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New York Law Journal
February 13, 2019

Assessing White-Collar Enforcement After Two Years of Trump
By Robert J. Anello and Richard F. Albert

A May 2018 analysis from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Clearinghouse (TRAC) reports that the volume of federal white-collar fraud prosecutions is at its lowest level in twenty years. In fiscal years 2010 and 2011, the period reflecting prosecutions resulting from the 2008 financial crisis, prosecutions hovered around 10,000 per year. This number fell to just over 8,000 in fiscal year 2012 and has gone down since. The figures show a decline in the prosecution of fraud cases since then, to just under 6,000 in fiscal year 2017, their lowest level in two decades. A November 2018 report from TRAC revealed that the number of federal white-collar crime prosecutions continued to decline throughout fiscal year 2018—down 3.7 percent from the year before and over 30 percent from five years ago. The decrease is particularly significant when compared to the 34.8 percent increase in overall prosecutions for fiscal year 2018. According to TRAC, the total number of new federal prosecutions filed annually also had ebbed since 2013, but jumped from 122,492 in Trump’s first year to 165,070 in his second year. TRAC reported that the single largest category of federal prosecutions brought in fiscal year 2018 was immigration offenses—60.9 percent of all prosecutions (up from 37.5 percent in fiscal year 2017)—with narcotics prosecutions running a distant second with 13 percent. According to annual statistical reports issued by the Justice Department, in the period prior to Trump’s election, from 2008-2016, the number of immigration-related prosecutions hovered between 37 and 43 percent of the total number of prosecutions.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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