Wednesday, April 11, 2007

TPM Muckraker: Bush Adminstration Gutted Fraud Investigations

It seems that I am not the only one noticing an increase in white-collar crime. TPM Muckraker has posted an article tying the increase to fewer law enforcement resources.

Here is the full article in the Seattle Times. From the Seattle Times article:

Thousands of white-collar criminals across the country are no longer being prosecuted in federal court -- and, in many cases, not at all -- leaving a trail of frustrated victims and potentially billions of dollars in fraud and theft losses.

It is the untold story of the Bush administration's massive restructuring of the FBI after the terrorism attacks of 9/11.

Five-and-a-half years later, the White House and the Justice Department have failed to replace at least 2,400 agents transferred to counterterrorism squads, leaving far fewer agents on the trail of identity thieves, con artists, hatemongers and other criminals.

Two successive attorneys general have rejected the FBI's pleas for reinforcements behind closed doors.

While there hasn't been a terrorism strike on American soil since the realignment, few are aware of the hidden cost: a dramatic plunge in FBI investigations and case referrals in many of the crimes that the bureau has traditionally fought, including sophisticated fraud, embezzlement schemes and civil rights violations.

I find this rather interesting, given that the terrorists we are fighting often use such schemes to fund their activities. It seems that having a strong fraud investigation unit would be useful in fighting terrorism. But what do I know? I'm just an Okie lawyer.

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