Monday, November 4, 2013
TRAC (Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse) is reporting a decline for 2013 of white collar prosecutions. (see here). Their statistics, which I assume to be accurate, demonstrate a decline of 45% from 10 years ago and 6.8 % from last year. TRAC does a superb job of providing current statistics as provided to them from the DOJ.
But one has to question these statistics for several reasons. Most importantly is the fact that a solid definition of white collar crime is lacking. Will it include RICO? How about RICO with mail fraud counts? How about RICO with robbery counts? And the typical "short-cut" offenses used by the government, like obstruction of justice, perjury, and false statements. These could be economic crimes underlying the conduct, or they could easily be street crimes. The problem is the statistics do not offer that insight.
So before we start saying that the administration is prosecuting less white collar offenses, we need to determine how they are compiling the statistics and what is and is not being included as a white collar offense.
(esp) (w/ disclosure that she is a B.S. graduate of Syracuse U.- home of the Trac Reports).