Conspiracy or collusion

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Conspiracy describes two or more people secretly plotting an action, usually but not limited to a harmful or illegal action. Conspiracy may refer to the plot itself or the act of planning of the plot. Conspiracy comes from the Old French word conspiracie, which means plot or conspiracy. The plural form is conspiracies, the verb form is conspire. 

Collusion describes two or more people secretly plotting an illegal or fraudulent action. Collusion may refer to the plot itself or the act of planning the plot. Collusion comes from the Old French word, collusion. The verb form is collude. Remember, conspiracy describes a secret plot that may or may not be illegal, collusion is always an illegal or fraudulent plot.


Sussex Police, working in close co-operation with the Prison Service, have charged a dozen people with conspiracy to smuggle drugs and mobile phones into Lewes Prison. (The Kent and Sussex Courier)

A website devoted to conspiracy theories has said Monday’s sonic boom drama over Yorkshire was down to a UFO rising from the North Sea – and that local people thought World War 3 was starting. (The Yorkshire Post)

Charges against Hurst include conspiracy to possess oxycodone and oxymorphone, both painkillers, with intent to deliver in a drug-free zone, four counts of official misconduct , possession of a gun during the commission of a felony and delivery of methamphetamine. (The Knoxville News Sentinel)

They quizzed EPA Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran on the extent of the staff’s collusion with advocacy groups at a Thursday hearing on the agency’s decision to snuff the proposed Alaska mine even before the Pebble Limited Partnership had applied for a permit. (The Washington Times)

Colgate fined $18m for collusion (The Australian)

European antitrust regulators are looking to end a five-year investigation into possible collusion in the credit default swaps market after receiving potential concessions with Markit, the UK data provider, and Isda, the derivatives trade association. (The Financial Times)