Federal prosecution of white-collar crime has hit a 20-year low, according to a new report on Department of Justice data. The analysis of thousands of records by Syracuse University shows a more than 36 percent decline in such prosecutions since the middle of the Clinton administration, when the decline first began.
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, prosecutions ticked up slightly, but then dropped. Landing amid calls from Democratic presidential candidates for more Wall Street prosecutions, the report notes that the projected number of prosecutions this year is 12 percent less than last year and 29 percent less than five years ago.
“The decline in federal white-collar crime prosecutions does not necessarily indicate there has been a decline in white-collar crime,” Syracuse researchers note. “Rather, it may reflect shifting enforcement policies by each of the administrations and the various agencies.”
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