White Collar Crime in 2015

What is 2015 likely to bring in the form of white collar crime prosecutions?  More mortgage fraud for one thing.  While the statute of limitations has expired on most, if not all, crimes relating to the housing crisis there’s still lots of trials to go forward based on these investigations.  In addition the FBI and IRS have spent a lot of time investigating mortgage bailout fraud – some of those cases have already been indicted and there’s still more to come.

Fighting fraud is something every elected official can rally around and the tool of choice these days seems to be encouraging more whistle-blowing of corporate wrongdoing by increasing the potential rewards. Eric Holder is on record calling for increased compensation for reporting fraud.   Whistle-blowers are universally considered good and backing programs to reward whistleblowers is probably one of few things the Republican Congress and a Democratic President are going to be able to agree on.

Reuters reported the FBI is currently investigating American Realty Capital.  The company’s chief executive and two other officers stepped down recently because of issues with how the company reported revenue.  Not generally a good sign.

FCPA investigations are likely to continue on their current trajectory – increase.  The feds love FCPA prosecutions….high financial penalties and good headlines.

With Eric Holder on his way out at some point this year the priorities of federal investigations is likely to change.  Exactly what those changes are going to look like will be hard to predict until we know who is going to take his place.

Regardless of who is Attorney General Cyber Crime investigations and prosecutions are going to continue to increase.  The news at the end of 2014 was filled with reports about the hack at Sony and the year as a whole was filled with stories about various major retailers being hacked.  Hacks are only going to continue and as they do law enforcement will attempt to keep up.  Last year the number of state court computer related prosecutions appeared to be on the rise as well so expect that trend to continue.

For the past several years now I have been waiting to see an increase in environmental prosecutions… with an ever improving economy that brings with it more building and expansion environmental prosecutions will have to return.