February 11, 2020 9:57 AM Subscribe
With few exceptions, the only rich people America prosecutes anymore are those who victimize their fellow elites. Pharma frat boy Martin Shkreli, to pick just one example, wasn’t prosecuted for hiking the price of a drug used to treat HIV from $13.50 to $750 per pill. He went to prison for scamming investors in a hedge fund scheme years before. Meanwhile, in 2016, the CEO [Don Blankenship] whose company [Massey Energy] experienced the deadliest mining disaster since 1970 served less than one year in prison and paid a fine of 1.4 percent of his salary and stock bonuses the previous year. Why? Because overseeing a company that ignores warnings and causes the deaths of workers, even 29 of them, is a misdemeanor.The Golden Age Of White Collar Crime
previously: The Chickenshit Club, on why United States criminal prosecutions of corporate CEOs have declined // How the IRS Was Gutted and Gutting the IRS, on the deliberate retargeting of IRS enforcement away from the wealthy and powerful.
Law Enforcement Losing War on White Collar Crime
Sideswiping the White-Collar Crime Wave
Of course the prosecutorial system was never perfect. Responsibility has long been scattered across multiple Federal agencies like the Department of Justice, the SEC, the Postal Service, and the IRS, and loosely divided among 50 publicity seeking U.S. Attorneys. For decades, prosecutors, FBI agents, and other investigators who specialize in corporate crimes have struggled to compete for resources with the latest crimes du jour—terrorism, cybercrime, drugs, and street gangs. The Federal judiciary’s support for prosecutorial tactics has also varied significantly over time. Moreover, corporations have long had relatively deep pockets, a full panoply of stalling tactics and creative defenses, and access to the best “white collar” criminal defense attorneys money can buy—much of it hand-trained by the Justice Department itself.[In the UK] White collar prosecutions plummet even as crime rises
However, it is now clear that in the past decade, even as all available evidence indicates that corporate financial chicanery was exploding, this system became weaker than ever. For example, as of 2017, the number of “white collar” criminal prosecutions and convictions is at the lowest level in 22 years. Indeed, during Trump’s first year, so far, there have only been about 6,000 Federal white-collar criminal prosecutions of all kinds—a 46 percent drop from their 1995 total (10,913), and just 6 percent of total Federal criminal prosecutions. Bank fraud cases will account for only 8 percent of all Federal white-collar crime prosecutions.
How America stopped prosecuting white-collar crime and public corruption, in charts
The U.S. Needs to Crack Down on White-Collar Crime - "What makes Michael Cohen different from other fraudsters? He got caught."
White Collar Prosecutions Fall to Lowest in 20 Years, 2018
White-collar crime prosecutions hit lowest level in 33 years, 2019