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According to a new report. They pay a relatively small fine and in return the corporate criminals avoid jail time and its business as usual.

The federal government is on track to file just 1,365 prosecutions for financial institution fraud in fiscal year 2011, according to a new report from a watchdog group. That would be the lowest number of such prosecutions in at least two decades.
Every year since 1999, the number of such prosecutions has gotten smaller and smaller, the report states. This means, for example, that there were more prosecutions in any given year during the presidency of George W. Bush than in any year during the presidency of Barack Obama.
The declining number of fraud prosecutions in 2011 may reflect the increasingly widespread use of deferred prosecution agreements, a less-aggressive legal strategy that allows companies to voluntarily report their own misconduct and avoid harsh consequences in court. Since 2008, the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have both adopted deferred prosecution tactics and put less emphasis on punitive measures for financial crimes, according to The New York Times.

Thanks for the recs, going to bed. Will check out comments tomorrow.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sunspots, WisePiper, kurt, Quasimodal, semiot

    President Obama's strike force against the banksters seems only to prosecute assistant branch managers who had their fingers in the bank's cookie jar, or people rigging condo association elections for profit. The big banksters never face criminal prosecution; the TBTF once in a while have to respond to civil charges which they settle without admitting anything, but that's just a cost of doing business.

    Is it just me, or does the name of the Task Force seem to have been unfortunately chosen? It could be interpreted to mean that the task force will see to it that all financial frauds which have been perpetrated on the public will be enforced or legitimized. Are they mocking us with the name?

    " 'In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.' Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me." Elwood P. Dowd

    by paulbkk on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 09:35:58 PM PST

    •  Good points (0+ / 0-)

      I knew things were bad but not this bad. Its quite an accomplishment to be worse than Bush in prosecuting corporate criminals.

      If there was a time when the public had a president's back in putting these suckers in jail, this was it and he chose to let them off with a slap on the wrist instead.

      Good point about calling it a "task force", almost Orwellian.

  •  An FBI agent complained that ALL investigations (5+ / 0-)

    of financial crimes in NY ceased after 9/11 - major investigations of very real crimes - and agents were reassigned to investigating ridiculous terrorist complaints without any merit - many filed by busybody old ladies.

    Of couse there are also those that will point out all the investigations that ceased after various offices were destroyed on 9/11 - both in the twin towers, building 7 and the ONI at the Pentagon.......   but that would be labeled 'conspiracy theories'......

    In any case, whatever the cause, you've had minimal investigations of financial crimes - with only a few token prosecutions for 'insider trading' (with relatively paltry returns compared to what a guy like Mozilla got to keep.....   You've had almost NO enforcement of anti-monopoly laws since Saint Ronnie .

    An attorney friend once said point blank - 'If you're rich enough you can get away with anything.'    Seems like they were right.   The irony is that HE is now disbarred and doing time  by following the old 'never rat' dictum.   Mortgage fraud flip scheme as I understand it.   Those he worked for all cut deals sending up the small players and got off scot free themselves.......  HE wasn't 'rich' - and in fact had some serious medical bills to pay for a kid.  But the people he worked for were 'rich enough'.

    Life isn't fair but you should try to leave it fairer than you found it.

    by xrepub on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 10:17:04 PM PST

    •  Reminds me of the way Bush diverted resources (0+ / 0-)

      from getting Bin Laden and shifted them to Iraq because that's where the money was. I guess not having to prosecute corporate criminals as much as they should have was a "happy accident" for the Bush administration. I'm pretty sure they could have received the funding to hire more agents to fill the void if they wanted to.

      In Obama's case its seems pretty clear cut, he had the resources he just chose not to use them. Right after the biggest crime spree perhaps in our nation's history the president chose to let them off the hook because once again he wanted to "look forward, not back". Doesn't hurt his war chest either to offer such generous terms to Wall Street.

      I'd be interested to see if any of the corporations who have been let off the hook with a fine contributed to his re-election or had contributions bundled from their employees.

      Sorry hear about your friend and his kid.

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