Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly
Center on Media Crime and Justice and John Jay College
August 9, 2021

White-Collar Crime Prosecutions Continue 20-Year Decline
By Eva Herscowitz

White-collar crime prosecutions continued their two-decade decline in 2021, plummeting from 9,507 prosecutions in 2001 to a projected 4,727 prosecutions in 2021. Prosecution rates have varied during the pandemic: Justice Department data confirms that during the first nine months of 2021 the government reported 3,545 new white-collar crime prosecutions. Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, a data analysis organization, estimates that the number of 2021 prosecutions will total 4,727 by the year’s end — an 11 percent increase since the pandemic’s height, when COVID-19 “temporarily depressed prosecution levels,” a TRAC report reads. But placed in context, 2021 prosecution case numbers confirm a long-term trend: white-collar crime prosecutions have declined dramatically over the past 20 years. The number of prosecutions dropped by 50.3 percent between 2001 and 2021, especially declining during the Trump administration.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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