CFE Volume Four Key Notes

Please note that key notes below are highlights of content and areas that you need pay special attention to. It is best to read the official study manual once and start the practice questions immediately to reinforce your learning concepts. Key notes here are compiled based on our experience and candidates feedback that are frequently appeared in the exams.

There are two perspectives regarding why people obey the law. They are;

  • Instrumental Perspective
  • Normative Perspective

In instrumental perspective people choose to follow the law as they are scared of punishment for refusing to obey it.


In normative perspective people they consider moral and justice. When a person believes that their support is their moral responsibility, commitment towards the law, without the fear of being punished.


Legitimacy is the main ingredient where the leaders and governments give the authority. If the authorities have Legitimacy , public are bound to obey the law.


The components of classical criminological theory are;

  • People have free will, which they can use to elect to engage in either criminal or
    noncriminal behavior.
  • Criminal behavior will be more attractive if the gains are estimated to be greater than
    the losses.
  • The more certain, severe, and swift the reaction to crime, the more likely it is that the
    penalties will control the behavior.

Routine activities theory is an alternative of classical theory which holds the inspiration to perform a crime and the supply of the culprit is consistent.


The following three elements that influence crime are;

  • The availability of suitable targets, such as companies and individuals
  • The absence of capable guardians, such as auditors and security personnel
  • The presence of motivated offenders, such as unhappy or financially
    challenged employees

Biological theory cultivates the criminal behavior is not the end result of preference rather it is provoked by the physical attributes of those who commits crime.


Psychological theory is based on the perspective of the criminal behavior which is caused by mental development.


The following is the Freud’s three-part structure to human personality;

  • The id
  • The superego
  • The ego

Cognitive theory stresses righteousness and creative development as it is the main point of criminal activities.


Personality theory  focuses that the features extroversion which is liable for the momentous quantity of crime.


Integrated theory draws from biological theory, choice theory and psychological theory.


Conditioning theory disagrees that the collapses of a person to include satisfactorily the rules of the society that shows the explanation for consecutive criminal behavior.


Social Structure theory focuses on the type of societies that produces a level of crime. Social Structure theorist impose that who would advises that crime is a definition of psychological imbalance, personal choice, biological traits and so on.


Merton’s Theory of anomie was derived from the effort of Emile
Durkheim, a French sociologist who accepted the term is his work to explain the rates of suicide among different types of social groups.


Strain Theory is a section of social structure theory. Strain theorist sees the crime as a direct result of the dissatisfaction and fury that people face over the failure to the financial and social success they have been looking for.


Social Process Theory holds that act of criminality is the function of each socialization and the social-psychological interaction that people have with the different types of organizations, processes of society and institutions.


Social Learning Theory holds that criminal behavior is a function of the way people takes in the information, motivation from other and perspectives. Mostly from those with whom they are acquainted with. 


Differential Association Theory is certainly the well known among all the explanation that is offered in the United States to account for crime, thought it, too, which has been widely criticized based on the fact that is just not possible to test.


Social Control Theory makes an argument that the institutions of the social system press and train those people with whom they are in association into patterns of compliance. 


The following are the four aspects of affiliation addressed by the Theory of Social Control;

  • Attachment
  • Commitment
  • Involvement
  • Belief

White-Collar Crime is known as the crime committed by people in upper class which is appreciated, business and professional men.


Donald R. Cressey has found out that most of the people that he have tested had lived beyond their way for quite a time before they have decided to steal money. Such people have the right material goods that is involved with profitable people.


In society what is known as social status or class has consequence of crimes.


Organizational Opportunity stays as the encouragements aspect of white collar crime. A criminal’s position in an organization and the ability to plan the scam have more affect on the crime than class or social status.


People from middle class has higher chance then people in upper class to commit a well planned crime from their organization.


Crimes committed by the Middle Classes have found out that 42% of cooperating defendants were mostly charge with a single violation and the 30% of uncooperative defendants were lucky. 


White-collar defendant mostly demands a trial more than other offenders. In such case both the government and the defendant is confident that they have the higher chance to win the plea.


Mostly judgement against White-collar defendant is often associated with their personal suffering.