Epigram on animus lucrandi



It is not only the common pick-pocket or bank-robber who manifests reprehensible felonious intent (animo felonico) or intent to steal (animus furandi).  At times entrepreneurs can take their drive for profit (animus lucrandi) too far, engaging in activities referred to as white-collar criminality, which display classical criminal intent (mens rea) and cause much greater harm than pick-pockets. How else can we term the conspiracy to defraud governments of tax revenue practiced by “respectable” accounting firms, auditors, law firms, banks and businessmen, when they create phony entities and shell companies in so-called tax havens with the purpose of hiding illicit gains, illicit financial flows, kleptocracy and tax-evasion?  What is the difference between ordinary racketeering and this kind of corruption? The animus behind stealing from a person or looting all of society is similar. But legal fictions still protect the latter. “Tax optimization”, “creative accounting”, money “laundering” are all euphemisms for organized corruption, a form of piracy (hostis humani generis) that should be dealt with as international crimes under universal jurisdiction.