Sunday, August 13, 2006
According to the Washington Post here, yet another person is pleading guilty after being implicated by testimony given by Jack Abramoff. Roger G. Stillwell, a former Interior Department employee plead guilty after receiving gifts such as sports and concert tickets. The Washington Post's web page here provides a listing of the guilty pleas entered to date resulting from Jack Abramoff's guilty plea and cooperation.
The Jack Abramoff plea agreement has been extraordinary for the government. As a polished individual, one with close ties and knowledge to insiders, he has the ability to be used as a threat beyond the typical witness to those who are targets of a government investigation. It is not surprising that we are not seeing indictments followed by trials, and are seeing indictments followed by plea agreements coming from Abramoff's testimony.
Is it that white collar crime is increasing? Is it that the press is reporting more white collar related stories? Is it that prosecutors are prosecuting more white collar crimes? From a term coined by Edwin Sutherland in 1939, "white collar crime" has certainly become a common theme these days. Just looking at some of the white collar related stories in this weekend's newspapers across the country present evidence of this -
Washington Post (AP) here -Religion-Related Fraud Getting Worse
Washington Post here - 12 File to Oppose Rep. Jefferson
Lexington Herald here - Insider Trading Case Dropped (discussing federal prosecutors dropping an insider trading case upon receipt of new evidence)
Lexington Herald here - Judge: Fletcher Cannot Be Tried (discussing the state court's holding that the Kentucky Governor cannot be prosecuted on 3 criminal misdemeanor charges until the state legislature either impeaches him or he is voted out of office)
Indianapolis Star here - Con Artists Tailor Pitch to Elderly
LATimes here - Juicy Details in Option Scandal (discussing stock option backdating scandal and former Comverse Technology Inc. executives)
NYTimes here - Secrets in the Pipeline (discussing "private investment in public equity" issues)
Boston Herald here - Testimony 'Irreconcilable': Perjury Charge Eyed (discussing prosecutors considering perjury charges against a state representative)