This book examines the history of white-collar crime in England from the Victorian period to the early twentieth century. In the period between the 1840s and the 1920s the British ecomy was transformed from small-scale capitalism dominated by individual traders and partnerships to a complex financial structure dominated by large, joint stock companies. The tremendous growth of big business and the complexity of the corporate form created a world of new opportunities for criminal exploitation. The promotion and management of public companies and the trading of commercial securities proved vulnerable to the white-collar crimes of fraud and embezzlement on the part of those directors, managers and stockbrokers who were entrusted with investors' money. Problems of financial fraud were exacerbated by a climate of laissez-faire which championed the most permissive commercial legislation in the world, and which undermined efforts at greater state regulation of business. White-collar crime wreaked havoc on the modern British ecomy, robbing the public of millions of pounds, undermining trust in commercial integrity and depressing the level of investment in new industries.