In recent years, the Obama administration has spent considerable time and effort in reforming the Justice Department’s approach to low-level drug offenders. In addition, state legislatures nationwide have begun to crack down on sex offenders even more harshly than they had before. These shifts in criminal prosecutions and defense have been fairly clear and straightforward.
However, the federal government’s approach to prosecuting white collar crime has been less cut and dry than other prosecutorial trends have been in recent years. Some white collar crimes are treated as serious offenses, while others are treated inconsistently. It has therefore been difficult to craft criminal defense approaches accordingly. In 2014, this hodge podge approach to white collar prosecutions may shift in favor of clear priorities. As a result, criminal defense attorneys and white collar suspects alike will need to be on their guard in a few particular areas.
According to the Wall Street Journal, it seems that attorneys at both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice are gearing up to focus on a few white collar priorities in particular during 2014. These priorities include accounting fraud, insider trading and enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Why are these particular offenses sudden priorities? It seems that the Justice Department has had some recent significant prosecutorial victories in regards to these crimes and so it wants to crack down even more on violators in order to keep up momentum and institute a real shift in how it approaches these kinds of cases.
As a result of this looming trend, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you suspect that you may be under suspicion for any of these crimes.
Source: Wall Street Journal Law Blog, “Law 2014: In White Collar Crime It’s Déjà vu All Over Again,” Christopher M. Matthews, Dec. 31, 2013