Exploitation differs from simple fraud in that it is more subtle, more difficult to trace and expose, and ordinarily gives no grounds for legal action to obtain redress. In its study there is no one act or set of acts to be listed and definitely described; it takes an infinite number of forms and in many cases is never known or recognized even by its victims.

Nor is there any clear certainty, ordinarily, that a company has been deliberately exploited, even though it may have been wrecked and the facts as to its management may have become known. It may often be proved, of course, that those in charge of the company's affairs have secured personal profits and that the results of the transactions out of which they have made profits have been injurious to the company which they served. Yet the plea may always be made that mistakes of business judgment are common to all enterprises and that it is easy to sit back and criticize after the results of a given line of action have become known.