At this point, “true crime” almost feels synonymous with podcasting. Still bolstered by the meteoric rise of Serial way back in 2014, the genre has continued to expand. From shows like True Crime Garage to Crime in Sports, you’d think that almost every type of crime has already been covered.
But as pseudonymous host of Swindled, A Concerned Citizen, discovered in 2017; one type of crime was overlooked – white-collar crime. Being an avid podcast listener, ACC searched for a white collar-crime show, but couldn’t find anything dark enough for his liking.
At this point in their search, most people would shrug their shoulders and give up, but not ACC. After conceptualizing the show art, ACC realized that he had the perfect skills to make his dream show on his own. In an interview, ACC told me, “I always tell people that it’s like I’ve been training my whole life to make this podcast because it seemingly takes advantage of every skill I’ve learned over the course of my life.”
His professional background is in accounting and finance, which gives him an insider understanding of the crimes being committed. Outside of finance work, ACC is an experienced freelance designer, working on both graphic and web design. As if that wasn’t enough, he doesn’t need to hire a producer, because he’s already learned those skills too.
With that being said, ACC says that creating Swindled still isn’t easy. When I asked him about the most difficult part of making his show, he responded, “Everything!” Before creating his own show, ACC “used to scoff when [he] would hear a long list of credits at the end of these larger, more established network podcasts.” He used to think, “‘Like, Seriously? How many people does it take to make a podcast?!”
Now that Swindled has released over a years worth of episodes, his ire over larger podcast productions has cooled, “I’m a control freak and still do 99% of all the work myself, but I don’t blame anyone that delegates. I get it.”
He feels qualified to create the show, but often gets overwhelmed by the responsibilities on the periphery. “Everything from advertising to merchandising to social media, etc. Managing all of those things while still producing a quality show is a huge time commitment.”
With the variety of crimes he could cover, I was curious to ask why ACC is particularly interested in white collar criminals. He gave an articulate and well reasoned answer that can only come from someone who’s been spent a lot of time thinking about this over the past year: “Because of their far-reaching effects. One morally bankrupt decision by some faceless corporation can affect millions of people. One greedy hedge fund manager can rob someone of their life savings along with an entire family’s future. One corrupt judge can ruin the lives of thousands of kids. There are a million different ways in which a white-collar crime can manifest, yet the motive is usually the same in every case.”
During our interview, he didn’t specify what motive he’s referring to, but you don’t have to look far for his opinion on the matter. The “about” section on Swindled’s website begins by stating, “Money truly is the root of all evil”.
While each episode’s crime is enraging, there’s still somewhat of a happy ending – justice. ACC says there is a misconception that white-collar criminals are rarely prosecuted. “That’s simply not the case. In fact, almost every episode of Swindled ends with the criminal paying for their crimes in some way.” He’s not saying that our justice system is perfect (because what true crime podcaster would), but financial criminals are not as above the law as popularly believed.
In regards to the future, ACC says that he’s, “excited about, not so much the future of Swindled, but the future of podcasting in general.” He recently read a report that podcasts are growing, but still relatively niche. He cites this statistic with a glass half full attitude, saying, “there’s so much room to grow! And I’m just excited to be along for the ride.”
Chasing Pods is a Podchaser blog series dedicated to letting our readers know about podcasts they may not have heard of or provide a sneak peek into the making of their favorite podcast. We talk to podcast creators about their journey into podcasting, the creation of their shows, the ups and downs of the work, and what they’re looking forward to for their podcast
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