crime does not pay


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crime doesn't pay

proverb Ultimately, crime does not benefit the criminal, and only results in negative consequences. The billboards are designed as reminders that even minor fraud convictions carry serious consequences—crime doesn't pay.
See also: crime, pay
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

crime does not pay

Lawbreakers do not benefit from their actions. For example, Steve didn't think it mattered that he stole a candy bar, but he's learned the hard way that crime does not pay . This maxim, originating as a slogan of the F.B.I. and given wide currency by the cartoon character Dick Tracy, was first recorded in 1927. There have been numerous jocular plays on it, as in Woody Allen's screenplay for Take the Money and Run (1969): "I think crime pays. The hours are good, you travel a lot."
See also: crime, does, not, pay
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
If you force a first-time white-collar criminal to pay heavily for his crimes--perhaps three times the value of the money of property taken--he'll get the message that crime does not pay. As for poor people, stealing is not always a sign that the individual is an unreasonable risk to the community.
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