Business Crimes in Entertainment and Sports: A Primer and Discussion in the Subtext of the Olympics and International Sports


An important area of law involves crimes committed in the business environment. Part I of this article is a discussion of business property crimes, such as larceny, burglary, robbery, and others. Part II then introduces the category of offenses termed "White-Collar Crimes. The authors provide examples in the context of sports and entertainment, which intersect in the cases of O.J. Simpson and Norby Walters. Part III offers a discussion on international implications emanating from enforcement actions relating to corruption and bribery under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in the context of the Olympic Games and other international sporting events. The authors propose a revision of the FCPA, The Olympic Bribery Act, to remedy deficiencies in the current statutory framework.


Business Crimes; White-collar Crimes; Mail and Wire Fraud; Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; Olympics

Full Text:



Armas. G. C. (2011). Almonte all grown up now. Times Union. Available: (August 13-14).

Associated Press (2007). O.J. Simpson charged with 10 felonies, including kidnapping in hotel robbery. Fox News (online). Available: (September 18).

Associated Press (2011) Robert Mitchell sentenced to probation. Available: (December 24).

Balganesh, S. (2006). Property along the tort spectrum: trespass to chattels and the Anglo-American doctrinal divergence. Common Law World Review, 35(4). Available:

Barnes, W. (2006). Rethinking spyware: questioning the propriety of contractual consent to online surveillance. University of California Law Review, 39:1545-1620.

Boles, J. (2014). The two faces of bribery: international corruption pathways meet conflicting legislative regimes. Michigan Journal of International Law, 35(4):673-713.

Brandel, R.E. & Schellie, P.D. (2011). Electronic Fund Transfer Act Regulation E. Comptrollers Handbook, Comptroller of the Currency (October).

Buss, D. (2017). McDonalds ends long-running Olympics sponsorship. Brandchannel. Available: (June 16).

Calamari, J.D. & Perillo, J.M. (1977). Contracts. St. Paul, Minn.: West Publishing.

California Penal Code. (2009). Section 641.3.

Caple, J. (2016). Baseball is returning to the Olympics, but for how long? Available: (August 4).

Chapman, B. (2016). Rio 2016: The richest Games in 120 years of Olympic history. The Independent (Online). Available : (August 4).

Cheeseman, H.R. (2002). The legal and regulatory environment (3rd Ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

Corcoran, T. (2010). Details of alleged blackmail surface, The Topeka Capital-Journal (online). Available: (May 30).

Counterfeit Access Device and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. (1984). Public Law 98-473, Title II.

Cox, L. (1992). Targeting sports agents with the mail fraud statute: United States v. Norby Walters & Lloyd Bloom. Duke Law Journal, 4:1157-1210.

Diamant, M. & Fleming, B. (2012). FCPA + Travel Act: double trouble? Available: (April 3).

Dimant, E. & Deutscher, C. (2015). The economics of corruption in sports: the special case of doping. Edmund J. Safra Working Papers, No. 55. Available: abstract=2546029 (January 20).

Dixson v. United States (1984). 465 U.S. 482 (United States Supreme Court).

Dosh. K. (2013). Do Baylor and other Big 12 schools have tortious interference claim against the SEC? Available: (September 9).

Electronic Funds Transfer Act. 1978. 15 U.S.C. Section 1693 et seq.

Epstein, A. (2009). Incorporating the criminal law in sports studies. The Sports Journal, 9(3). Available: (July 10).

Epstein, A. (2014). The Olympics, ambush marketing and Sochi media. Arizona State University Sports and Entertainment Law Journal, 3(2):110-131.

Esposito, C. (2016). Red card for FIFA: corruption and scandal in the worlds foremost sports association. Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business, 16:45-60.

Farmer, D. (2011). A compendium of corruption: some of the notorious (and some alleged) scandals in sports history. Los Angeles Times. Available: jun/04/sports/la-sp-sports-scandals-20110605 (June 4). (2017). What we investigate: white-collar crime. Available: (Accessed August 13.)

Floyd, B. 2011. Louis Bland arrested for drugs and a stolen stop sign. Available: (May 24).

Ford, R.A. (2018 forthcoming). Trade secrets and information security in the age of sports analytics. The Oxford Handbook of American Sports Law.

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977. (1977). 15 U.S.C. Section 78dd-1 et seq.

Fornelli, T. (2017). Illinois dismisses three players following residential burglary charges. CBS Sports (Online). Available: es-three-players-following-residential-burglary-charges/ (May 24).

Foster v. State of Georgia (1989). 387 S.E.2d 737 (Georgia Court of Appeals).

Fraud and Swindles. (1948). 18 U.S.C. Section 1341.

Frecka, T.J., Cleveland, M.O., Favo, C. & Owens, C.E. (2009). Trends in the international fight against bribery and corruption. Journal of Business Ethics, 90(Supp. 2):199-244. Available: (December 23).

Green, S.P. (2005). Theft by coercion: extortion, blackmail, and hard bargaining, Washburn Law Journal, 4(3):553-581.

Hakim, D. (2002). Michigan punishes basketball program, New York Times (online). Available: (November 8).

Heitner, D. (2011). Kent States buyout clause and tortious interference claims. HEITNERLEGAL (Blog). Available: ence- claims/ (May 15).

Henderson, T.K. (2013). Computer fraud and abuse act an effective tool for employers in non-compete and theft of trade secret litigation. Available: computer-fraud-and-abuse-act-an-effective-tool-for-employers-in-non-compete-and-theft-of-trade-secret-litigation (July 31).

Holden, J.T. & Rodenberg, R.M. (2015). The sports bribery act: a law and economics approach, Northern Kentucky Law Review, 42(3):453-475.

Hunt, C. (2009). Evil has a new name (and a new narrative): Bernard Madoff, Michigan State Law Review, 2009:947-987.

Hunter, R.J., Jr. & Mest, D. (2015). An update on major enforcement actions: under the accounting provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or FCPA. International Journal of Management Sciences, 6(4):176-186.

Hunter, R.J., Jr., Mest, D. & Shannon, J.H. (2011). A focus on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act [FCPA]: Siemens and Halliburton revisited as indicators of corporate culture. Atlantic Law Journal, 13:60-90.

Hunter, R.J., Jr. & Shannon, J.H. (2017). Athletes banned, athletes cleared, athletes reinstated: the court of arbitration for sport: does the United States need a similar court for resolving issues in sports? Journal of Education and Social Policy, 4(2): Article 2 (online).

Hunter, R.J., Jr., Shannon, J.H., Amoroso, H.J. & OSullivan-Gavin, S.A. (2017). Law, business and regulation. South Orange, N.J.: Create Space.

Hy-Grade Oil v. New Jersey Bank. (1975). 350 A.2d 279 (Superior Court of New Jersey).

International Olympic Committee (IOC) (2017). Olympic marketing fact file: 2017 Edition. Available: (2017). An overview of sports bribery. Available: bribery/sports-bribery.

ISPO (2016). Sponsors at the Olympics: the multi-billion dollar business of the IOC. Available: (July 29).

Jamal, K. & Sunder, S. (2007). Regulation, competition and independence in a certification society: financial reports vs. baseball cards, University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper, No. 2013-1007. Available: (June 11).

Johnson v. State (1981). 158 Ga. App. 183, 279 S.E.2d 483 (Georgia Court of Appeals).

Kann v. United States (1944). 323 U.S. 88 (United States Supreme Court).

Klaw, B.W. (2012). A new strategy for preventing bribery and extortion in international business transactions. Harvard Journal on Legislation, 49(2):303-371.

Koehler, M. (2010). The faade of FCPA enforcement. Georgetown Journal of International Law, 41(4):907-1009.

Kosar, K.R. (2011). The quasi government: hybrid organizations with both government and private sector legal characteristics. Congressional Research Service, 7-5700. Available: (June 22).

Lane, C. (2016). Corruption is killing the Olympic Games or should. New York Post (online). Available: (May 21).

LaRoche v. State. 1976). 140 Ga. App. 509, 231 S.E.2d 368 (Georgia Court of Appeals).

Murphy, E.J. & Speidel, R.E. (1970). Studies in contract law. Mineola, N.Y.: Foundation Press.

Noonan, J.T. (1984). Bribes (Oakland, Cal.: University of California Press).

Odorizzi v. Bloomfield School District (1966). 54 Cal. Rptr. 533 (Court of Appeals of California).

Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA). 2016. Section 16-8-7 (a), Code Ann. Section 26-1806.

Pennington, B. (2016). The trusted grown-ups who steal millions from youth sports. New York Times (online). Available: (July 11).

Pereira v. United States. (1954). 347 U.S. 1 (United States Supreme Court).

Philadelphia Ball Club v. Lajoie. (1902). 51 A. 973 (Supreme Court of Pennsylvania).

Pielke, R. Jr. (2016). Obstacles to accountability in international sports governance, Transparency International, global corruptions report: Soccer. Available:

Podgor, E.S. (2004). Counterfeit access device and computer fraud and abuse act of 1984, in Major Acts of Congress (Brian K. Landsberg ed.).

Purcell, A. (2017). Rios Olympic legacy: corruption and people power. Magazetini. Available: (August 5).

Racketeered Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act. 1970. 18 U.S.C. Section 1961(1)(A).

Ramasastry, A. (2011). Stopping bribery in international sports: why FIFAs proposed good governance framework is a good beginning, but just a beginning. Justia. Available: (November 8).

Romano, R.J. (2009). Coaches: be careful when breaking a contract. Available: (February 18).

Rose-Ackerman, S. (2010). The law and economics of bribery and extortion, Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 6:217-236.

Schlager, B. (2015). Federal investigation into DraftKings, FanDuel scandal reportedly begins in Florida. SportingNews. Available: (October 10).

Schwartz, A. (1979). The case for specific performance. Yale Law School Legal Scholar Repository. Available:

Seddon, M. (2014). 16 Eye-popping examples of alleged corruption at the Sochi Olympics. BuzzFeed News. Available: (January 27).

Sheu, V. (2016). Corrupt passions: an analysis of the FIFA indictments. Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law, 18:65-84.

Speiss v. Brandt. (1950). 41 N.W.2d 561 (Supreme Court of Minnesota).

Sports Quest, Inc. v. Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (2004). 2004 N.C. BC 3 (North Carolina Superior Court).

State of New Jersey (2013). Commercial bribery and breach of duty to act disinterestedly, NJ Rev. Stat. Section 2C:21-10.

New York Session Laws (1986). Chapter 515.

State of Nevada, Plaintiff, v. Orenthal James Simpson, et al. (2007). Case Number 07F19288A-D (Justice Court, Las Vegas Township, Clark County, Nevada).

State v. Regan. (2014). Ohio 3797 (Court of Appeals, 5th Appellate District of Ohio).

Travel Act. (1961). 18 U.S.C. Section 1952.

United States Department of Justice. (2017). Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: An overview. Available:

United States v. Control Components, Inc. (2009). Number: 09-CR-162-JVS (Case filed on July 22, 2009, Central District of California).

United States v. Morris (1991). 928 F.2d 504 (2nd Circuit Court of Appeals).

United States v. Norby Walters (1993). 997 F.2d 1219 (7th Circuit Court of Appeals).

U.S. Code (1994). Bribery in sporting contests. 18 U.S. Code Section 224. Available:

Utah Criminal Code (1953). Section 76-6-405.

Wacker, B. (1988). Inside the case of commercial bribery: how a kickback scheme in Hawaii led to LI sting. Newsday, p. B1 (February 8).

Wang, W.K.S. (2015). Application of the federal mail and wire fraud statutes to criminal liability for stock market insider trading and tipping. University of Miami Law Review, 70:220-299.

White, E. (2015). Three more probation sentences in Toledo sports bribery probe. CBS Detroit (Online). Available: (March 31).

Wiretap Act. (1968, as amended 1986). 18 U.S.C. Section 2511.

Yang, S. (2014). 5 years ago Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison heres how his scheme worked. Business Insider. Available: (July 1).



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Archives of Business Research; ISSN 2054-7404

Copyright Society for Science and Education, United Kingdom