December 24, 2009
Another State Highlighting White Collar Crime
Federal prosecutions of white collar crime have been the norm for many years. And the New York Attorney General's Office under Spitzer and now Cuomo made it a part of their workload (see here). But recently we see more and more states are making white collar investigations a priority. We have seen it in Florida (see here) and Ohio (see here). Indiana, now. appears to also be stepping up its white collar prosecutions. Jon Murray, Indystar.com reports on how the "4-person unit in state Securities Division has helped with 44 cases since '07." (see here) (w/ a hat tip to Ted Gest)
With a decreased media bringing to light public corruption and state white collar crimes, it is important that individual states step to the plate and provide increased prosecutions of state and local white collar crimes.
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To the extent that states take over some of the white collar criminal prosecutions, and the U.S. Department of Justice decreases its footprint in this arena, justice will be better served. Federal statutes tend to be so vague that citizens are not given adequate notice of what is criminal. States adhere more to common law notions of mens rea, and hence it is less likely that citizens acting innocently and in good faith will get caught up in the machine. All in all, a good development. Harvey A. Silverglate, Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts.
Posted by: Harvey A. Silverglate | Dec 25, 2009 10:13:41 AM