national and international levels. Staff act as advisers to the Welsh Assembly Government, Westminster and European parliaments as well as a wide range of national and international organisations.

Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University President Professor Sir Martin Evans.
Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Three major new Research Institutes, offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places were announced by the University in 2010.

For more information
Professor Mike Levi
School of Social Sciences
Cardiff University
Tel: 02920 874376