econ crime lab
Course: Economic crime

Name

Economic crime

Number

CRI-6228

Description

Graduate seminar on economic crime

Semesters

Fall / Winter

The seminar includes two angles: a theoretical angle and a practical angle. First, it introduces a range of criminological theories developed to this date to explain economic crimes. On the practical side, students work on contemporary issues (presented below) related to economic crime. Such issues are determined by organizations working in the field of prevention.

During the semester, students present the results of their work to representatives of the organizations. The result of their work is also published online on this page.

However, note that the reports are written in French.

Fall 2022

Economic cycles and types of fraud

As the residual effects of the pandemic health measures are felt in the economy, interest rates are rising and the inflation rate is over 7%, a period of recession is being felt in the country. Does this economic context offer a new structure of opportunities for fraudsters? Is there a link between economic cycles and the types of frauds committed or discovered? With a potential recession looming, regulatory agencies are looking at this question.

One student paper stem from this research problem (written in FRENCH):

  • Crises économiques et fraudes (Delphine Kieffer & Maxime Valérie Olivier)

New technologies: NFT and crime

Given their pseudo anonymity and decentralized features, decentralized finance technologies, such as cryptocurrencies, represent a vector for fraud and money laundering. Economic crime prevention analysts must constantly educate themselves to understand these new technologies. However, considering the constant and rapid evolution of this new monetary ecosystem, it is sometimes difficult to stay up-to-date. Today, questions revolve around non-fungible tokens and their role in economic crime.

Two student papers stem from this research problem (written in FRENCH):

  • Nouvelles technologies NFT et criminalité économique (Noémie Lambert & Valérie St-Pierre)
  • Blockchain, NFT & Vulnérabilité: Comment quelques lignes de codes peuvent vous coûter des millions? (Estelle Ruellan)

Investment fraud in 2022

As financial technologies (commonly referred to as fintech) develop at a rapid pace, more and more citizens are adopting them to manage their own finances. These technologies also offer new criminal opportunities: some citizens wishing to get rich quickly often represent an easy target for theft. Today, many criminal organizations are developing investment fraud schemes and many people are getting caught. Subsequently, a critical mass of complaints submitted to government agencies are related to these schemes. It is therefore necessary to develop a more in-depth knowledge of these schemes.

Two student papers stem from this research problem (written in FRENCH):

  • Boiler Rooms: Structure, Emplacement et Modus Operandi (Clarisse Lainé et Emanuelle Mary)
  • De Forex à crypto : Revue des modus operandi derrière les fraudes à l’investissement (Shanna Auger-Drolet et Isabelle Chadic)

A look at money laundering through the Cullen Commission

The Cullen Commission is a Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering that took place in British Columbia from May 2019 to June 2022. This commission brought to light several money laundering schemes taking place on Canadian territory and involving criminal organizations, casinos, notaries, politicians and more. However, in Quebec, this Commission has been virtually ignored. As the final report is published, it is now necessary to highlight the results and consider their implications for Quebec and Canada.

One paper stems from this research problem (written in FRENCH):

  • Le blanchiment d'argent à travers l'immobilier au Canada (Anaïs Piché-Bustros)

Winter 2022

Breaking the barriers: Public-Private Partnership (PPP)

To counter economic crime, organizations, both public and private, must collaborate. However, the laws currently in place do not necessarily allow for quick collaboration between different organizations (police, banks, money service businesses, etc.), thus allowing individuals to defraud without consequences. For public policy and advocacy purposes, crime prevention analysts would like to get a sense of the state of play on the topic.

One student paper stems from this research problem (written in FRENCH):

  • La lutte contre les crimes économiques: Vers un partenariat public-privé (Audrey Carlos & Amélie Crespin-Landry)

FINTECH: Beyond traditional banks

The concept of FINTECH (financial technology) refers to the set of new technologies that aims to improve the functioning and accessibility of financial activities. These new technologies bring many questions surrounding economic crime, especially for banks.

One student paper stems from this research problem (written in FRENCH):

  • L’Open Banking: une évolution dangereuse? (Edoardo Moneta)

Tax evasion in residential construction and renovation

Tax evasion is the concealment of economic activities from the State in order to reduce the amount of money paid in taxes. Among the economic sectors most affected by this practice, the construction and residential renovation sector is one of the most important, in all countries. Fraud prevention analysts want to better understand the problem in this sector from a criminological perspective.

One student paper stems from this research problem (written in FRENCH):

  • De la construction résidentielle à l'évasion fiscale : Le script de l'interaction entre entrepreneur et consommateur (Hanna Bakk & Katherine Caron)

The new reality: identity theft

Identity theft is one of the most common economic crimes today. Who doesn't have a friend who has been a victim of such an act? To counter this new reality, prevention measures must be established.

Two student papers stem from this research problem (written in FRENCH):

  • Le vol de données à l’interne : une criminalité trop complexe à juguler ? (Robin Guillot)
  • L'identité numérique: la solution au vol d'identité? (Sara Yassine)

Cryptocurrencies and fraud

Given their pseudo-anonymity and decentralized features, cryptocurrencies are now a vector for fraud and money laundering. Economic crime prevention analysts must constantly educate themselves on all aspects surrounding cryptocurrencies. However, considering the constant and rapid evolution of this new monetary ecosystem, it is sometimes difficult to stay up-to-date.

One student paper stems from this research problem (written in FRENCH):

  • Enjeux de criminalité économique: pour ou contre les cryptomonnaies (Mélina Girard, Marie-Pierre Villeneuve-Dupuis)

Youth as victims and/or facilitators of fraud

In the digital age, young people (12-18 years old) are increasingly connected: from laptops to cell phones and/or game consoles, the means to chat (and get information) online are exponential. Because of their massive use of social networks, young people are not only interesting victims for fraudsters, but also potential facilitators (or vectors) of fraud (e.g.: mules or recruiters). In Quebec, fraud prevention specialists mention that the problem is taking on an unprecedented scale and that we must begin to tackle it.

One student paper stems from this research problem (written in FRENCH):

  • Fraude en ligne : comprendre la victimisation des jeunes (Maude Plourde)