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The Intercept
October 13, 2015

Talk of Criminally Prosecuting Corporations Up, Actual Prosecutions Down
By David Dayen


A new analysis of federal data from Syracuse University finds that the Justice Departmentís criminal prosecutions of corporations fell 29 percent from 2004 to 2014, even as criminal referrals to the Justice Department from other federal agencies have risen. In fiscal year 2014, the Justice Department brought 237 cases against corporations, the lowest number since 2010, and well below the high-water mark of the decade: 398 cases in 2005. The number of convictions fell to 162, well below the Bush administration average of about 240. The data comes from the Justice Department itself, obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) through a Freedom of Information Act request. TRAC also synthesizes data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a division of the federal courts, to arrive at its totals. TRACís report on criminal prosecutions mirrors the data released in August on enforcement of individual white-collar cases. That showed prosecutions at a 20-year low, down 36.8 percent from the peak.


Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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