Prosecutions of white-collar crimes have fallen in recent years. However, the Department of Justice recently signaled its intention to crack down on corporate offenses.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco revealed she intends to roll back the Trump administration’s apparent backpedaling on the prosecution of financial crimes such as fraud, in an interview in October. Recent figures point to a continued decline in prosecutions under the Biden administration.
White-collar investigations and prosecution fell markedly during the Trump administration to a new low.
The Department of Justice has pledged to redouble its efforts to curb white-collar crime. The department is likely to deploy a new squad of FBI agents embedded in the fraud section and to implement more aggressive preventive measures.
Monaco pledged a bold approach that would increase individual accountability in the boardroom, Bloomberg reported. Monaco noted many white-collar cases are tough to investigate, complex, and require considerable resources.
“We will go after individuals regardless of the position they occupy,” Monaco pledged. “We will seek to hold those who are responsible accountable.”
Companies are to be encouraged to cooperate with investigators over misconduct issues and potential white-collar crimes. Monaco also encouraged companies to have “vigorous and robust compliance programs.”
Prosecutions for white-collar crimes have fallen steadily in recent years. Projected numbers for white-collar prosecutions in 2021 point to a continuing decline over the last 20 years, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.
The federal government reported 3,545 new white-collar crime prosecutions over the first nine months of fiscal 2021, according to the TRAC report, which uses Department of Justice data. If white-collar prosecutions continue at this pace, they will total 4,727 for the year.
The longer-term trend is dramatic. Government figures point to a 53.5% decline from 10,162 white-collar prosecutions reported in 2011 and a 50.3% drop from the level of 9,507 reported in 2001. Although falls in prosecutions are associated with the Trump era, the figures point to a more protracted trend.
Despite the fall in prosecutions, the penalties for white-collar crimes such as corporate fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement, and money laundering remain high. These are serious crimes in Texas. Never rely on the company counsel if you have been charged with a white-collar crime in Texas. Our Dallas-based white-collar criminal defense team has worked on many of these complex cases and achieved impressive results. Please call us at (214) 720-9552.