White-Collar Prosecutions Half Level of 8 Years Ago
(25 Sep 2019) White-collar prosecutions continue to fall. Prosecutions are only half the level of just eight years ago. In fact, this year is on its way to achieving an all-time record low - the lowest ever since records began back in FY 1986.

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during the first eleven months of FY 2019 the government reported there were 4,973 white-collar crime prosecutions. This was a mere 3.3 percent of the 170,487 new prosecutions recorded so far this year.

This modest number is despite the country's financial meltdown and opioid crisis, and the wide range of corporate, securities, health care, procurement, telemarketing, computer, consumer and other serious frauds that are believed to be perpetrated each year.

The District of Rhode Island was the most active through August 2019. Relative to its population size, it had 3.3 times the national average of white-collar prosecutions. It also experienced the greatest growth rate compared to other districts. This year its prosecutions per capita more than doubled from both one year ago and five years ago.

Often the Southern District of New York (Manhattan) has been the most active district in pursuing white-collar offenders. However, this year New York South fell to second. Its per capita white-collar prosecutions were 2.8 times the national average - down from prior years. The Southern District of Florida (Miami) was only slightly behind Manhattan prosecutors with 2.7 times the national average.

These comparisons of defendants charged with white-collar offenses are based on case-by-case information obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University after successful litigation against the Justice Department under the Freedom of Information Act.

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