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Market Watch
September 27, 2015

Opinion: Too late for the financial crisis, Justice Department finally targets corporate execs
By Elliot Blair Smith

Federal white-collar crime prosecutions are heading to a new low in fiscal 2015. The caseload is down 12.3% from a year ago—29.1% under 2010, and 36.8% below the comparable level in 1995—“despite the rise in population and economic activity in the nation during this period,” according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. White-collar prosecutions initially spiked in 2010 and 2011 under Breuer as the Justice Department’s criminal division chief, and then resumed their 20-year downward trajectory. His departure was disclosed in January 2013, a day after the public TV news program Frontline aired a report highlighting the government’s inability to achieve signature convictions. He rejoined the Washington law firm of Covington & Burling, where he is vice chairman and oversees more lawyers (about 850 of them) than he ever had in the government (600). Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., also has since returned to Covington as a partner. Breuer didn’t respond to a request for comment. But he told the New York City Bar Association in September 2012 that deferred-prosecution agreements and “non-prosecution agreements” have had ”a truly transformative effect on particular companies, and, more generally, on corporate culture across the globe.”

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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