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October 3, 2019

Prosecutions of White-Collar Crime on Track to Fall to Lowest Levels in Over 30 Years
By Asher Stockler

The number of federal prosecutions of white-collar crimes has plummeted over the last eight years, according to a new analysis produced by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). Currently, half as many white-collar crimes are being prosecuted as in 2011, which itself marked a relative high for these cases. Indictments related to white-collar crimes—encompassing offenses such as fraud, identity theft, embezzlement and counterfeiting—fell 8.5 percent since last year alone. TRAC's analysis posits that, if current trends continue, the number of these prosecutions will reach its lowest level since 1986. Trendlines for white-collar prosecutions don't necessarily correlate with individual presidents. After President George W. Bush took office, the number of these prosecutions held steady before declining around his second term. After President Barack Obama was sworn in the number sharply increased for the first couple years before embarking on a gradual decline throughout the rest of his presidency. Recent trends under President Donald Trump appear to continue a pattern set under the Obama administration.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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