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  Policy and Public Interest Groups
November 16, 2011

Two-Tiered Justice: Financial Prosecutions at a 20-Year Low
By David Dayen

A new report finds that prosecution of financial fraud has fallen to a 20-year low. If youíre like me, you donít believe that the financial industry stands at its cleanest point in the past 20 years. The federal government is on track to file just 1,365 prosecutions for financial institution fraud in fiscal year 2011, according to a new report from a watchdog group. That would be the lowest number of such prosecutions in at least two decades. The report, from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, comes at a time when the protest movement known as Occupy Wall Street has gained nationwide visibility ó and no small degree of public support ó by criticizing what its members see as a close relationship between big banks and the federal government. The falling number of fraud prosecutions is striking given what many claim is a strong pattern of financial-sector misconduct in recent years, culminating in a housing crisis characterized by alleged rampant mortgage fraud and improper foreclosure, as well as the weakening of the national and global economy.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2011
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