The author in a recent article in The Washington Post examined data related to the prosecution of white-collar crimes in America. According to the article, the data from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) indicates that the prosecution of white-collar crimes this year is expected to be lower than any other year on record. However, that does not mean that you should not contact a New York white-collar defense lawyer if you believe you could be under investigation for a white-collar crime.
The figures notated in the article appear to illustrate the author’s assertion that while the decrease in prosecutions of white-collar crimes began before the current administration, the current administration’s focus on other crimes, such as immigration-related crimes, might be shifting the focus away from pursuing criminals who commit other crimes. Some of the interesting figures the author included in her article are:
- The rate of prosecutions of federal white-collar crimes in 2018 is expected to be less than any other year on record.
- Prosecutions for official corruption prosecutions in 2018 are also expected to be less than any year on record.
- The prosecutions of cases referred to the Justice Department by the Internal Revenue Service, which include tax crimes and other crimes, are also expected to be less than any other year on record.
The author also points out that the above numbers are not adjusted for the growth in population through the years. Therefore, the decrease in federal prosecutions of white-collar crimes is actually worse than the actual numbers. In this trend continues, the federal government is expected to prosecute 17.5 criminal cases involving white-collar crimes per one million people. This number is approximately one-half the average rate of prosecutions since 1986.
White-Collar Crimes Are Still Being Prosecuted
As we saw with the Paul Manafort trial and convictions, the federal government continues to file indictments and prosecute white-collar crimes. The number of prosecutions may be lower; however, that does not mean that investigations are not being conducted and prosecutors are not filing charges.
White-collar crimes cover a variety of offenses ranging from securities and investment fraud to tax offenses, public corruption, and official misconduct. In essence, white-collar crimes can be described as non-violent, financially motivated offenses. In most crimes, unlawful financial gain and deception are key elements of the government’s case. Federal and state courts can pursue white-collar crimes. Government employees, private individuals, and businesses can be charged with white-collar crimes.
The term “white-collar” crime can be deceiving for some individuals. They may assume that because these crimes are non-violent, the penalties are not as severe as the penalties for violent crimes. However, penalties for a white-collar crime conviction can include penalties, fines, prison, probation, asset forfeiture, and probation. Therefore, if you believe you are being investigated, you may want to consult a New York criminal defense lawyer to discuss your legal rights and your options for mounting a strong defense to any charges that might be filed.
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Posted in: White Collar Crime